Think back to the most iconic characters, heroes and fictional worlds. Think about characters from Disney. Think about Sailor Moon, one of the most popular anime series of all time, or Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Mario Bros video game franchise, Lara Croft, Minecraft, Resident Evil. The list goes on. Ever noticed what they all had in common?
Although these stories have a global reach and evolve in wide universes, they surprisingly hardly featured a black hero(in). You may find a couple of black characters, who usually hold a supporting role, which, when it does happen, is usually a sidekick of a non-black lead. Moreover, the fandoms, including cosplays, forums, fan arts or social groups, are primarily non-black. Being a black fan in these fandoms means getting excited for extras, side characters or someone who doesn’t look at all like you and that you could, therefore, never aspire to become.
So, #blacktober allows these digital artists, as well as black people, to recreate these artworks, i.e. a video game, an anime, a film or story to see themselves as the stars of these great stories. Any black person, young or old, can imagine themselves or even dream of becoming a star in a major story or even their own story.
Beyond recreating these worlds and fandoms with black leads, these black female digital artists have also created original black webcomic heroes and heroines. Some of these characters even have their own fan bases and have evolved their own memorabilia. One of the web series by webtoon artist Kay, aka refrigerator_art21, is based on black anime characters and is called Blerdy Girls. This series is about black girls who are avid gamers and anime fans. The characters of this series are so popular that it has spawned a wide range of popular memorabilia.