For one of my final reviews for the year, I wanted to review something that wasn’t the usual anime, manga, or tv show-wise. We’ll be reviewing a new book by Comic Historian, Ken Quattro titled ‘Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books‘.
This book profiles eighteen comic book artists and the paths they took during that period. Most of the artists either started drawing as kids and trained to become fine artists, or they would turn to make art in Comic Books to make a living as Comic Book Artists. Ken Quattro compiled a well-written, well-told, book that not only laid out extensive profiles of each artist but told each of their stories, which included each of their work receiving the attention they rightly deserve.
Each of the Artist Profiles told the stories behind these artists, from their struggles, triumphs, and documents their essential roles in the rise of graphic pulp literature within the struggle for Black Equality in Post-War America. They were entering the Golden Age of Comics, and Pulp Magazines as outsiders filled the void left by white artists who were drafted in the war, and during that time, it was often done anonymously.
I was impressed by the use of material from World War II-Era Black Newspapers and Magazines, offering rare examples of each artist’s works and complementing their biographies. It even highlighted the effects the Jim Crowe Laws had on these artists but amid inequality, the Comic Book Industry gave Black Artists a way to showcase their talents. Take for example, before Marvel became this larger-than-life publisher, Stan Lee would hire several Black Artists to work on various titles when it still was Atlas Comics. Lee was a proponent of getting Black Artists work in the Industry.
As I have mentioned in our review header that this is the must-read book for Comic Book Fans, Why, you might be asking yourself? Because it was another way to learn about these eighteen incredible pioneers of Comic Book Artists. Not only this was a crucial part of history that needs to be told but that this examined the work and contributions that Black Artists have made in Comic Books and Civil Rights.
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