‘Tension’: Comic On Black Hair And Embracing Who You Are Now On Kickstarter

“Through the lens of an Afro-Asian woman, TENSION explores societal ‘norms’ & learning to accept and love one’s own natural curly hair.”

I first came across artist Pearl Low, an Afro-Asian Storyboard Artist currently working in Vancouver, BC on Instagram after seeing photos of her digital exhibit on hair, internalized racism, and her experience as a Blasian person living in today’s world. Her comic Tension was used for the theme of that exhibit and against the bright pop of yellow from the art installation, familiar items like afro picks and an electric hair straightener can be seen.

While the installation has come and gone, the comic that served as its inspiration is now using a Kickstarter campaign to help make another printing, a third! This time Low wants to make this printing in a softcover book format and make it available to an international audience.



The state of being stretched tight; mental or emotional strain.

The Black Hair Experience, just like the Black Experience, is not a monolith– It has many stories and unique expressions. TENSION adds to the conversation and story that is the diverse experience of Black Hair.

Black Hair is fascinating.

Black Hair is a wonder to the world.

And also the pit of many a joke as well.

As a Black woman, at this point in my life– I really only care about narratives about Black hair written by Black folks now, in particular Black women folk. This comic is unique not only because it comes from a person identifying as biracial: a child of two different worlds but it comes from a place of speaking about the complex relationship with hair that comes with being Black and how the world views you.

Low mentions that growing up in a predominantly East Asian environment she really didn’t have any role models who looked like her or went through the same things as she did. I’m here for biracial folks creating safe spaces and media texts on their lived experiences in this world.

There is no wrong or right way to look or feel as a Black person; we are a diverse people. Those who belong to the African Diaspora don’t all have the same stories. If you want to read more narratives about Black hair, here’s one in comic form.

Check out the Kickstarter for Tension here.

Pearl Low’s works are rooted in Chinese-Canadian and Caribbean-Canadian experiences. Low primarily works in Animation but also does illustrative work. Currently, Low is storyboarding for Mega Man Fully Charged (2018) set to premier this summer on Cartoon Network. See more of her on Twitter, Instagram and see what’s for sale in her online store on Gumroad.

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  • Carrie McClain is writer, editor and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Nowadays you can usually find her avoiding Truck-kun and forgetting her magical girl transformation device. She/Her

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