"...it helps us to see beyond the sad things in the world. You don't have to be in the universe that they stick you in."

Carla Wiley

Retired Educator

How many ECBACCs? 17

Favorite Indie Property: Mama's Boyz

Favorite Mainstream Fandom: Curtis (Old Fashioned Comic Strips)

Favorite Character: Scooby-Doo

But wait, there's more: Keepers of the Culture | Facebook

How did you get involved with ECBACC?

I have been a volunteer on the ECBACC board for a very long time. I've had a chance to do a little bit of everything. I've been a hostess. I've also run the children's room where I've done storytelling and art. I've even gotten a chance to sit on the committees that chose the cover art for the program book. I like to volunteer because this is the environment I've always tried to raise my children in, but I also got a chance to see behind the scenes. I like nuts and bolts.

How did your involvement with ECBACC affect how you look at the art of storytelling?

It's about the process. I got to understand the obstacles. When I first started going to ECBACC, I saw all these wonderful characters like Dreadlock that I had never heard of, and I wondered why these weren't more mainstream. It informed me about how much racism there is even in the creative business.

What does ECBACC mean to you?

I'm very literacy-minded. At first, I bought into the idea that comic books are great to get boys to read, but girls also need to see their images too. My granddaughter is 2 1/2 and always says, "I a superhero!" That's one thing I like about Star Trek too. Our children need to see that we're going to go on into that 23rd and 24th century. They belong in a broader world. And for those of us with a little bit more seasoning on us, it helps us to see beyond the sad things in the world. You don't have to be in the universe that they stick you in.

What is a cherished ECBACC memory?

Yumy's annual picture. I created quilts for 2 years where all the creators drew or wrote something on panels. They're huge. We all pose with them, and every year Yumy has to gather everybody up.

The African-American Museum always had to put us out at the end because we didn't want to leave each other. We were all outside the African-American Museum all hugged up and they were like, "You ain't got to go home but you gotta get the heck outta here!"