My father, Douglas Akins, was a pioneering cartoonist "of color". In other words; a Negro who drew. I accidentally stumbled across some of his work on a site dedicated to early Black Cartoonists whose works were featured in newspapers with robust circulations. Surprisingly, George Herriman, the creator of Crazy Kat is "outed" as Brother who was "passing". It's rumored that he was told by Hearst to not be photographed with his hat off else the character of his hair (probably wavy) would betray his swarthy good looks and ancestry. Hey, I had brother to my Great, Great maternal Grandfather who COMPLETELY intergrated with White society in the 1920's after immigrating to the U.S.. At a recent family reunion, I met plenty of "blue-eyed" O'Meallys who didn't know they were of African descent.
I grew up in an artists' house, in the shadow of my Father, the Artist. Things became SO competitive by the time I was 19, I dropped out of college at the School of the Art Institute and joined the Air Force; just cause I needed to phuck something up. Several years later I landed my first real job as an illustrator in Advertising along Michigan Ave. I realize now that a lot of the tension between my Dad and I was there because, sadly, in the time he lived Black Folk couldn't do the things we do now professionally.
My father worked his entire career with the press at the lauded Chicago Defender. After his cartooning stint (although he would always contribute the occasional strip or editorial illo) he became the Defenders' Society Editor.
What's here, below, are images from something I had no idea existed. It's a wartime strip my dad created and drew (1942) featuring the Brown Bomber Joe Louis as an action hero. Ironically, fittingly, I came across these files while I was drawing the Bigby "War Stories" for "Fables" year before last.
Racism was so rife in those days, on all fronts, that I can't imagine what I would have done had I had to live in that shitty America. No lie, anyone, ANYONE who pines for the good old days is a fool, a fascist and probably eats children. These are the Great New Days. The Past Kisses Ass. My Aunt Henrietta, who's well into her 80's sets it straight,"The Good Old Days,...nothing good about them; bad refrigeration, bad medicine, unsafe cars and roads, racism, disease...nothing good on television."
Anyway, as far as Sgt. Joe goes, forgive the racist language if it's legible; but I'm pretty darn sure that that Imperial Japanese Officer had it coming (the clobbering, not the slur). Always be polite to the people whose asses you find yourself justifiably kicking (Hello, PETER).
Anywho, I'm just trying to get that Nixon image futher down the loaded page.
Here's some randomness.