GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Be-Bop Barbarians: Comic Book Bohemians to a 1950s Jazz Beat

Pegasus. Feb. 2019. 112p. ISBN 9781681777764. $24.95. F
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In 1955 Harlem, three African American comikkers battle Cold War politics, prejudice, and temptation. Ollie draws for a left-wing newspaper yet is fired from his day job for fighting harassment. Stef takes an FBI gig then twists the message for her own female-centered strip. Cliff, passing as white, loses the rights to his comics heroine but conspires with his boss’s wife. Real-life inspiration plus juicy dollops of pulp keep the story sadly believable yet entertaining.

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