Two new titles from Ho Che Anderson
London-born comic artist Ho Che Anderson has made a name for himself with his stark black-and-white drawing style, which takes inspiration from film noir and classic horror. He has also defined a subject matter focusing on African-American culture and liberation, including illustrating the cover to Black Panther Huey P. Newton‘s autobiography, “Revolutionary Suicide”. Anderson’s art is on full display in the recent collection of his defining miniseries, “King”.”King” is subtitled “A Comics Biography”, but those expecting a children’s perspective of the great civil rights advocate will be greatly surprised. Anderson’s work has been acclaimed for returning an air of humanity to a man often considered a legend. The three 80-page volumes included in the new “Special Edition” were originally published between 1993 and 2002, and here they are joined by an author’s essay on making the book, sketches and scripts, deleted scenes, and a new story on race relations in modern times, titled “Black Dogs”. Anderson’s emphasis on the tragedies of King’s life doesn’t overshadow the man’s triumphs, but it is a potent reminder of how far there is left to go.“Sand & Fury: A Scream Queen Adventure” sounds like it could be the title of a ’60s comic book or monster movie, but Anderson’s influences here actually include psychological horror auteurs like David Lynch, Dario Argento, and Roman Polanski. The simple version of the plot involves a supernatural stranger and a series of killings, but as in “King”, Anderson makes his story a commentary on larger themes of isolation and ignorance. You can download previews of both books at their respective Fantagraphics sites. If you like what you read, you can also learn more about Anderson’s other work online, including an as-yet-uncollected “traditional superhero” story, “Wise Son: The White Wolf”.