Rare 1st African-American Published Comic Book - All Negro #1- (1947) Comes to Auction
1st African-American Published Comic - All Negro #1- (1947) Comes to Auction
ComicConnect.com is pleased to bring to auction the legendary All-Negro Comics #1, one of the rarest comic books in the world, and the first comic published and created by African-American creators. The driving force behind the comic was Orrin C. Evans (1902-1971), whom today is credited as being “The Father of Black Comic Books”. To the mainstream world, Mr. Evans is also lauded as being the “Dean of Black Reporters”. By working at the Philadelphia Record, Orrin Evans broke the race-barrier to become the “first black writer to cover general assignments for a mainstream white newspaper in the United States” (source: TomChristopher.com).
Prior to All-Negro Comics #1 (and for a longtime after), it was unheard of to see African-Americans portrayed as protagonists in comic books. Mr. Evans sought provide youth, including his own children, with positive stories and morality tales about black heroes and characters. The artists included Orrin’s brother George J. Evans Jr., John Terrill, and two other artists known only as Cooper and Cravat. Evans received additional support from Harry T. Saylor, editor at the Philadelphia Record, and Bill Driscoll, Sports Editor.
The stories in All-Negro Comics #1 included Ace Harlem (a chisel-chinned detective), Lion Man (an American-born, college educated scientist dressed in African warrior garb), the Little Dew Dillies (cherub-like little people that only babies can see and talk to), L’il Eggie (an Archie-like character), Sugarfoot and his sidekick Snake Oil (two traveling minstrels), and Hep Chicks on Parade, which was a series of humorous “girlie” cartoons. The comic also contained a two page text story entitled “Ezekiel’s Manhunt”, about a young heroic boy who matches wits against a murderer hiding from the law.
The comic series never saw a second issue. Some theorize the 15 cent cover price was a drawback to potential young buyers, because rival comic books at the time only cost 10 cents. By other accounts, the printer refused to do a second run, possibly because their larger client, DC, did not wish to see the entrance of a new competitor at a time when demand for comic books was beginning to decline.
According to the Overstreet Price Guide, the comic is “seldom found in fine or mint condition, and many copies have brown copies”. The All-Negro Comics #1 at auction is tied for the top highest graded copy on the CGC Census, slabbed as a 7.5 VF- with off-white pages.
ComicConnect.com is the online marketplace for comic buyers and sellers, focusing on comic books published between 1930 - 1975. Membership is free, and members may list their comics for sale or auction for free. ComicConnect brokers transactions, and accepts a low 10% commission only after comics are sold through the site. Best of all, ComicConnect never charges Buyer's Premiums. The ComicConnect Event Auction began Friday, February 27th and concludes in separate Sessions ending March 13th, 14th & 15th.
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