On -isms: A Black History Month Comic Bibliography

By | Thursday, February 09, 2017 2 comments
I've used my "On -isms" columns to talk a lot about various issues of inequality and how they pertain to comics. And I know I've posted several times how the Frederick Douglass issues of Golden Legacy were eye-opening to not only his impact, but also to the propagandist, bordering on jingoistic, nature of our education system. Congressman John Lewis similarly noted how he was deeply impacted by a comic biography of Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story. In both of these cases, though, Lewis and I were fortunate to have stumbled onto those comics; neither of us were seeking them out. But not everyone is so fortunate, so for Black History Month I thought I'd compile an almost certainly incomplete bibliography of comics about Black people and events throughout our shared history. The titles, listed chronologically, will be linked if it's still (more or less) readily available in some format.

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story
By Benton Resnick with art by the Al Capp Organization
Published by Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1958

Golden Legacy
By various
Published by Fitzgerald Publications, 1966

By Sue Coe and Judith Moore
Published by The New Press, 1992

The Assassination Of Malcolm X
By Jack Herman, Karen Herman, and Michael Avon Oeming
Published by Zone Productions, 1997

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
By Frederick Douglass, Terry M. West, and Jamal Igle
Published by Scholastic, 1999

Malcolm X: An Unauthorized Biography
By Ryan Monihan and Don Hillsman
Published by Millennium Publications, 1993

The Buffalo Soldiers and the American West
By Jason Glaser and Tod Smith
Published by Capstone Press, 2006

Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography
By Andrew Helfer and Randy DuBurke
Hill and Wang, 2006

Nat Turner
By Kyle Baker
Published by Abrams Comicarts, 2008

Cleburne: A Graphic Novel
By Justin Murphy
Published by Rampart Press, 2008

Presidential Material: Barack Obama
By Jeff Mariotte and Tom Morgan
Published by IDW, 2008

Nelson Mandela: The Authorized Comic Book
By Umlando Wezithombe
Published by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2009

Female Force: Condoleezza Rice
By Chris Ward and Dave MacNeil
Published by Bluewater Comics, 2009

Female Force: Michelle Obama
By Neal Bailey and Joshua LaBello
Published by Bluewater Comics, 2009

Female Force: Oprah Winfrey
By Joshua LaBello
Published by Bluewater Comics, 2009

Political Power: Barack Obama
By Chris Ward and Azim Akberali
Published by Bluewater Comics, 2009

The Original Johnson: Book One, Book Two
By Trevor Von Eeden
Published by IDW, 2009-2011

King: The Special Edition
By Ho Che Anderson
Published by Fantagraphics, 2010

African-American Classics
By various
Published by Graphics Classics, 2011

The Silence of our Friends
By Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell
Published by First Second, 2012

The Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America
By Dwight Jon Zimmerman and Wayne Vansant
Published by Hill and Wang, 2012

Political Power: Herman Cain
By Jim Beard and Kurt Belcher
Published by Bluewater Comics, 2013

March: Book One, Book Two, Book Three
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Published by Top Shelf, 2013-2016

Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History
By Joel Christian Gill
Published by Fulcrum Publishing, 2014

I am Rosa Parks
I am Jackie Robinson
I am Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos
Published by Dial Books, 2014-2016

Tales of the Talented Tenth: Bass Reeves, Bessie Stringfield
By Joel Christian Gill
Published by Fulcrum Publishing, 2014-current

Muhammad Ali
By Nicole Seguin-Morris, Sybille Titeux de la Croix, and Amazing Ameziane
Published by Dark Horse, 2016

Hardly a complete list, as I said, but hopefully, it will at least start to help some folks get a better appreciation of Black history.
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Phil said...

Did they ever publish a biography of Matt Baker? He's probably the most famous black artist of the golden age thanks to his Phantom Lady work.

Jim Amash and Eric Nolen-Weathington wrote an excellent biography of Baker a few years ago that I would highly recommend...

However, as far as I'm aware, no one has told a Baker biography in comics form, so I didn't include one on this list.