Incognegro by Mat Johnson

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Writer Mat Johnson (HELLBLAZER: PAPA MIDNITE), winner of the prestigious Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction, constructs a fearless graphic novel that is both a page-turning mystery and a disturbing exploration of race and self-image in America, masterfully illustrated with rich period detail by Wareen Pleece (THE INVISIBLES, HELLBLAZER).

In the early 20th Century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African-American men who, due to their light skin color, could "pass" among the white folks. They called this dangerous assignment going "incognegro."

Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald barely escapes with his life after his latest "incognegro" story goes bad. But when he returns to the sanctuary of Harlem, he's sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi.

With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay "incognegro" long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother -- and himself. He finds that the answers are buried beneath layers of shifting identities, forbidden passions and secrets that run far deeper than skin color.


About Mat Johnson

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Mat Johnson received his MFA from Columbia University. He returned to his native Philadelphia, with his wife and daughter, after living in Harlem for several years. "Drop" is his first novel. Life Sucks was written by Jessica Abel and Gabe Soria, with art by Warren Pleece. Jessica Abel is one of the foremost female comics creators in the industry. She and her husband teach courses on creating comics at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and have co-written the textbook based on their classes, "Drawing Words and Writing Pictures," also out this season from First Second. Gabe Soria is a Brooklyn-based music journalist and has written "Batman Adventures," Warren Pleece is a British comics artist who has worked on numerous projects, including "The Invisibles" and "Hellblazer,
Published February 6, 2008 by Vertigo. 136 pages
Genres: History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Incognegro

The New York Times

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Zane Pinchback, a reporter for The New Holland Herald of New York, is a black man who can pass for white.

Mar 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Incognegro

Publishers Weekly

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The brows are furrowed and teeth mightily clenched in Pleece’s noirish artwork for Johnson’s pulpy tale of a black journalist who goes undercover in the 1930s South to investigate a possible trumped-up murder charge against his brother—a charge that could lead to a lynching.

Dec 10 2007 | Read Full Review of Incognegro

Suite 101

A brief biography of the artist and teacher who co-created 3-D comics and the character Sgt.

Jun 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Incognegro

San Francisco Chronicle

For "Incognegro," his angry graphic novel, Hurston/Wright Legacy Award winner Mat Johnson drew on his experiences as a light-skinned African American growing up in a black neighborhood in Philadelphia during '70s and '80s: "Along with my cousin (half black/half Jewish) I started fantasizing about...

Mar 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Incognegro

Austin Chronicle

But we felt a bit cheated here, figuring such a gambit of tidiness more in line with less ambitious pop-culture offerings and not quite worthy of the thoughtful background and characterization Johnson's wrought here.

Mar 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Incognegro

Comic Attack

The book opens with him telling the story of his latest incognegro adventure with friends of his.

Feb 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Incognegro

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