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The Research and Reference Division provides access to encyclopedias, criticism, commentary, history and biographies centered on black comics and graphic novels.
Encyclopedia of Black Comics by
Call Number: Sc E 18-47
Publication Date: 2017
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.
The Blacker the Ink by
Call Number: Sc E 15-1431
Publication Date: 2015
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.
Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation by
Call Number: Sc E 13-627
Publication Date: 2013
Winner of the 2014 Will Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic Work. Bringing together contributors from a wide-range of critical perspectives, Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation is an analytic history of the diverse contributions of Black artists to the medium of comics. Covering comic books, superhero comics, graphic novels and cartoon strips from the early 20th century to the present, the book explores the ways in which Black comic artists have grappled with such themes as the Black experience, gender identity, politics and social media. Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation introduces students to such key texts as: The work of Jackie Ormes Black women superheroes from Vixen to Black Panther Aaron McGruder's strip The Boondocks.
Super Black by
Call Number: Sc E 11-1050
Publication Date: 2011
Winner, American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 2012 Super Black places the appearance of black superheroes alongside broad and sweeping cultural trends in American politics and pop culture, which reveals how black superheroes are not disposable pop products, but rather a fascinating racial phenomenon through which futuristic expressions and fantastic visions of black racial identity and symbolic political meaning are presented.
Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans by
Call Number: Sc D 01-783
Publication Date: 2000
What do the comic book figures Static, Hardware, and Icon all have in common? Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics, and Their Fans gives an answer that goes far beyond "tights and capes," an answer that lies within the mission Milestone Media, Inc., assumed in comic book culture. Milestone was the brainchild of four young black creators who wanted to part from the mainstream and do their stories their own way. This history of Milestone, a "creator-owned" publishing company, tells how success came to these mavericks in the 1990s and how comics culture was expanded and enriched as fans were captivated by this new genre. Milestone focused on the African American heroes in a town called Dakota. Quite soon these black action comics took a firm position in the controversies of race, gender, and corporate identity in contemporary America.
Black Images in the Comics by
Call Number: Sc B 03-24
Publication Date: 2012
This book spotlights over 100 comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels to feature black characters from all over the world over the last century, and the result is a fascinating journey to, if not enlightenment, then at least away from the horrendous caricatures of yore.
Graphic Memories of the Civil Rights Movement: Reframing History in Comics by
Call Number: Sc E 19-1378
Publication Date: 2019
The history of America's civil rights movement is marked by narratives that we hear retold again and again. This has relegated many key figures and turning points to the margins, but graphic novels and graphic memoirs present an opportunity to push against the consensus and create a more complete history. Graphic Memories of the Civil Rights Movement showcases five vivid examples of this: Ho Che Anderson's King (2005), which complicates the standard biography of Martin Luther King Jr.; Congressman John Lewis's three-volume memoir, March (2013-2016); Darkroom (2012), by Lila Quintero Weaver, in which the author recalls her Argentinian father's participation in the movement and her childhood as an immigrant in the South; the bestseller The Silence of Our Friends, by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell (2012), set in Houston's Third Ward in 1967; and Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby (1995), whose protagonist is a closeted gay man involved in the movement.
Black Comix by
Call Number: Sc+ F 13-218
Publication Date: 2010
The immense popularity of comics and graphic novels cannot be ignored. But in light of the comics boom that has taken place over the past 10 years, the artists, writers and publishers that make up the vibrant African American independent comics community have remained relatively unknown - until now. Black Comix brings together an unprecedented collection of largely unheard of, and undeniably masterful, comics art while also framing the work of these men and women in a broader historical and cultural context.
Black Comix Returns by
Call Number: Sc+ G 18-24
Publication Date: 2018
In 2010, Professor John Jennings and Dr. Damian Duffy compiled and published a 176-page collection of art and essays celebrating the vibrant African American independent comics community. Black Comix featured over 50 contributors, including Dawud Anyabwile, Eric Battle, Kenji Marshall, Afua Richardson, Larry Stroman, Rob Stull, Lance Tooks, and many, many more. Flash-forward eight years: the comic industry has changed a lot since then, and the amount of African American talent continues to grow and amaze.
Black Women in Sequence
Black Women in Sequence by
Call Number: Sc F 15-383
Publication Date: 2015
Black Women in Sequence takes readers on a search for women of African descent in comics subculture. From the 1971 appearance of the Skywald Publications character the Butterfly - the first Black female superheroine in a comic book - to contemporary comic books, graphic novels, film, manga, and video gaming, a growing number of Black women are becoming producers, viewers, and subjects of sequential art. As the first detailed investigation of Black women's participation in comic art, Black Women in Sequence examines the representation, production, and transnational circulation of women of African descent in the sequential art world.
Researching the World of Black Comics
The Library's catalog can be accessed by using the url: catalog.nypl.org
You may begin your research by conducting a subject heading search. Some sample subject headings for comic book and graphic novel include:
African Americans -- Comic books, strips, etc.
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States -- History and criticism.