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Comics and the U.S. South$
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Brannon Costello and Qiana J. Whitted

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030185

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030185.001.0001

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“Black and White and Read All Over”

“Black and White and Read All Over”

Representing Race in Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece’s Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery

(p.138) “Black and White and Read All Over”
Comics and the U.S. South

Tim Caron

University Press of Mississippi

A crucial paradox of racial categories can be identified in Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery, a comic book written by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece which shows that the color line is both unreal and deadly real, a metaphorical construct with lethal ramifications. By eliminating all color from their book, Johnson and Pleece seem to have intervened in the history of racist representations of African Americans in comics, in addition to destabilizing the white South’s attempts to “read” categories of black and white in the physiognomy of its citizens. This chapter examines narratives of passing and lynching in Incognegro to demonstrate how the comic critiques socially constructed ideas of race during Jim Crow.

Keywords:   comics, Incognegro, Mat Johnson, Warren Pleece, color line, African Americans, South, passing, lynching, race

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