Monday, January 23, 2017

Twelve graphic novels for a new political reality

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ross Johnson tagged twelve top graphic novels in which the personal is political, including:
Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery, by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece

Race and politics have been inseparable in America from the earliest days: the settling of the country, through the central debates over slavery during the Revolutionary era and beyond. Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece tell the story of Zane Pinchback, a light-skinned black 1930s-era reporter who goes undercover as a white person in order to investigate lynchings in the deep south. The story has roots in history: Walter White, head of the NAACP during the period, did the same thing, and African American writer Johnson has discussed his childhood fantasies about passing in order to infiltrate a white world. Pinchback’s already dangerous circumstances are made more so when his brother is accused of having raped a white woman, forcing Pinchback deeper into danger and into the racial politics of that era and our own.

See also: Black Panther, by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze. It’s a wildly different book, but Coates has as much to say about modern racial politics in his take on African superhero T’Challa.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue