GRAPHIC NOVELS
Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem's Legendary Theater
James Otis Smith (illus.). ComicArts: Abrams. Jan. 2019. 240p. ISBN 9781419731389. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781683353836. THEATER
COPY ISBN
This adaptation brings new life to Fox's (In the Groove) 1983 definitive history tracing the Apollo Theater as the cultural center of New York's Harlem. The carefully researched narrative features those who worked and performed at the Apollo over the years and strives to portray the good times as well as the bad. Smith's (Madunia) dynamic artwork often eschews traditional comics panels in favor of images and scenes that flow together, conveying the energy and excitement of showbiz. The two-tone, black-and-blue coloring creates the feeling of being inside a darkened theater, although it could have benefited from occasional splashes of contrasting hues. And while the amount of information presented can be almost overwhelming, the work ultimately accomplishes its goal of relaying the Apollo's status as a legendary venue.
VERDICT Anyone interested in African American music and history and pop culture history will find this a captivating read.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.