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STLCC Professor Published in Award-Winning Anthology

August 25, 2016

Dan Yezbick  
Daniel Yezbick

Daniel F. Yezbick, Ph.D., professor in English at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood, is among 18 contributors published in the award-winning anthology, “The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art.”

“The Blacker the Ink” explores the intersections between race, traditional comics and graphic narrative through a series of 15 essays. Yezbick’s essay, “No Sweat! EC Comics, Cold War Censorship, and the Troublesome Colors of ‘Judgement Day!’” appears first in the book. In it, he takes a critical look at how comics created during the 1950s introduced young Americans to the cultural conflicts that would eventually influence the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War.

Edited by Frances Gateward (California State University-Northridge) and John Jennings (University of California-Riverside), and published by Rutgers University Press, the collection has snagged two major awards this year – a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Work, considered by many as the “Academy Award of the Comics Industry,” and a Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Edited Collection in Popular Culture and American Culture by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

Blacker the Ink cover  

“‘Judgement Day!’ with its stunning finish and affable black protagonist, ultimately signifies a watershed moment,” he wrote. “It offers a surprisingly positive reversal of the standard racial dynamics of American science fiction, in which a solitary enlightened black man stands alone against a blatantly prejudiced, ignorant society…”

Collectively, this anthology highlights the diverse range of black characters in comics and related media. Moreover, the essays examine the multitude of ways that black artists, writers and publishers have made their substantial mark on the industry.

“It’s so rewarding to collaborate on such an innovative and intercultural project,” Yezbick said. “Our perceptions of race are intricately constructed over time, and it’s exciting to show readers how the comics have influenced our nation’s social fabric throughout history.”

Yezbick teaches a variety of English and mass communications courses at STLCC-Wildwood, including American Literature, Urban Legends and American Society, College Composition and Creative Writing.

A recognized expert on comics and graphic novels, Yezbick is the author of “Perfect Nonsense: The Chaotic Comics and Goofy Games of George Carlson.” In addition to his essay in “The Blacker the Ink,” he has penned articles for numerous anthologies, including “The Complete Carl Barks Library.” “Icons of the American Comic Book,” “Comics through Time” and “The Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: History, Theme and Technique.”

“The Blacker the Ink” is available for purchase through Rutgers University Press and Amazon.