A Graphic Mystery

Book - 2018
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"This tenth anniversary edition of the acclaimed and fearless graphic novel features enhanced toned art, an afterword by Mat Johnson, character sketches, and other additional material.In the early 20th Century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African-American men who, due to their light skin color, could "pass" among the white folks. They called this dangerous assignment going "incognegro." Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald, is sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi. With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay "incognegro" long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother -- and himself. Suspenseful, unsettling and relevant, Incognegro is a tense graphic novel of shifting identities, forbidden passions, and secrets that run far deeper than skin color"--
Publisher: Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Books, 2018.
Edition: 10th anniversary edition.
ISBN: 9781506705644
Characteristics: 131 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Pleece, Warren - Artist


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Aug 12, 2018

Really amazing work. Check it out. I had never heard of this title before and I have no idea why. It is incredible.

lydia1879 May 24, 2018

“Since when have white people ever cared about a black man’s truth?”

The premise of Incognegro is a fascinating one. Born out of Johnson's own experience as a white-passing biracial man, Johnson envisioned a time when white passing would be a key to survival. And thus, this graphic novel was born.

I love love loved the story. It was serious, gritty, and also hilarious. It had the thrill of a Western - there was some serious d r a m a going down on this comic. Double-crossing, spying, gun-toting and super, super fast-paced.

I didn't connect with the art style so much. I understand the creative choice. The black and white images make it look more like a newspaper. Fitting, considering the main character is a journalist investigating lynchings in the deep South. However, the lack of any real shading made everything feel two-dimensional. I love black and white comics (Nate Powell's artwork in March is GORGEOUS and so emotive) but that just fell a lil flat for me. I did get used to it, and the panels are easy to read but it did feel like the art style was better-suited to Sunday comics in the paper. Having said that, I understand that artists have deadlines but, yeah, I just didn't gel with it.

Also, I wanted the art to be in colour. I just did.

That said, I loved the writing and the strength of the story. Lots of emotional characters and twists and turns. This was such a great read.

May 15, 2018

Violent, hateful action comic. For teenagers.

Feb 03, 2015

Incognegro drew me back to comics after several years when nothing interested me. The story is intense beyond words. It's a mystery, a crime and detective story, and a reminder of the deep horror of how African-Americans have been treated throughout U.S. history. It's set in the 1930s. Zane Pinchback is an African-American reporter who has skin light enough to "pass" for white, working in New York. He travels to Mississippi when his brother is accused of murdering a white woman. Johnson was inspired by the real life stories of Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, who made similar trips to investigate lynchings.

For those interested in crime or mystery stories or American history, this is a must-read. It's violent, but not without purpose. Johnson is an award-winning writer and writing professor, and he handles this story beautifully. Pleece's art looks appropriate to the setting without appearing dated. They're both exceptionally talented, and I've enjoyed following their work on other projects after I read this.

Jul 14, 2010

Very gripping story about race, class, and sexism. Read it all in one sitting at the library.

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