All-Negro Comics. Issue #1. [Philadelphia]: All-Negro Comics Publications, June 1947. Original glossy illustrated wrappers.
Copy of issue #1 of the first known comic magazine written and drawn exclusively by African Americans. The inside front cover features an editorial by pioneering journalist and comic book publisher Orrin C. Evans (1902-1971). In his 1971 New York Times obituary, he is credited as "the first black writer to cover general assignments for a mainstream white newspaper in the United States." As a passionate advocate for racial equality, he felt he could reach a wide audience through the medium of comics. He formed the All-Negro Comics, Inc. publishing company in 1947 with Harry T. Saylor, Bill Driscoll, and two others, printing the first issue of All-Negro Comics. In the opening editorial, he proudly states that "every brush stroke and pen line in the drawings on these pages are by negro artists." The inside back cover has an advertisement for issue #2, but it was never published as Evans was unable to purchase more newsprint. There are several allegations that he was blocked from purchasing the required material from prejudiced distributors as well as by white-owned publishers attempting to publish their own Black-focused titles.
The comic includes "Ace Harlem," a detective story by John Terrell with an African American police detective. Evans writes of their aims: "we hope dramatically to point up the outstanding contributions of thousands of fearless, intelligent negro police officers engaged in a constant fight against crime through the United States." Also includes "Lion Man," by George J. Evans, Jr., through which the publishers hoped "to give American negroes a reflection their natural spirit of adventure and a finer appreciation of their African heritage." A very scarce comic, especially in such fine condition. OCLC locates only five copies with few coming to market.
Minor chips to lower right corner, small tear at top edge.
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