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Although the ‘60s sparked an increase in the inclusion of brown faces in comics produced by prominent publishing houses like Marvel and DC, the number of black comic book characters remains relatively low.  Despite the implication that blacks must be missing behind the scenes as well, Rider University professor Sheena Howard recently became the first African-American woman to win the “Oscar” of comic book awards.

At San Diego’s annual Comic-Con, an increasingly popular four-day event that encompasses all things comics, pop culture, video games and more, Howard received the Eisner Award, the highest honor in comics, for her book “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation,” which focuses on black comic strip creators, and the cultural representation of blacks in comics that are produced by blacks. Even though receiving the award came as a shock to her, it shouldn’t have, considering her devotion to bringing African-American contributions to the comic strip industry to the forefront.

Here are 5 interesting facts we should know about Professor Sheena Howard:

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