In this Book

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.  

Table of Contents

  1. Title, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction: The Sweeter the Christmas
  2. Frances Gateward and John Jennings
  3. pp. 1-16
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  1. Panel 1. Black Is a Dangerous Color
  1. 1. “No Sweat!”: EC Comics, Cold War Censorship, and the Troublesome Colors of “Judgment Day!”
  2. Daniel F. Yezbick
  3. pp. 19-44
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  1. 2. Sex in Yop City: Ivorian Femininity and Masculinity in Abouet and Oubrerie’s Aya
  2. Sally McWilliams
  3. pp. 45-62
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  1. 3. A Postcolony in Pieces: Black Faces, White Masks, and Queer Potentials in Unknown Soldier
  2. Patrick F. Walter
  3. pp. 63-92
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  1. Panel II. Black in Black-and-White and Color
  1. 4. Fashion in the Funny Papers: Cartoonist Jackie Ormes’s American Look
  2. Nancy Goldstein
  3. pp. 95-116
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  1. 5. Graphic Remix: The Lateral Appropriation of Black Nationalism in Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks
  2. Robin R. Means Coleman and William Lafi Youmans
  3. pp. 117-134
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  1. Panel III. Black Tights
  1. 6. American Truths: Blackness and the American Superhero
  2. Conseula Francis
  3. pp. 137-152
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  1. 7. Drawn into Dialogue: Comic Book Culture and the Scene of Controversy in Milestone Media’s Icon
  2. Andre Carrington
  3. pp. 153-170
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  1. 8. Critical Afrofuturism: A Case Study in Visual Rhetoric, Sequential Art, and Postapocalyptic Black Identity
  2. Reynaldo Anderson
  3. pp. 171-192
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  1. 9. Bare Chests, Silver Tiaras, and Removable Afros: The Visual Design of Black Comic Book Superheroes
  2. Blair Davis
  3. pp. 193-212
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  1. Panel IV. Graphic Blackness
  1. 10. Daddy Cool: Donald Goines’s “Visual Novel”
  2. Kinohi Nishikawa
  3. pp. 215-234
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  1. 11. The Blues Tragicomic: Constructing the Black Folk Subject in Stagger Lee
  2. Qiana Whitted
  3. pp. 235-254
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  1. 12. Provocation through Polyphony: Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner
  2. Craig Fischer
  3. pp. 255-273
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  1. 13. Performance Geography: Making Space in Jeremy Love’s Bayou, Volume 1
  2. Hershini Bhana Young
  3. pp. 274-291
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  1. 14. A Secret History of Miscegenation: Jimmy Corrigan and the Columbian Exposition of 1893
  2. James J. Ziegler
  3. pp. 292-313
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  1. 15. It’s a Hero? Black Comics and Satirizing Subjection
  2. Rebecca Wanzo
  3. pp. 314-332
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 333-336
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 337-344
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Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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