June 8, 2021 - Graphic Novel, Reviews
Author: Mat Johnson
Publisher: Berger Books

Graphic novels make learning about complex topics more accessible since they are shorter than regular novels and they are usually easier to comprehend. Incognegro is a very informative graphic novel written by Mat Johnson. The story is about an African American man named Zane who poses as a white man due to his light complexion. He goes undercover to lynchings and exposes those who take part in them. He writes about it in a newspaper column under the name Incognegro. He is about to quit when he hears that his brother is in jail in the South and is going to be lynched. His best friend Carl insists that he come with him to free his brother. When they arrive, they speak to his brother and discover he is innocent and they plan to free him. Eventually he is freed but Carl is killed in the process. As the graphic novel comes to a close, there’s a twist when Zane reveals the identity of Incognegro; but, instead of him putting his own picture, he publishes it with the face of the man who is in charge of the lynchings and brings some justice to his friend’s death. The writing style really reminded me of March (Book One). It was in a comic book–style just as March was. This story had good character development and the audience gets insight on a journey where it shows what the South was like at the time and how difficult it was to be an African American who lived there. My favorite part of the book was the ending where the man in charge of the lynchings gets framed for being the man behind Incognegro. This was important because Zane gets to keep doing his job and that man will likely be killed which will bring justice to all of those he killed. This story being in the form of a graphic novel makes the history of this subject easier to understand since it’s compressed into a shorter story versus a long novel. Graphic novels put more personal touches on a story since it’s presented in a different manner than a regular novel. The use of drawings also helps to picture the story in a more creative way.
—Caitlin Creahan, CMRD101 Fall 2020