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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Incognegro (Hardback)


Author: Mat Johnson
Artists: Warren Pleece
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99, US $19.99, Cdn $23.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 071 0
Available 22 August 2008

In the early 20th Century, when lynchings were commonplace throughout the American South, a few courageous reporters from the North risked their lives to expose these atrocities. They were African-American men who, due to their light skin colour, could "pass" among the white folks. They called this dangerous assignment going "incognegro"...

Incognegro follows one of the investigations of a reporter who has made a name for himself as the mysterious Incogneto - who works undercover to bring to America's attention the brutal murder, for fun, of the countries African-American population.

Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald barely escapes with his life after his latest "incognegro" story goes bad. But when he returns to the sanctuary of Harlem, he's sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi...

With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay "incognegro" long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother - and himself. He finds that the answers are buried beneath layers of shifting identities, forbidden passions and secrets that run far deeper than skin colour.

While this is a good solid story, with plenty of shocking revelations, I was a little disappointed by the murder mystery aspect. The murder of a woman is not what it seems and the clues to what is really going on are so obvious that even the world's worst detective will have worked it out way before the end.

Having said that, the script is tight and the illustrations are well matched to this style of story. The end result is certainly something I'd recommend you pick up.


Nick Smithson

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