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Encyclopedia of Black Comics

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The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, focuses on people of African descent who have published significant works in the United States or have worked across various aspects of the comics industry. The book focuses on creators in the field of comics: inkers, illustrators, artists, writers, editors, Black comic historians, Black comic convention creators, website creators, archivi The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, focuses on people of African descent who have published significant works in the United States or have worked across various aspects of the comics industry. The book focuses on creators in the field of comics: inkers, illustrators, artists, writers, editors, Black comic historians, Black comic convention creators, website creators, archivists and academics—as well as individuals who may not fit into any category but have made notable achievements within and/or across Black comic culture.


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The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, focuses on people of African descent who have published significant works in the United States or have worked across various aspects of the comics industry. The book focuses on creators in the field of comics: inkers, illustrators, artists, writers, editors, Black comic historians, Black comic convention creators, website creators, archivi The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, focuses on people of African descent who have published significant works in the United States or have worked across various aspects of the comics industry. The book focuses on creators in the field of comics: inkers, illustrators, artists, writers, editors, Black comic historians, Black comic convention creators, website creators, archivists and academics—as well as individuals who may not fit into any category but have made notable achievements within and/or across Black comic culture.

30 review for Encyclopedia of Black Comics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    An absolutely essential and invaluable resource. It’s a comprehensive look into an alternate universe of comics history that I never learned growing up as a comics history nerd in the 80’s and 90’s. I had to keep a notebook open next to me while I read it so I could make a list of creators and books to follow up on. So grateful to Dr. Howard and her team of talented writers and researchers for this gift.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sinamile

    ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This is a cool read. Although I didn't sit and read through all the information present, I still got to learn more about African American comic writers. This isn't a full representation of the number of writers, but it's a start in knowing people who are helping change the game. I liked this, and hope in the years to come there are more and more comic book writers and artists added onto the list, showcasing ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This is a cool read. Although I didn't sit and read through all the information present, I still got to learn more about African American comic writers. This isn't a full representation of the number of writers, but it's a start in knowing people who are helping change the game. I liked this, and hope in the years to come there are more and more comic book writers and artists added onto the list, showcasing their talents to the world.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    This is a hugely helpful resource that I used in writing my capstone thesis about diversity in YA graphic novels. It gave me some historical references that I was previously unaware of, and it also helped me dig into lesser-know current Black comics and artists.

  4. 4 out of 5

    J Earl

    Encyclopedia of Black Comics from Sheena C Howard is a much needed beginning in filling the gaps in acknowledging black artists in every aspect of the comic/cartoon world. As Howard acknowledges, this is not every single person who could have been included, the volume will go through additional revised editions and, hopefully, future writers will take up the call and do more research into specific periods and situations. So just ignore the naysayers who criticize the book for not including each a Encyclopedia of Black Comics from Sheena C Howard is a much needed beginning in filling the gaps in acknowledging black artists in every aspect of the comic/cartoon world. As Howard acknowledges, this is not every single person who could have been included, the volume will go through additional revised editions and, hopefully, future writers will take up the call and do more research into specific periods and situations. So just ignore the naysayers who criticize the book for not including each and every black artist, such a book will take many hands and a lot of time to compile. This book serves to start that process, not be the end of that process. So forget anyone who simply doesn't understand and just wants to sound smart, they fail miserably. This is a well researched and inclusive encyclopedia, touching on all of the jobs in the industry, not just the artist. For anyone interested in making a positive contribution, as compared to those who just sit back and complain, there are many opportunities here to branch out and add to the growing scholarship. Many of these people have been overlooked far too long in mainstream histories and even some within African-American Studies scholarship. Recovering them is every bit as important as including the names many people know about, though as the field grows everyone, hopefully, will be included. While certainly an ideal reference work, this is also a book that rewards a complete reading. I approached it as I would a book of essays or short stories, I read an entry or two when I had time to read a little but not enough time to get back into a novel or a nonfiction book that forms one long argument. These entries are each self-contained and rewarding on their own, and as a whole they are an essential part of a better appreciation of what the real history of comics was like. Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Quentin

    It's a real treat to be able to read something about a subject you love and feel close to, and discover a whole other side to it that you never knew. This was definitely the case with The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, which (as with any book about race in America) held up a mirror to the world of comics and sequential art and provided an extended counter-narrative to the one I knew. The real beating heart of this book is the amazing life-stories of the people who make up the biographical entries It's a real treat to be able to read something about a subject you love and feel close to, and discover a whole other side to it that you never knew. This was definitely the case with The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, which (as with any book about race in America) held up a mirror to the world of comics and sequential art and provided an extended counter-narrative to the one I knew. The real beating heart of this book is the amazing life-stories of the people who make up the biographical entries. Some of the most enlightening to me were: -Orrin Cromwell Evans, who, with the publication of All-Negro Comics in 1947 became the first African-American publisher of comic books. -Vernon E Grant, who helped introduce Manga to western audiences through his translations, after serving in the Vietnam war and living in Tokyo. -Ollie Harrington, political cartoonist for many prominent African-American newspapers, for which he was eventually forced to leave the country for fear of his life and livelihood. -Micheline Hess, an early colorist at Milestone comics who made the transition to web-comics and now writes amazing and gorgeous comics with Black female protagonists. -Ariell Johnson, owner of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, the first (?) Black woman to own a comic store -Jackie Ormes, the first female African-American cartoonist who wrote some of the first positive representations of Black women in comics in the 1930s and 40s. -Sanford Greene, who simultaneously drew Power Man and Iron Fist and also illustrated Hip-Hop album covers by MF Doom and other Hip-Hop artists. This book has also given me lots of great comics to go and check out, and I'm glad to have such an evocative and informative springboard for new stuff to read. Huzzah Dr. Howard!

  6. 4 out of 5

    ForTheReads

    Encyclopedia of Black Comics Non-fiction ARC TEMPLATE. Why did I chose this book: Interesting topic and the cover caught my eye. Platform: Free ebook from NetGalley Blurb Literally an Encyclopedia of Black Comics. An A-Z look What I Loved: -format of the pages and book -Illustrations -topic What I Wished Were Different: - this definitely needs to be purchased hard copy in order to be fully appreciated My Ratings: Informative- 5/5. I knew zero about this topic before reading it. Relatable- 1/5. For me not as Encyclopedia of Black Comics Non-fiction ARC TEMPLATE. Why did I chose this book: Interesting topic and the cover caught my eye. Platform: Free ebook from NetGalley Blurb Literally an Encyclopedia of Black Comics. An A-Z look What I Loved: -format of the pages and book -Illustrations -topic What I Wished Were Different: - this definitely needs to be purchased hard copy in order to be fully appreciated My Ratings: Informative- 5/5. I knew zero about this topic before reading it. Relatable- 1/5. For me not as much but the history is powerful. Transitions and Flow- 5/5. the set was beautiful and the comics/artwork were well placed. Overall- 4.75/5. I have zero artist abilities and really don’t read comica but this book was well written and informative. Would I read this again: No because this is not really an area of interest for me. As a woman of color, the history is what attracted me to read. I can honestly see this being a required reading for a multicultural or arts college class. This book was reviewed based on my honest personal preference. Kudos to the author for being bold enough to share their creativity with the world. 🤓ARC REVIEW. I did receive a free copy of this book for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is not the first book that I've read about comic history, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The information spans across a long timespan, which is important especially when talking about comic books because of how long their typical run-time is, and it really shows how black authors and artists have been able to grow in the industry. The setup of the book was colorful and the artwork that they chose I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is not the first book that I've read about comic history, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The information spans across a long timespan, which is important especially when talking about comic books because of how long their typical run-time is, and it really shows how black authors and artists have been able to grow in the industry. The setup of the book was colorful and the artwork that they chose to include was relavant and showed the time progression, but I wish there was a little bit more. That may sound silly, but I work in a high school and I know that some of our kids would be interested at the cover and then get bored when the inside is primarily words. It is also, of course, an encyclopedia and the important pieces are the text, but I think this book could push it even further with some more comic interactions. A good example would be Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics".

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Encyclopedia of Black Comics' by Sheena C. Howard is an A to Z look at people of African descent who have had a hand in creating and discussing comics and comic strips. I knew about famous contributors like Morrie Turner and Christopher Priest. I'm a fan of Joel Christian Gill's work in Strange Fruit and Tales of the Tenth. I was less familiar with some of the pioneers like Sam Milai. I confess to being surprised that George Herriman was an African American. Along with these there are founders o 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics' by Sheena C. Howard is an A to Z look at people of African descent who have had a hand in creating and discussing comics and comic strips. I knew about famous contributors like Morrie Turner and Christopher Priest. I'm a fan of Joel Christian Gill's work in Strange Fruit and Tales of the Tenth. I was less familiar with some of the pioneers like Sam Milai. I confess to being surprised that George Herriman was an African American. Along with these there are founders of comic book conventions, scholars of sequential art, webcomic artists and so many more. Throughout the book are some examples of artwork. Each entry is a page or so. It's all interesting and fun to page through and I learned so much. I'm glad there is such a resource out there. I received a review copy of this ebook from Fulcrum Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mark Mcdermott

    This is a valuable resource for people researching the presence of people of color in comic book and comic strip history. The author is quite comprehensive, offering entries on writers and artists, and also publishers, convention organizers and syndicate editors. Sheen rehashes what is currently know about pioneers like George Herriman, creator of "Krazy Kat," who is now known to be at least Creole, and may have been "passing" in the early 20th Century. She also introduces us to artists who work This is a valuable resource for people researching the presence of people of color in comic book and comic strip history. The author is quite comprehensive, offering entries on writers and artists, and also publishers, convention organizers and syndicate editors. Sheen rehashes what is currently know about pioneers like George Herriman, creator of "Krazy Kat," who is now known to be at least Creole, and may have been "passing" in the early 20th Century. She also introduces us to artists who worked for major magazines as well as the black press, and many more modern day creators. Of course I read through it trying to see if there was anyone about whom I could say "I never knew he was black," but as it turns tuns out, I hadn't really considered what most artists or writers looked like before. A very good resource.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Effy

    A really great resource on the histories and careers of some notable black people within the comic book industry. This book examines contributors to many areas of the creative process beyond the illustrators and story-writers. A little dense to be written cover-to-cover with less artwork than I was expecting, this book is still an exceptional resource. I wasn't very keen on the A-Z format however that is the traditional format of encyclopedias and it avoids issues with chronology. A really great resource on the histories and careers of some notable black people within the comic book industry. This book examines contributors to many areas of the creative process beyond the illustrators and story-writers. A little dense to be written cover-to-cover with less artwork than I was expecting, this book is still an exceptional resource. I wasn't very keen on the A-Z format however that is the traditional format of encyclopedias and it avoids issues with chronology.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

    This Encyclopedia is important. I am glad that this book was made to acknowledge African American Comic Book Writers, Creators, and Pioneers which is long overdue. Trevor Von Eden who co-created Black Lightning should be included in this volume and hope that there are plans to continuously update it. This book is a must read for African American Comic Book fans.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Momreadstoomuch

    I was gifted a copy of this book and decided to write a review. I had no idea that so many people that look like me were part of the comic industry, This encyclopedia was a welcome eye opener. Thank you for compiling these short notes in Black History. At first I was hoping it was a listing of all the black characters in comics, but was then pleasantly surprised.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matt Carton

    Essential reading, whether you like comics or history. This is the book, frankly, I wish Fantagraphics could have done with their "Best American Comics Criticism." In other words, provide a focus on the breadth of those who created comics, not just focus on Herriman and his Creole history (which is a big deal, don't get me wrong). Essential reading, whether you like comics or history. This is the book, frankly, I wish Fantagraphics could have done with their "Best American Comics Criticism." In other words, provide a focus on the breadth of those who created comics, not just focus on Herriman and his Creole history (which is a big deal, don't get me wrong).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is more of a reference book than something you want to (or can) read cover-to-cover, but it is fantastic, and I highly recommend that everyone who is interested in comics buy it. There is SO much I didn't know about black comics history. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! This is more of a reference book than something you want to (or can) read cover-to-cover, but it is fantastic, and I highly recommend that everyone who is interested in comics buy it. There is SO much I didn't know about black comics history. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

  15. 4 out of 5

    RUSA CODES

    Winner of the 2018 Outstanding Reference Sources Award. For a complete list of Outstanding Reference Sources Award winners, please visit http://www.rusaupdate.org/awards/outs.... Winner of the 2018 Outstanding Reference Sources Award. For a complete list of Outstanding Reference Sources Award winners, please visit http://www.rusaupdate.org/awards/outs....

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kate_1910

    I loved it. I thought it was interesting and I also learned a lot about black people in comic books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    This was really good. It was well researched and a great history at the black men and women who shaped the comic world. The talent of these people is amazing!

  18. 4 out of 5

    wildct2003

    Skimmed for artists I was familiar with Didn’t know that some of the more familiar artists for Playboy were black (Robert “Buck” Brown of Granny fame)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I've been trying to read more diverse and due to current events and the BLM movement, I decided to pick this one up. I don't really know what I expected, but it's literally just an encyclopedia of black authors who make comics. Each artist features facts about them and a sample of their art. These authors are really talented and I'm going to look into some of them later on. To be honest: I haven't fully read this book. I scammed through some authors because it was just a lot of information at on I've been trying to read more diverse and due to current events and the BLM movement, I decided to pick this one up. I don't really know what I expected, but it's literally just an encyclopedia of black authors who make comics. Each artist features facts about them and a sample of their art. These authors are really talented and I'm going to look into some of them later on. To be honest: I haven't fully read this book. I scammed through some authors because it was just a lot of information at once. I'm also NOT going to rate this one for this particular reason. I would really recommend reading this one if you LOVE comics and are trying to read more diverse as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Wonderful overview of Black comics...each artist has a bio and a snapshot of facts. Lots of samples of work and many new comics to explore.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ceylon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Drew

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Derek

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lonnie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steph

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jade

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alise

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex

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