INTERVIEW: Jamila Rowser on Launching Her Own Comic Book Publishing Company
Inspired by Josei manga, manga oriented for teen girls and young women, comic book creator and editor Jamila Rowser set out to create her own publishing platform in Black Josei Press. Producing comics and merchandise by Black women creators, including titles by Rowser herself, the publisher has been putting out new titles steadily since May 2018, including the award-winning debut title Wash Day, showcasing the Black female creative voice in the comic book medium.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, Rowser shared her inspiration behind starting her own comic book publishing company, its mission statement and teased upcoming projects being published by Black Josei Press.
Let's start at the beginning; what's the story behind the launch of Black Josei Press?
Jamila Rowser: My love for Josei manga and Black women is what created Black Josei Press. I really love josei manga, especially slice-of-life, drama, and romance, and wanted to read more comics like that, but that had characters that looked like me and my friends. That showed our lives, everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. But most importantly, I wanted those comics to be made by Black women, too. I really just wanted something for us. I know it’s hella FUBU but it’s true! That desire lead me to create Black Josei Press.
As someone who not only runs Black Josei but also writes for it, what made you want to write and edit for the comic book medium in particular?
Rowser: I have a deep love for the comics ...
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