Black Comic Book History by Demetrius Sherman

Black Comic Book History by Demetrius Sherman
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When no Black comic book heroes existed, Orrin C. Evans took action. The journalist published the courageous Ace Harlem and Lion Man. When no positive images of Blacks existed in newspaper strips, Blacks created them.

Black Comic Book History acknowledges Blacks who boldly created heroes during turbulent times and takes you on a dazzling trip of wonderful facts.

Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words.

It was a wonderful surprise to be introduced to so many comic book characters I’d never heard of before. I had no idea that there were black superheroes created by black artists and writers back in the 1940s and 1950s or that they were as popular as they were. This opened my eyes to a part of the industry I wasn’t aware of, and it made me want to read more about all of the characters the author mentioned.

As I read, I found myself wishing for more details. Each entry gave basic information like the name and origins of the superhero, but they usually didn’t share much more than that. I would have loved to know what audiences thought of these characters, how often there were crossover comics that featured more than one of them, whether they inspired the creation of other superheroes, and how long the comic strips or graphic novels about them lasted. Are any of them still in print, for example? If these sorts of details had been included, I would have happily gone with a much higher rating as I was fascinated by this topic in general.

One of the most interesting things about studying history in my opinion is seeing how change happens. It’s often a gradual process with many starts and stops along the way. There was a lot of information about this era that I wasn’t aware of, and it was eye-opening to piece together just how many people were working on making this industry more inclusive and diverse eighty years ago. These are the sorts of stories I wish had been included in history class! There are many ways to make the world a better place, and some of them involve science fiction and fantasy.

If you love history, comic books, or both of these topics, I recommend Black Comic Book History.

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