As Onli organized the inaugural Black Age of Comics Conventions in Chicago, he went further to organize Black graphic illustrators and novelists for a national tour, partnering with the San Diego Comic Con, The Chicago Comic Con, and Milestone Media. The Black Age of Comics Convention exists today, co-sponsored annually by the DuSable Museum and attracting hundreds of excited attendees each year.
The Black Age of Comics Convention celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013.
The convention always features successful commercial and independent illustrators and graphic novelists. Past features have included Afua Richardson-- the only female Black comic book artist who has worked for Marvel, DC and Image Comics, Eric Battle—illustrator of numerous iconic superhero characters for DC Comics and Marvel Comics, the late novelist LA Banks, and other stellar artists in the field.
Black Age of Comics founder Turtel Onli has amassed accolades and recognition for his work in expanding the platform for artists of African descent. He was awarded a Life Time Achievement award in 2006 by Temple University, named, “The Father of the Black Age of Comics” for his work with the convention.