Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books Sheds Light on the Struggles and Triumphs of Black Pioneers
During the formative years of the comic book industry, talented Black artists worked behind-the-scenes to create thrilling tales of superheroes, horror, and romance. Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books, a new hardcover book by comics historian Ken Quattro, is a riveting exploration of this little-known history, published by Yoe Books, an IDW imprint, and out in stores now.
Using primary source material from World War II-era Black newspapers and magazines, this compelling book profiles pioneers like E.C. Stoner, a renowned fine artist of the Harlem Renaissance and the first Black artist to draw comic books; Owen Middleton, whose life sentence in Sing Sing became a cause célèbre championed by historian Will Durant, leading both to freedom and a career in comics; Matt Baker, who drew Vooda, the first groundbreaking Black comic book hero; and many more. Each man’s personal struggles and triumphs are represented as they broke through into an industry formerly occupied only by whites.
Gorgeously illustrated with rare examples of each artist’s work, Invisible Men features Ken Quattro’s impeccable research of the social and cultural environments in which these extraordinary men lived and worked, plus full stories from mainstream comic books, rare reprints from titlles including All-Negro Comics and Negro Heroes, and unpublished artist’s photos.
Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books is 240 pages, retails for $34.99 and can be ordered from local comic shops or online.