book review: Pitch Black: don’t be skerd

title: Pitch Black: Don’t Be Skerd

author: Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton

date: Cinco Puntos Press, 2008


YALSA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels in 2009

reading level: 3.1

They meet on a subway in New York City and although they have little else in common, Youme and Anthony discover they are both artists. Anthony shares the story of his life with Youme: how he learned to survive in the streets with neither family nor education and how by seeing things most of us ignore. I don’t think we realize how we’re trained to see what we see around us based on our situation in life.

Youme tells Anthony’s story in terse text and black and white drawings that take us six stories beneath the subway system where Anthony lives. There is no judgement or attempt to change Youme’s life, this story is just a slice of who Anthony is, a validation of his existence.

Our memories

and dreams

walk beside us,

informing everything

we think we see

we are scavengers

of stories.

we seek

hidden messages

of hope and find them.

we gather evidence

of resistance to

oppression and despair.