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Celebrate Black History Month with the "Black Nerd Swag" Subscription Service

Subscription boxes are incredibly popular but there's a new one you'll want to check out.

According to Forbes in the month of April 2017, subscription company websites had over 37 million visitors. That number has grown by over 800% since 2014.

What's a subscription box service? A subscription business is a company that sends you a package, usually monthly, of items they've picked out for you based on your preferences. They can be clothes, comics, snacks or pet supplies.

The best-known one is Loot Crate but there's a new one coming. it's called "Black Nerd Swag". It specializes in providing its members with access to comics, art, books and fan swag featuring Black artists, writers, and creators.

We got to talk to Lauren Hazel, the creator of "Black Nerd Swag", and she kindly agreed to answer some questions about the exciting new service.

1) What inspired this idea?

Let’s see...well I go to NY Comic Con and went some of the diversity panels like "Black Heroes Matter and Diversity in comics and I always hear the argument that we (POC) need to support the creators by pre-ordering comics or they will cancel them.

It becomes a narrative that isn’t helpful in my opinion to the writers or comic book studios because it's not the market’s job to save you. Get your products in front of your audience and make them easy to buy.

The current pre-order system that I learned about two years ago doesn’t make any sense for the comic book buyers of today. Then you have to keep up with these different companies to find out about what comics are coming out because most do a horrible job at marketing so the demand from Black readers is going to be low.

Comic books are not something that most get exposed to like books or technology. Plus there is not a lot of merchandise that has or features Black characters. That has always been a problem so I thought what could I do to help solve this issue.

The fans want to support and get access to these comics but they also want the merch that goes with it. They want different stories featuring Black characters and they still want access to the Hulk and such but something that they can have some pride in.

I’m thinking how can I fill that gap? How can I bring those things together in some way? Then I saw subscription boxes doing really well like Loot Crate and Comic Bento which I subscribe to. I thought maybe I’ll just find these products and put them in a box. I would love one day to see a giant banner or station at NY Comic Con with "Black Nerd Swag" on it. It started there for me with this idea….right at New York Comic Con.

2) What kind of things will be in the subscription boxes?

The box will have things like comics, apparel items such as T-shirts, stickers, buttons, posters or artwork and some small items like a keychain of Black Panther.

I have some other interesting things planned but its "hush hush" because I’m in talks with folks that own the properties to get it in the box but I can say as of right now I got Image and Valiant so Spawn and Bingo Love is coming to a Black Nerd Swag box soon.

3) Why do you think people will be excited to get these every month?

I think people will be excited because 1) this box is focused on the representation and celebration of our image and creativity so you’ll see a Black character or get something that was created or written by someone Black in every box. Other major subscription boxes can’t and are not interested in doing that. 2) It's all the nerd pop-culture comic, movie, cartoon/anime and soon gaming stuff that we haven’t grown out of as adults in the box.

I surveyed over 270 Black nerds and asked them what they wanted or were missing and they said they wished they could go to the cons and if they went that they saw more of them. Every box is about making that happen. You will see yourself plus other things you love as nerds in general but it won’t be just mainstream.

I got some independents that will be in their too so they get to discover what Black creators and writers are doing as well.

You can check out www.blacknerdswag.com and get a 10% off coupon by signing up on the email list.

Fittingly the subscription launched in Black History Month so check them out! It sounds like all your dreams can come true every month.

Head over to http://www.blacknerdswag.com and follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/BlackNerdSwag!

What do you think about the subscription box? What would you like to see?

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