|Orrin C. Evans
Orrin Cromwell Evans was born in Steelton, Pennsylvania. Evans’s mother, Maude, was the first African American to graduate from Williamsport Teacher’s College.
After the war, the owners of the Record responded to a prolonged labor action by shutting the paper down for good.
In 1947, Orrin C. Evans would become the first African American publisher of comic books, joining forces with his former editor, Harry T. Saylor, to launch All-Negro Comics. The first issue featured art by Evans’s brother, George J. Evans Jr. and black artists from Philadelphia and Baltimore. The book’s content was a grab-bag of detective, humor, and adventure stories, fea- turing characters like Lion Man, Li’l Eggie, and Ace Harlem. Time magazine said All-Negro Comics was “the first to be drawn by negro artists and peopled entirely by negro characters.” Although a second issue was prepared, it never saw print. Newsprint vendors refused to sell to Evans, and the series was abandoned. Soon after, mainstream publishers began publishing comic books (like Fawcett’s Negro Romance), targeted at a black readership.
Evans returned to newspapers, working at the Chester Times and the Philadelphia Bulletin.
research by Kevin Dougherty
|my original pencil sketch of Evans
The entire issue can be viewed here:
More Heroes of the Comics can be ordered here:
thanks to John Wendler and Kevin Dougherty