Wasn’t the Depression Terrible?

Issued in 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, these cartoons (by Reuben Award winner Otto Soglow, creator of The Little King, working with David G. Plotkin) gives us an insider’s view of that difficult time. Even the title is a sign of the moment; in 1932, the Republican Party tried to convince people that, no matter what they saw around them, the Depression was already in the past, putting “Wasn’t the depression terrible?” in big letters in newspaper ads and on billboards along commuter corridors in the northeast. (This failed to convince the Depression to go away.)

Content note: This material includes common racial and social caricatures of its day, some of which will be considered inappropriate by modern audiences.
  • Paperback: 115 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1949996050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949996050
  • Product dimensions: 8.3 x 0.3 x 11.7 inches
  • List price: $9.99

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The Negro Motorist Green Book Compendium

Four different editions of the Green Book under a single cover!

During the dangerous days of Jim Crow segregation, it was difficult to be an African-American traveler, as hotels that would take you or restaurants that would serve you were few and far between. This was addressed by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual listing of lodging, diners, gas stations, and other businesses that could handle the needs of the Black customer. Created in 1936 by Harlem-based postman Victor H. Green, the Green Book served the public until after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s ended legal segregation.

Original copies of the Green Book are now museum pieces, but in this book you can see all the articles, all the ads, and all the listings from four editions of the Green Book, one for each decade in which the series was published. The Negro Motorist Green Book of 1938 is an early example, covering only the states east of the Mississippi River, but also presenting articles on “The Automobile and What It Has Done for the American Negro” as well as driving tips.

By 1947, the Negro Motorist Green Book had listings for 45 of the 48 states that then existed (there was nothing for Nevada, New Hampshire, or North Dakota), and that also included directories of the Negro colleges and newspapers of the day, as well as a look at the current models from Ford and GM, and some notes on automotive design of the future.

By 1954, the title had changed to The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, and the volume includes an article on the highlights of San Francisco (which was “fast becoming the focal point of the Negroes’ future”) and tourist guides to New York City and Bermuda. Finally, the Travelers’ Green Book for 1963 through 1964 leads off with a state-by-state listings of rights against “jimcro” (Jim Crow segregation), plus it has “Guide Posts for a Pleasant Trip,” a couple of cartoon-illustrated sidebars on Black history-makers, a listing of major league ballparks, and other useful items for the traveler. And all of it reproduced at about 50% larger than the original size, for easier reading.

Reprints of the Green Book published by About Comics have gotten coverage by Newsweek, the Guardian, and BBC News, and more. They are carried by major museums, and have been used by TV and film. Now you can get four editions in one convenient volume, and see why the New York Times called the Green Book a “beacon for Black travelers.”

  • Paperback: 313 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1949996069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949996067
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 9.6 inches

The Negro Travelers’ Green Book: 1959 facsimile edition

This is the Green Book movie fans want – to African-American motorists the Negro Motorist Green Book (which had by 1959 switched titles to the Negro Travelers’ Green Book) was essential to safe driving in the legally-segregated nation under the Jim Crow laws. The annual publication listed hotels, restaurants, service stations, and other businesses willing to take Black customers, and in doing so let drivers navigate the US. Started by mailman Victor Hugo Green in 1936, by 1959 the acclaimed series was edited and published by Victor’s wife Alma D. Green (Victor would die the following year.)

/The book provides a state-by-state and city-by-city listing of businesses, including advertisements from proprietors reaching out to Black customers. Some of these were long-running, storied establishments, like the Booker T. Washington Hotel in San Francisco, where in its lounge you might run into W.E.B. Du Bois, Nat King Cole, or the Harlem Globetrotters; others were nothing more than a spare room in private home, the AirBNB of its day. All of them made life under the harshness of Jim Crow a little more livable. The 1959 edition, with the gentle warning “Carry your Green Book with you… you may need it” on the cover and promising “Assured Protection for the Negro Traveler” inside, comes from a period when the guide wasn’t running the travelogues and articles that augmented other years, and is basically wall-to-wall listings and ads, but for a one-page guide on “How to Guard Your Home During the Vacation Season.”

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1949996034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949996036
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 6.8 inches

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The Negro Motorist Green Book: 1949 facsimile edition

In the 1940s, Americans open roads were a magical and inviting opportunity… for white people. People of color, however, were barred from many of the hotels, restaurants, and even gas stations that made travel possible and convenient. In the face of this, mailman Victor H. Green started publishing The Negro Motorist Green Book, a listing of establishments willing to serve African-American customers. It not only made the Jim Crow-era roads navigable for the Black traveler, it created business opportunities for Black entrepreneurs, as they knew that if they created hotels for Black customers, they had a route to let potential customers know.

In addition to the travel listings and ads that Black travelers relied on, the 1949 edition includes an introduction by Victor H. Green, an article by the Esso service stations’ special representative to the Black community on how the Green Book helps solves travel problems, a brief look at the 1949 Fords, a guide to what to see in Chicago, an article on the Black-owned and -operated town of Robbins, Illinois, and a travel guide to Bermuda.

The New York Times called the Green Book a “beacon for Black travelers.” The Washington Post said it was “a game changer.” Newsweek referred to it as “practical scripture” that “saved Black lives on the road.

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1949996026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949996029
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 6.8 inches

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The Little Friar

Meet Little Friar – the problem child of the monastery. He says his prayers between shooting marbles and eating ice cream cones. He smears his sandals with shoe polish and rollerskates through the halls. Bane of the cook, Little Friar wants to be as wide as he is tall. He feeds fish instead of catching them and pushes cheese through mouse holes. Under his robes he wears jazzy shorts; on his head there really should be a halo. Friends of animals and children and fun, Little Friar will delight everyone from eight to eighty.

The Little Friar is a kindly, big-hearted, largely silent soul who is inspired by the world and his love for it. Golden Age cartoonist Hal Sherman (co-creator of the Star-Spangled Kid) provides over a hundred and twenty amusing cartoons,

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • SBN-10: 1949996018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949996012
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches

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Catholic Christmas Cartoons

It’s nuns, funs, and more nuns in this collection of Catholic cartoons from the 1950s and ’60s. Culled from Catholic publications, these cartoons by nine different cartoonists (including National Cartoonists Society award winners Al Kilgore and Frank Evers, and one actual monk) cover Christmas shopping, presents, snow sports, pageants, Christmas dinner, and more, all with a with that will bring an extra dose of joy to the holiday season. A nice little gift, and something to bring out every December or whenever you need a laugh!

  • Paperback: 103 pages
  • Publisher: About Comics (October 23, 2018)
  • ISBN-10: 194999600X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1949996005
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches

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Father, Dear Father!

Frank Evers is best known for his work on the Op-Ed page of the New York Daily News and other newspapers, which brought him the National Cartoonist Society’s Editorial Cartoon Award in 1979. But decades before, during the “cartoon nunsplosion” of the 1950s, he crafted these dozens of cartoons about the local Roman Catholic priest and the energetic choir boys he oversees.

List Price: $7.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on White paper
72 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404940
ISBN-10: 193640494X
BISAC: Humor / Topic / Religion

Jeremiah the Friar

Jeremiah the Friar is a monk filled with joy, awe… and a certain awkward lack of incompetence. Frank Evers is best known for his work on the Op-Ed page of the New York Daily News and other newspapers, which brought him the National Cartoonist Society’s Editorial Cartoon Award in 1979. But getting away from the topic of the day, he drew these fun-filled chronicles of this spirited man of the cloth.

List Price: $7.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
72 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404971
ISBN-10: 1936404974
BISAC: Humor / Form / Comic Strips & Cartoons
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Little Gabriel

Little Gabriel is the an impish little angel with a devilish sense of humor. These silent cartoon adventures should bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.

Al Kilgore, winner of the National Cartoonists Society’s Silver T-Square and Special Features Awards, is best known for his work on the Bullwinkle comic strip. His art can also be seen in the About Comics books Convent Belles, Saints Alive! and Monsignor.

List Price: $7.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
72 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404919
ISBN-10: 1936404915
BISAC: Humor / Form / Comic Strips & Cartoons

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Kilgore’s Catholics

Before his acclaimed work on “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” before he won both the Silver T-Square Award and the Special Features Award from the National Cartoonists Society, Al Kilgore drew a series of cartoon books about the all the characters in the Catholic community around  St. John’s Parochial School. The nuns, the priest, the monsignor, the young troublemakers and more all conspire to delight and amuse you. Here for the first time under one cover is the entire series, originally published in the books Convent Belles, Saints Alive!, and Monsignor.

List Price: $14.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on White paper
240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1936404957
ISBN-10: 1936404958
BISAC: Humor / Topic / Religion
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