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Celebrating African American History Month Through Fantasy Graphic Novels

Constance Pitts
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African American History Month

In honor of African American History Month - and to celebrate her love for fantasy graphic novels - Constance Pitts from Harris Country Public Library recommends mystical reads featuring African American protagonists. 

Growing up, my favorite characters were ones whom traveled to faraway lands, encountered helpful and malevolent beings, withstood epic challenges, and came out resilient heroes. In honor of African American History Month and to celebrate my love for fantasy graphic novels, I am excited to bring to you mystical reads featuring African American protagonists. 

Abbott by Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä

Set in 1972 Detroit, tabloid reporter Elena Abbott investigates heinous crimes that go unnoticed by the police department. Unintentionally, she stumbles upon the evil occult forces that control the city’s elite. Navigating barriers of race, gender and sexuality, while bringing darkness to light, she remains persistent to unveil the truth that ultimately destroyed her family. This supernatural comic has creepy yet enigmatic noir style illustrations and has social commentary that still plagues society today.

Bayou: Volume 1 by Jeremy Love

A very emotional series set in Depression era Mississippi; Bayou explores Lee Wagstaff, a young girl on a quest to save her father and her white playmate Lily. After a bog monster living in a bayou abducts Lily, Lee’s father is accused of the kidnapping and is in danger of lynching. Lee enters an alternate parallel world where she seeks the help of a blues singing swamp monster currently tormented by past racial violence, hatred, slavery and the Civil War. Together, they embark on a journey to rescue Lee’s father and save her friend while encountering other supernatural beings along the way.

4 Pages 16 Bars a Visual Mixtape edited by Jiba Molei Anderson

This graphic novel is a compilation of diverse writers and artists featuring elements of futurism, fantasy, horror, and music. Uplifting and visually stimulating, these artists pride themselves on experimentation and creating varied sequential art influenced by their fears, hopes and dreams. 

All titles are available at Harris County Public Library and there is even more to choose from in print and eBook formats. Have a Happy African American History Month!

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