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African-American Classics (Graphic Classics, Vol. 22) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Eureka Productions (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982563043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982563045
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In a long running series of high-quality, high-concept adaptations, this volume is a standout... Vastly superior to many anthologies, and more accessible than many textbooks of literary history, this book will charm casual readers as well as students and teachers who can see its role as a study supplement. --School Library Journal / Francisca Goldsmith

This is a collection of stories that speaks from our history and a culture all too often ignored. The stories contained here range from short tales to beautifully illustrated poetry, and each of them resonates with emotion and power beyond the written word. These are not just classic literature, they are the tales of men and women who yearned to be heard and have been given new life in the pages of this volume. --The Jersey Journal / William Kulesa

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CLASSICS is a stunner of a project... if I told you that one single book had new material from Trevor Von Eeden, Kyle Baker, Christopher Priest, Afua Richardson, Lance Tooks, Stan Shaw, Alex Simmons, Jeremy Love and Shepherd Hendrix, you d want it immediately, right? Add in stories from some of the finest American writers in history like Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and W.E.B. Du Bois, and you don't really need me to give you another reason to buy it. --Comics Waiting Room / Marc Mason

Customer Reviews

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Far from being work to read this book, the best stories in this book are great comics stories in their own right.
Silver Bullet Jason
African-American Classics presents comics adaptations of great stories and poems by America's earliest black authors, illustrated by contemporary black artists.
AfroAmericanHeritage
The illustrations throughout the book are fantastic, presenting a wide range of styles and making for a visually stunning book.
Nicola Manning-Mansfield

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Gravett on February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Series designer, editor and publisher Tom Pomplun and co-conceiver of this project Lance Tooks co-edit this impressive 22nd volume in the of adaptations of short stories and poems. It stands as both a celebration of the gifted wordsmiths from America's heritage, female as well as male, and the current flourishing of black comics creators including welcome women artists Leilani Hickerson, Arie Monroe and cover illustrator Afua Richardson. Assigned to texts that entirely suit their specific visual vocabulary, all the artists respond with some of their finest work here, notably Tooks' striking stylisations, and Kyle Baker, Randy DuBurke, Trevor Von Eeden, Kevin J. Taylor in a rare non-explicit commission, Jeremy Love of Bayou fame, and the vintage cartoon riffs of Milton Knight. Recovering these writings, mostly unfamiliar to me and I suspect to many, and bringing them to graphic life makes their wit and power vital and accessible to new modern readers. This may well be about the most important, eye-opening, mind-expanding compendium in Pomplun's whole Graphic Classics series to date.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned about this publication from In These Times Magazine and ordered it immediately. It is a set of fascinating graphic interpretations of African-American short stories.
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Format: Paperback
"African-American Classics" is a big departure for Tom Pomplun's "Graphic Classics" series. Before, all the books in the series focused on an individual author or a particular genre, such as Science Fiction Classics and Gothic Classics. This is the first volume that has focused on a particular race. And not just in the subject matter; all of the contributing artists are black as well.

Honestly, at first I wasn't quite sure what to make of this. I look to "Graphic Classics" for entertainment, not political or social commentary. And by focusing on a particular group like this, it seemed that the goal must somehow be political. Otherwise why make it?

But my concerns were unfounded. "African-American Classics" is entertaining. Very much so. I don't know how he does it, but once again Tom Pomplun (this time in partnership with Lance Tooks) mined the past for some wonderful stories that were hiding somewhere in obscurity just waiting to be re-discovered. I always say that my favorite part of the "Graphic Classics" anthology-type releases is getting to read authors I have never heard of, or have heard of in passing but am only familiar with their single "famous" work. "African-American Classics" was almost entirely unknown material to me. Aside from Langston Hughes and W.E.B. De Bois, I had never heard of any of the twenty-three writers and poets presented here.

Unlike other "Graphic Classics" releases, "African-American Classics" focuses heavily on poetry and very short stories. There is too much content here to give my usual story-by-story rundown.
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By AfroAmericanHeritage on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
African-American Classics presents comics adaptations of great stories and poems by America's earliest black authors, illustrated by contemporary black artists. There are 24 works in all, plus biographical descriptions for authors and artists.

This was my first introduction to graphic novels, and I loved it!

The selection is outstanding. You'd think the wonderful cover by Afua Richardson (featuring W.E.B. du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes together on a bench at the train station) says it all, but that's just a tease. This book introduces authors whose names are not quite as familiar, such as Leila Amos Pendleton, whose "Sanctum 777 N.S.D.C.O.U. Meets Cleopatra" (adapted by Tom Pomplun and illustrated by Kevin J. Taylor) was among my favorites in the book. It is the perfect marriage of text and illustration.

And the artwork...WOW! Such depth and range is on display here, from fine art to more traditional cartooning. There is something and someone new to discover here as each page is eagerly turned.

The recommended age is 12 to adult, but I think the racial subject matter of the some of the stories would benefit from adult guidance. Then again, kids today are probably a lot more savvy about such things than an old-timer like me gives them credit for.

There is something here for everybody, and I think it will grab the attention even of the most reluctant reader. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
I gotta admit, on some level I approached this comic with a little bit of trepidation. A book like African-American Classics could have been an extremely noble book, the kind of book that's so earnest and sincere that it feels like homework to read through it.

But my fears were unfounded. As you might guess from the outstanding roster of creators involved in this book -- the amazing Kyle Baker, the woefully underrated Trevor Von Eeden, the whimsical Milton Knight and the wonderfully talented Shepherd Hendrix, among many others -- this book is full of adaptations that succeed on their own really wonderful terms. Far from being work to read this book, the best stories in this book are great comics stories in their own right.

The first story in this book sets the tone for everything that follows it. "Two Americans," adapted from Florence Lewis Bentley's 1921 short story by writer Alex Simmons, artist Trevor Von Eeden and colorist Adrian Johnson, is a wonderfully presented story that shows off Von Eeden's always fantastic storytelling. While the story itself is a bit preachy, Von Eeden presents it with art that emphasizes the real drama and intensity of the story, delivering art full of slashing diagonals and terrific page composition. Simmons and Von Eeden really know how to use silence to emphasize the horrors of war and racism. The final page depiction of a gravesite in France really moved me -- proof of the power of the good storytelling they present.

Immediately following Von Eeden and Simmons's story is Tom Pomplun and Kyle Baker's adaptation of W.E.B. DuBois's 1907 story "On Being Crazy." Of course most comics fanns are very familiar with the brilliance of Baker's cartooning, from comics like Deadpool MAX back to classic '80s comics like The Shadow.
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