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Professor William H. Foster III & African-Americans in Comics with Alex Grand & Jim Thompson

Read Alex Grand’s Understanding Superhero Comic Books published by McFarland Books in 2023 with Foreword by Jim Steranko with editorial reviews by comic book professionals, Jim Shooter, Tom Palmer, Tom DeFalco, Danny Fingeroth, Alex Segura, Carl Potts, Guy Dorian Sr. and more.

In the meantime enjoy the show:

Alex Grand and co-host Jim Thompson interview Professor William H. Foster III, published comic book historian, former Eisner judge, award-winning museum exhibit curator on the evolving roles of African Americans in Comics. William discusses his early forays into reading comics in the 1960s and 70s, goes into a fascinating discussion of the portrayal and involvement of African American characters and creators in comics starting from the Yellow Kid, Krazy Kat, Ebony in Spirit, World’s Finest, Sgt Fury, Fantastic Four’s Black Panther, Luke Cage, Black Lightning, Black Vulcan, Fast Willie Jackson, Robert Crumb in Zap Comics, Storm of the X-Men, Sabre, Hypno Hustler, Milestone Comics, Trading Cards, Captain America, Thunder and ending into present-day comic books.

William H. Foster’s exhibit on the “Changing Image of Blacks in Comics” has been displayed at a number of venues across the country, including Temple University’s Paley Library, the 1998 Comic-Con International Comic Arts Conference, and the 2000 Festival of Arts and Ideas.

Transcript for the first half of this interview published in Alter Ego 173:

The second half of this interview transcript published in Alter Ego 174:


🎬 Originated, Edited & Produced by Alex Grand. Thumbnail Artwork, CBH Podcast ©2021 Comic Book Historians.

Images used in artwork ©Their Respective Copyright holders. Music ©Lost European, William H. Foster Interview by Alex Grand & Jim Thompson

📜 Video chapters
00:00:00 Glimpse
00:00:26 Prof. William H. Foster
00:00:51 Looking For A Face Like Mine
00:01:11 Early days
00:02:40 Entry to comics
00:06:44 Marvel & DC Comics
00:09:18 Black representation in comics
00:10:33 Meeting Neal Adams | John Stewart as Green Lantern
00:12:23 Dr. Bill Foster, Black Goliath, Black Panther
00:15:28 Reading Science Fiction and other genres
00:18:33 Richard Eugene-The Grasshopper
00:19:10 Reaction to Robert Crumb images
00:21:26 Started writing
00:23:06 I am Curious (Black), Lois Lane
00:25:14 Freedom on Women characters in Marvel
00:27:06 Writing African-American comic characters
00:28:22 Yellow Kid, Krazy Kat | First Black Hero
00:32:02 George Herriman, Krazy Kat | Race
00:35:54 My student’s comic book Wigger
00:37:09 Little Nemo, Little Lulu
00:39:17 Jackie Ormes, Black woman cartoonist
00:40:35 Will Eisner, Ebony White Spirit
00:42:46 Hank Ketcham
00:43:03 I Spy, Bill Cosby | Spawn
00:46:23 Your two perspectives
00:47:49 Orrin Evans, All Negro Comics | Lobo, World’s Finest
00:52:08 Sgt. Fury | War Genre & racial discussion
00:56:47 DC Comics, Judgement Day Story 1953
00:58:56 Twilight Zone – 1970s
01:00:21 Counterculture | Luke Cage, Black Lightning
01:03:29 Harvey Birdman’s Black Vulcan
01:04:50 Don McGregor’s Jungle Action
01:05:44 Storm of the X-Men
01:09:19 Richard Grass Green
01:11:07 Sabre, Hypno Hustler, Prowler
01:14:55 Bertram Fitzgerald, Fast Willie Jackson
01:17:35 1980s Daddy Cool – 1990s
01:19:08 The Card Market
01:20:40 Milestone Comics | Dwayne McDuffie
01:23:09 Milestone Comics achieve what they wanted?
01:25:36 Michael Davis | Static comics
01:27:22 Power of the Internet – 21st Century
01:30:01 Black Captain America, Thunder
01:32:49 Museum Exhibit
01:38:04 Present-day comic books, movies
01:40:49 Random questions Legion of Superheroes
01:42:21 Jack Kirby-Soul Love, Black Racer
01:44:16 African-American Comic Creators
01:45:31 Elton Fax, Matt Baker, Alvin C. Hollingsworth
01:48:49 Black representation
01:51:49 Hip Hop Family Tree, March – Books
01:53:28 Big Fan Cartoons and Comics
01:54:38 Shaft, Book by David Walker
01:55:40 Dreaming of a Face Like Ours | Wrapping up

#LukeCage #BlackPanther #ComicBookHistorians #YellowKid #KrazyKat #WorldsFinest #ComicHistorian #CBHInterviews #CBHPodcast #CBH


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Use of images are not intended to infringe on copyright, but merely used for academic purpose.

Images used ©Their Respective Copyright Holders

Interview © 2021 Comic Book Historians


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