More on The Colored Negro Black Comic Book by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon.

Note: in the comic strip tradition all the words in the strip are in capitals, but for readability, I’ve deigned to write in standard English. Also the words that are in bold in the strip are in red in this text.

“Tarskin”, a 4-page response to “Tarzan”

Page 1- Tarskin saves guy with diamond from a roaarr!ing lion

Page 2:

Page 3, Panel 1:
Diamond guy: Amazing! That this great black man should help and befriend a white man!
Tarskin: ?
Page 3, Panel 2:
Tarskin: You- mean – you not black?
Diamond guy: Of course not! Don’t tell me you took my sunburn-…

Page 4:
Diamond guy’s hat on ground in foreground, lion chewing on a bone, going mmrraaarrmm– and Tarskin walking away with the diamond, passing a Pogo-like character.
The chimpanzee Cheetah (looks at lion) Ooh.
Daddy Warbucks (?!) (peeks from around tree): Ooh.

While I do appreciate the fact that the man was trying to rip off our hero, I don’t know how allowing the man to be fed to the animals was supposed to promote racial understanding. Even if he IS “The Man”.

***

“Laughin’ Black” a 4-page parody of “Smilin’ Jack”, a strip that ran from 1933 to 1973, and which ran in my local papers when I was growing up, as did most of the strips represented.

Page 1: (Three airmen in background, head officer shaking Laughin’ Black’s hand)
Officer: Welcome to our squadron, Laughin’ Black!
Laughin’: Thank you, sir!

Page 2:

Page 3, Panel 1:
Officer (next to Laughin’): We all fight for the same country, wear the same uniforms, and each of us has his very own plane
Page 3, Panel 2: Other pilots running to their planes)
Loudspeaker: Pilots! Man your planes!

Panel 4:
While jets are in the air, Laughin’ is shocked when he comes to his plane (Sign: L. Black), which is a rickety old biplane.
Laughin’: !

In the panel shown, the officer practically says the old cliche, “A credit to his race.” This story did portray some truths about separate but unequal treatment.

I’m reminded how the valor of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II helped finally integrate the armed services.

***

“Little Ofay Nannie”, a 4-page take on “Little Orphan Annie
The convention in this strip is to underline certain words, rather than making them bold. Since I’m loath to underline – it means hyperlink to me – I will italicize the underlined text.

Page 1:
Nannie (smiling): Oh, Dandy – isn’t it fantabulous that Daddy is coming home for my 65th birthday party?
Dandy (smiling): Arf

Page 2, Panel 1:
Nannie: He’s been on a business trip to wonderful places like South VietNam, the Union of South Africa and Rhodesia!
Dandy: Arf
Page 2, Panel 2:
Nannie (in a classic arm-up “Annie” pose”): It’ll be such fun to see him again!
Dandy: Arf

Page 3

Page 4:
Nannie (angry, pointing finger at Daddy): Turn blue, you @*O!![dagger]@ honky!!!
Dandy (growling at Daddy): Grr!
Daddy (shocked): !

While her anger was, and is, understandable, this rant left me cold, because it seemed to come out of the blue. It’s interesting how the panel before the flaming is the only panel where she does not have those hollow eyes.

I was interested in the citation of South Viet Nam as one of the places Daddy was off exploiting. The African countries’ white-ruled governments were obvious targets. (Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe.) I wonder if South Viet Nam was picked because a disproportionate number of black soldiers were killed in the war? Or maybe it’s that, as Martin Luther King, Jr. suggested, too many people of color, including innocent Vietnamese were dying there.

***

“Raisins”, a 4-page takeoff on “Peanuts”

Page l:
(A kid who looks like Charlie Brown makes one-handed catch off batter. Another kid and Snoopy in background. Ball hits glove: Boff!

Page 2, Panel 1:
(Kid catches sinking liner.) Ball hits glove: Biff!
Page 2, Panel 2:
(Kid leaves his feet to make another grab.) Ball hits glove: Waff!

Page 3, Panel 1:
Lucy in catcher’s gear walks to kid.
Kid: ?
Page 3, Panel 2:
Lucy (gear to the side) starts pulling off mask.
Kid: !

Page 4:

I tried not to show the punch lines in these tales, but this one pretty much required it.

Of course, this tackles the old (but ongoing) conversation about the supposed superior talents of black athletes. I think it’s funny because of Charlie Brown’s reputation as a less than stellar player, thus the juxtaposition is even sharper.

***

“Black Jack”, a 4 page response to “Prince Valiant”

Page 1

Page 2, Panel 1
Scene: Busy- with people on horses, wounded on the ground.
Narrative: The crows watcheth in perspirement as the Black Jack destroyeth 7 of the greatest swordsmen, 125 of the greatest lancers and 4 of the greatest stick-ball players on the block.
Page 2, Panel 2
Scene: Men in shock, or stabbed, or clubbed. Sweetpea (from “Popeye”) looking on in disbelief.
Narrative: Like one, the women throw flowers, their veils and lo, their very selves at the feet of the conquering hero – one, in fact, throweth her husband.

Page 3:
Scene: Montage of folks. Below that, graffiti: BJ +KA (within a heart); EC SJ; Gawain wears panty-hose
Narrative: “Sh!: sayeth a mighty count – “‘Tis the Black Jack!” A gasp graspeth the crowd, the word hitteth them like a blackjack!

Page 4:
Scene: About a dozen attractive women, and a drooling Olive Oyl(?!) from “Popeye” surround the hero. In the left of the picture, a man in a turban, with an N on it.
Narrative: As the most noble and beauteous women in the land carry the Black Jack off on their shoulders, the men feel crushedeth by the utter humiliation – It taketh the wise and noble, Noble the Wise to sayeth: “At least he isn’t Jewith.”
Next week, =Sammy Davith – the one-eyed Jack!”

What can I say? Dopey schtick “comedy” that probably wasn’t funny then.

***

“Big Eboner”, a 4 page response to “Li’l Abner”

Page 1:
Enober runs past two dull-looking yokels, with Daisy in hot pursuit.
Daisy: Ya-hoo!!

Page 2:

Page 3:
(You see the feet of the yokels, obviously knocked over by Daisy)
Daisy: Out o’ mah way! Yo’ is mahn, mahn, mahn!

Page 4:
With Daisy and Eboner in silhoutte in the background, she’s chasing with hearts over her head; yokels are sitting in a creek.
One yokel: Yo’ notice how them black @*O#*!# run after the blondest, most-beautifullest, white-skinned female they can find!!

Clearly, the issue of racial intermixing has been highly charged in this country for generations. If it is modestly less charged in the past couple decades, it still is an issue for people, black and white, believe me.

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