Friday, June 10, 2011

Negro Romance Comic Books

Hey Kittens,

I ran across the bibliography of Orrin C. Evans the other day. A prominent writer of the 40's who was considered the "dean of black reporters" and the "father of black comic books". As a self taught writer, who dropped out of the 8th grade to pursue his career in journalism, he worked for many major publications in the Philadelphia area. He was committed to writing and featuring Blacks, then Negros, in a positive light.

A local reporter and friend Claude Davis was interviewed in a blog that features a post about Orrin.  "As Claude Lewis said in a recent interview; we weren’t very conscious about being left out, it was just the way things were. We identified with Superman, Batman, Submariner and the rest of them without giving much thought to it. If you’ve never seen a black hero you don’t spend a lot of time wondering where they are. Today you would, but back then, there were no blacks in ads. It just didn’t happen." Orrin wanted to change all this. He considered himself an urban American born in the twentieth century, fully integrated into the western world. - htttp://

Inspired by his daughter, he created several comic books that highlighted the romantic, funny, adventurous and sophisticated side of Black people.  The three issues of a romantic comic entitled "Negro Romance" speaks to me most! I have yet to find any documentation about the content within this comic series, but here are three pictures of the only 3 issues that were released.

Orrin had trouble releasing more issues because his printing company stopped working with him. It's reported that publishing companies objected to the positive image portrayed in Orrin's comics. The Black people of this time are truly amazing to me. I find it remarkable that they could maintain a confidence and sense of self worth when the world tried so hard to promote other wise. Just another reason to why I am completely intrigued by this time period.

Be Cool- xoxo

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