Pa. exhibit highlights early black comic artists

By By KEVIN BEGOS

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An exhibit in Pittsburgh is highlighting early artists who helped break the comic book color barrier by featuring black characters.

The exhibit called "Beyond the Funny Pages" coincides with Black History Month and is being shown through the end of February at the City/County building. It chronicles the contributions of several prominent blacks in the industry in the 1930s and '40s, including the first black female comic artist and the first black comic publisher.

Orrin Evans published a single issue of "All-Negro Comics" in 1947. He was then virtually blacklisted.

The Toonseum, which celebrates comic art, is helping curate the exhibit. Toonseum Director Joe Wos says it appears the big comic publishers were threatened by the subject matter and by an independent competitor.

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