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Monday, November 7, 2016

Jim Crow Comics: Is It Something to Laugh At?

— Comic Strip Artist, Rahim Shabazz Releases New Controversial Comic Book —

Jim Crow Comic strip about Black Lives Matter

New York, NY — Usually when you see something wrong, you question it; that’s what Rahim Shabazz wants his readers to do. He created the character Jim Crow (a crow named Jim) to not just push the envelope, but kick it as well. Shabazz uses the name Jim Crow in a satirical sense, because to him good comedy is supposed to be brutally honest. His goal in his comic series is to not only inform readers, but entertain them.

The Jim Crow comic series reacts to the overall segregations we face due to the hate, differences, and similarities that perpetuate various modern day stereotypes. Oftentimes, current events (Black Lives Matter, Police Brutality, Gentrification, etc.) are incorporated into Jim’s universe, because relatability is important when telling Shabazz’s illustrated jokes. It is his belief that being astute to racial injustice is not enough to combat its continued existence, nor is division due to ignorance and fear. It is his hope that what were once laws to keep us apart can now be used as reactive patterns to unify and create progressive dialogue.


About Jim Crow Comics

The comic book features the illustrated tales of a talking crow, as he encounters systematic racism within his universe; these strips are parallel to the author’s perspective and insight as a Black man living in a self-proclaimed “progressive post-racial America.” Other than Jim’s constant battle with “The Man” (aka Scarecrow, his nemesis in the comic series), Jim tackles current issues such as politics, racism, sexism… basically anything that ends in “ism.” Jim’s goal? To “free” the minds of anyone he encounters with his observations, editorial cartoons and magazine mockeries he illustrates at his job (The Early Bird Times).

Jim Crow was initially inspired by the duality of the American narrative: The Jim Crow Laws of 1877, and the Harlem Renaissance of the early twentieth century. The audacity and existence of the former, coupled with the independence and opportunity the latter afforded African Americans to cultivate and embrace Black culture, has served as a powerful medium to address current issues. Through the comic’s evolution, Shabazz has used the influences of pop art to grab the viewers’ eye, while making a parody of the nuances of race and culture. Mixing current sequential storytelling with the comedic tones of some of the most successful Black comedians (i.e. Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle), he’s created a comic that is enjoyable, but seeks to educate the 88% of millennials that engage in some form of social media daily. The comic is available for purchase online at www.jimcrowcomics.com


About the Author

Shabazz’s fascination to draw as a child began as a family tradition more than a hobby. Being able to provide visual interpretations for friends and family was his way of easily gaining acceptance, which was essential to being a child of the military. During his childhood, Shabazz practiced his craft, honing in on what he loved most about art: the challenge of replicating the various styles of others. However, as he matured, he came to the realization that in order to be a distinct artist he must have his own style; it was during that time he began redirecting the purpose of his art to be a voice for people who didn’t have one. Always referring back to figure drawing and sketching, Shabazz continues to perfect his style by studying Renaissance art, early animated cartoons, conventional comic strips, and human anatomy, certain that there are still secrets to be found in the art of storytelling.


Rahim Shabazz