In a recent announcement, artist Aaron Beatty issued a call for entries for the Heruary 2024 prompt list. Heruary is not just another prompt list; it’s a groundbreaking movement in the comic world, inspired by the popular Inktober and dedicated to celebrating Black indie comic characters.
Heruary originated from Beatty’s engagement with Jake Parker’s Inktober prompt lists. “The Inktober prompts were fun and challenging, reminding me of drawing exercises from my college days,” Beatty shared in an interview with Indie Comix Dispatch. However, he observed a significant gap: the lack of specific celebration for Black comic book characters and creators, especially independent ones, during Black History Month. Thus, Heruary was born.
The term “Heruary” is a thoughtful blend of “HERU” — the Egyptian God symbolizing power and perfection — and “February.” It’s Beatty’s unique way of honoring Black comic book creators and the broader spectrum of Black history and people globally. This initiative offers a niche yet impactful tribute during a month dedicated to celebrating Black excellence and history.
About Aaron Beatty:
Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, a city pivotal to his life and work, Aaron Beatty has been a dynamic presence in the art world. His journey began with copying panels from his favorite comic books in his youth, leading him to study at The High School of Creative and Performing Arts, Pratt Institute, and Parsons School of Design.
Beatty’s career is multifaceted, encompassing roles as an illustrator, painter, comic book and digital artist, inker, freelance illustrator, art director, and teacher. His creative influences are as diverse as his roles, drawing from a rich tapestry of music, social events, and the cultural revolutionary artists of the 1970s. Influences like Afro-Punk, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, and Fela Kuti have shaped his lyrical and visual style.
Heruary stands as a testament to Beatty’s vision and commitment to providing a platform for Black indie comic characters and creators. This initiative not only celebrates Black history and talent but also enriches the comic world with diverse narratives and characters, underscoring the importance of representation in the arts. As Heruary gains momentum, it promises to bring new perspectives and stories to the forefront, offering both a challenge and an opportunity for creators and enthusiasts alike.