The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art
Frances Gateward, John Jennings
Rutgers University Press, Jul 16, 2015 - Literary Criticism - 356 pages
When many think of comic books the first thing that comes to mind are caped crusaders and spandex-wearing super-heroes. Perhaps, inevitably, these images are of white men (and more rarely, women). It was not until the 1970s that African American superheroes such as Luke Cage, Blade, and others emerged. But as this exciting new collection reveals, these superhero comics are only one small component in a wealth of representations of black characters within comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels over the past century.
The Blacker the Ink is the first book to explore not only the diverse range of black characters in comics, but also the multitude of ways that black artists, writers, and publishers have made a mark on the industry. Organized thematically into “panels” in tribute to sequential art published in the funny pages of newspapers, the fifteen original essays take us on a journey that reaches from the African American newspaper comics of the 1930s to the Francophone graphic novels of the 2000s. Even as it demonstrates the wide spectrum of images of African Americans in comics and sequential art, the collection also identifies common character types and themes running through everything from the strip The Boondocks to the graphic novel Nat Turner.
Though it does not shy away from examining the legacy of racial stereotypes in comics and racial biases in the industry, The Blacker the Ink also offers inspiring stories of trailblazing African American artists and writers. Whether you are a diehard comic book fan or a casual reader of the funny pages, these essays will give you a new appreciation for how black characters and creators have brought a vibrant splash of color to the world of comics.
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In The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics & Sequential Art, editors Frances Gateward and John Jennings argue, “The Black image has had a very troubled history in the United ... Read full review
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Abouet Acholi African American Afrofuturism Alcala American comic appears artists Baker Bayou black bodies black characters black masculinity black superheroes blues Boondocks Brown Captain America cartoon cartoonist child soldier Chris Ware color comic book comic strip comics medium costume creators critical critique culture Daddy Cool DC Comics depicted discourse EC’s female film gender genre Goines’s graphic novel hero heteronormative hiphop Huey Huey’s humor Icon ideal identity issue Ivorian Jackie Ormes Jimmy Corrigan Judgment Day Kyle Baker Larry Larry’s Lee’s Luke Cage mainstream male McGruder narrative Nat Turner Ormes’s panel PattyJo political popular postcolonial Press of Mississippi race racial racist Ramzees Raquel readers representations Rocket’s Decision role scene science fiction sexual Shelton’s Singer slave slavery social space Stagger Lee stereotypes story superhero superhero comics T’Anay Tarlton’s Torchy traditional Uganda University Press unknown soldier violence visual Ware’s White City woman women York