Friday, October 14, 2011

African-American Classics is coming your way in December, and then...

  • African-American Classics: Graphic Classics Volume 22 will present great stories and poems from America’s earliest Black writers, illustrated by contemporary African-American artists. Featured are “Two Americans” by Florence Lewis Bentley, “The Goophered Grapevine” by Charles W. Chesnutt, “Becky” by Jean Toomer, two short plays by Zora Neale Hurston, and six more tales of humor and tragedy. Also eleven poems, including Langston Hughes’ “Danse Africaine” and “The Negro”, plus Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Sympathy” (‘I know why the caged bird sings…’) The book is edited by Graphic Classics publisher Tom Pomplun, and co-edited by longtime GC contributor Lance Tooks, with story adaptations by Alex Simmons, Christopher Priest and Mat Johnson. Art is by some of today’s best artists in the comics and illustration fields, including Kyle Baker, Afua Richardson, Trevor Von Eeden, Jeremy Love, Randy DuBurke, Stan Shaw, Milton Knight, Arie Monroe, Jim Webb, Shepherd Hendrix, Kevin J. Taylor, Leilani Hickerson, Kenjji Marshall, Keith Mallett, Larry Poncho Brown, John Jennings, Glenn Brewer, Masheka Wood, Titus V. Thomas, Mac McGill, Jimmie Robinson and Lance Tooks. FULL COLOR. Look for it December 2011. Click HERE for an all new preview on the Graphic Classics website, as well as links to the contributors' own personal sites!

  • This month I'm proud to share with the readers of "Lance Tooks' Journal," a small sampling of works in progress by the many wonderful creators who made the African-American Classics anthology possible. Click each image to enlarge. First up is Afua Richardson's evocative cover. When you look at her period illustration of literary giants waiting for their respective trains, you can practically hear Duke Ellington swinging in the background as the conductor shouts, "All Aboooaard!"

    Next we have an image from scripter Alex Simmons' adaptation of Florence Lewis Bentley's moving tale of "Two Americans," which features knockout art from comics veteran Trevor Von Eeden with colors by Adrian Johnson.

    The brilliant Randy DuBurke illustrated Jean Toomer's haunting "Becky" from a script by Mat Johnson.

    The delicate "Buyers of Dreams" by Ethel Caution has been brought to life by artist Leilani Hickerson from a script by editor Tom Pomplun.

    Pomplun's script for Leila Amos Pendleton's raucous "Sanctum 777 N.S.D.C.O.U. meets Cleopatra" has been interpreted here by Kevin J. Taylor.

    Masheka Wood provided the playful visuals for James Edwin Campbell's "De Cunjah Man."

    Zora Neale Hurston's playlet, "Filling Station" receives the full service treatment from Graphics Classics regular, Milton Knight.

    And illustrator Shepherd Hendrix has given us the strange brew of "The Goophered Grapevine" by Charles W. Chesnutt from another script by Simmons.

  • These are just the tip of the iceberg... there's more great preview art at the Graphic Classics link above, as well as on African-American Classics' regularly updated Facebook page, which can be reached by clicking HERE.

  • I also highly recommend that you check out this brief interview with African-American Classics' Publisher-Editor Tom Pomplun (please forgive our typo there) at Alex Simmons' fine YouTube page.

  • In addition to these fine works, I'm privileged to have been a part of Seven Stories Press' upcoming anthology, "The Graphic Canon." Arriving in 2012, my comics adaptations of Mary Shelley's "The Mortal Immortal" and Somerset Maugham's "Rain" are featured in the second and third volumes of the graphic trilogy.

  • For more information about that amazing collection of stories and artists, edited by Russ Kick, have a look at THIS, the Seven Stories Press website.

  • Thanks for reading, folks! I'm proud to have been a collaborator in such illustrious company... and I can't wait to tell you what's coming up after all that! 2012 is going to be an incredible year.
    Lance Tooks