Dublin Core




Being my medium of academic interest, the comics used for this exhibit outnumber any other media in this exhibit. As such, they warrant their own collection. More than just the quantity of the presence, comics are an important medium when discussing black male representation. Comics use of both images and text for a mass consumer culture makes them accessible to all people: young and old, native speakers and foreigners, rich and poor. It does not cost much to make a comic -- a person just needs paper and a pen, not necessarily computers and crews. From there, a creator can create within the confines of the page and beyond, with only their imagination as their limit. The American Underground Comix and 80s and 90s West Coast Zine movements, as well as today's webcomic and crowdfunding comics, are a testament to the accessibility comic creators and readers have. Their mass consumer price and portability make them easily shared among the masses. Comics are the most democratic of mediums. As such, analyzing how black male bodies are created, consumed, and reproduced in comics is vital to understand black masculinity in culture. 

My selection criteria (in no particular order) for this collection is as followed:

  1. Does the comic offer unique insights to these questions: (a) How are these bodies represented and framed? (b) What are the intentions and effects of these bodies? (c) How can these bodies be received? (d) What are the semiotics of the black male body in this work?
  2. Each comic differs in genre, tone, and art style from the other three.


Collection Items

Green Lantern: Mosaic #1
American comics is a hybrid medium, marrying text and images to tell a narrative. However, within the pages of most American comic narratives is another narrative form -- the advertisement. Michael Ray Charles believes that the concept of blackness…

Captain Confederacy #4 (first series)
Whereas Warhol frames dehumanized black bodies for gallery walls, Shetterly and Stone frames African-Americans for the mass public of 1986 (and the 21st-century, as Shetterly made most of the series available for free online). Still, even with the…

Strange Fruit
Out of all of the items in this exhibit, Strange Fruit has the most body diversity. The main black male humans of the comic are Sonny and Mr. McCoy. As seen in Fig. 4, Sonny is lean but with some muscle definition, as befitting a physical laborer on…

"Your Rights When Shot While Black"
This 6-panel webcomic (three rows with two panels each) features the Black male body in the context of being just a Black male body. Whereas other items in this exhibit have the Black body in dialogue with Western art, American history,…
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