Riri Williams makes a big splash in ‘Black Panther 2.’ Here’s her comics backstory.
It’s hard to believe I’ve written more than 100 words in print yet I’m still trying to find my way to the end of this post.
It’s been a long time coming, and honestly, not so much a coming as a jumping.
Riri Williams started her career in comics with a run on Green Lantern: Secret Identity with writer Peter Gillis (Astonishing X-Men with writer Peter Milligan) and artist J.H. Williams II, and she hasn’t put a dent in that book’s legacy since. She’s made a living on the small shelf of books she writes and draws, but she’s been busy in the comics industry since 2005, at least, and her name has been out there to watch over the years with projects from both Marvel and DC, while also running her own comic book company, Marvel UK.
I first met Riri at the recent Small Press Expo in San Francisco, where I got to see her and the comic she’s been working on, Black Panther: The World of Wakanda, up on the stage.
That appearance was just one stop on a promotional tour that took me from Seattle to San Francisco (with stops in New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit and Atlanta) and from New York (with stops in Seattle, Cleveland and New York, as well as Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and Washington and DC) to Chicago, where I had the chance to speak to and finally meet Riri Williams.
In the Q&A session, we discussed her work with Black Panther: The World of Wakanda, the history of the project and the role that writer Nnedi Okorafor, known, like many of us, for her work in the Black Panther comics, has played in this particular part of Riri’s career, particularly in bringing Black Panther into the world of comics.
Williams also discussed the importance of having a consistent vision that is carried through to the artists who work with her. They’ve been developing the Black Panther into a truly unique character with her own