Friday, April 8, 2011
Crossing the Divide: Joe Louis (2)
This comparative look at the peaks of the respective careers of Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey in Bill Stern's Sports Book Vol.2 #2 is interesting, not least because it doesn't mention race. In 1952 when this comic was published by Ziff-Davis in a still-segregated America, it was remarkable in that it features an African American, and still more remarkable that Joe Louis is not billed as representing his race. It's refreshing to read a comic from that time that simply presents Louis as a normal, if accomplished, member of the human race. This was one approach to racial integration in comics used by some writers of Silver Age comic books later on, presenting diversity as if racial harmony was a reality in society. Interestingly, the art on this story is by famed inker Frank Giacoia.