You may know Lee, Kirby, Ditko…but have you heard of Middleton, Stoner or Baker? They’re just some of the Black creators who worked in the early comic book industry that were overshadowed by their white counterparts. Invisible Men, a new book now out from IDW, shines some new light on a history that, until recently, was mostly written by and for a Caucasian audience.
Through the information compiled by comics historian Ken Quattro, you’ll meet folks like EC Stoner, the first Black artist to work in comics and a legend of the Harlem Renaissance; Owen Middleton, who was wrongly imprisoned until his art was noticed by historian Will Durant and a campaign to free him was launched, and Matt Baker, who came up with Vooda, the first Black comic book superhero.
“The Black artists profiled in this book lived and worked among the white population but remained unseen and unknown to those same people,” says Quattro. “My research, taken mostly from sources within the contemporaneous Black media, was for me both revealing and humbling. I hope that by sharing these revelations, others will be inspired.”
“Dogged research and choice archival reprints make this volume an essential reference for pop culture history,” says a review by Publishes Weekly. “Eighteen African American comics creators receive overdue hero treatment in this collection that documents their essential roles in the rise of graphic pulp literature within the struggle for Black equality in postwar America.“
Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of Comic Books is available now from Yoe Books, a division of IDW.