Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures

Books / Debut Books

Yvan Alagbé is one of the most innovative and provocative artists in the world of comics. In the stories gathered in Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures—drawn between 1994 and 2011, and never before available in English—he uses stark, endlessly inventive black-and-white brushwork to explore love and race, oppression and escape. It is both an extraordinary experiment in visual storytelling and an essential, deeply personal political statement.

With unsettling power, the title story depicts the lives of undocumented migrant workers in Paris. Alain, a Beninese immigrant, struggles to protect his family and his white girlfriend, Claire, while engaged in a strange, tragic dance of obsession and repulsion with Mario, a retired French Algerian policeman. It is already a classic of alternative comics, and, like the other stories in this collection, becomes more urgent every day.

This NYRC edition is an oversized paperback with French flaps, printed endpapers, and extra-thick paper, and features new English hand-lettering and a brand-new story, exclusive to this edition.

Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures
By Yvan Alagbé, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith
120 Pages, US$22.95, B&W
Published by The New York Review of Comics

A timely collection about race and immigration in Paris by one of France’s most revered cult comic book artists. Alagbé uses stark, endlessly inventive black-and-white brushwork to explore love and race, oppression and escape.
Publishers Weekly

Nègres is one of those works that becomes emblematic not just of its publisher, but of a particular moment in comics. Where the individual parts just click, where every creative decision feels right and supports the author’s intent, while retaining the spark of youthful ambition…. The book…deserves attention. It is a bold and nakedly intense effort to represent the way bereavement may trigger memories, dreams, and rationalization, as well as to describe how, like it or not, family dictates our lives.
The Comics Journal

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