- Posted by Johanna on April 10, 2008 at 8:39 am
- Category: Comic News
I received a reader query that I thought raised an interesting topic:
Can you point me in the direction of any quality, independent comics that are about African-Americans, or at least have non-stereotyped African-American characters? I have just finished reading Best American Comics of 2007, and it seemed filled with self-pitying white, Jewish, or Asian upper-middle class hipsters. I want to give graphic novels a try, but I’d also like to see some characters I can identify with.
That’s a sensible request. I know I appreciate reading good comics that reflect my concerns and struggles. I haven’t read the anthology mentioned, but autobiographical comics, which I’ve heard it’s heavy on, do tend to reflect their protagonists, and there aren’t a lot of African-American creators I know of working in that genre.
An exception is Keith Knight, whose K Chronicles are autobio but quite funny without self-pity. You might also enjoy the works of Kyle Baker. His Baker family strips are like cartoons on paper, but he’s also done more serious work, like Nat Turner.
Moving away from humor, in 2007, Stagger Lee deservedly swept the Glyph Comic Awards, which recognize the best in black comic books and creators. It explores the story behind the song in a multi-layered historical tale. Another choice is Incognegro, a historical genre adventure I recently enjoyed reading.
For more information and recommendations, check out Rich Watson’s blog. He organizes the Glyphs and often features information on African-American comics.
Readers, do you have other suggestions?