By Sheena C. Howard, Ronald L. Jackson II
Winner of the 2014 Will Eisner Award for most sensible Scholarly/Academic Work.
Bringing jointly participants from a wide-range of serious views, Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation is an analytic heritage of the various contributions of Black artists to the medium of comics. overlaying comedian books, superhero comics, picture novels and comic strip strips from the early twentieth century to the current, the e-book explores the ways that Black comedian artists have grappled with such issues because the Black event, gender id, politics and social media.
Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation introduces scholars to such key texts as:
The paintings of Jackie Ormes
Black ladies superheroes from Vixen to Black Panther
Aaron McGruder's strip The Boondocks
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Additional resources for Black comics : politics of race and representation
Along with thrilling stories of young love, romance comic books were thoroughly steeped in cautionary tales. An inexperienced girl paid the consequences in remorse and humiliation for going out, for instance, with the devious and vain rich boy whose flashy car mysteriously would run out of gas on the way home. Though such narratives aimed to satisfy readers’ expectations of practical life lessons, the artwork and dialogue were meant to titillate. ”—a line and image that years later Roy Lichtenstein would parody in one of his famous pop art paintings.
In those episodes, Ormes was probably the first cartoonist to depict industrial pollution’s disproportionately ill effects on people of color; in addition, she was one of the few who challenged racial prejudice in a comic strip. My 2008 biography of Ormes explores these remarkable Torchy in Heartbeats episodes at length, as well as Ormes’s other social and political commentary in her comics and cartoons (Goldstein 2008). I will extend that discussion here to show ways she was just as bold in depicting romantic love in a comic strip, unusual for its time since Black characters were rarely seen in love scenes in print or film.
American slavery provides the backdrop of tragedy against which African Americans developed their distinct form of humor, in which the material of tragedy was converted into comedy (Gordon 1998). The use of humor provided a small, yet significant, form of relief from the brutality and hardships of slavery. Black slaves faced with the demand of White masters for rigid discipline, unconditional surrender, acceptance of Black inferiority, and White superiority, survived these emotionally crippling conditions through dignity, integrity and a rich sense of humor (Gordon 1998).