Pitch Black

Pitch Black

Don't Be Skerd

Book - 2008
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"[Landowne and Horton] collaborate here to bring Horton's story of perseverance and hope to print, and the fluid black-and-white sequential panels tell it well. The horrors attendant on homelessness are not sugarcoated, and the language is as raw and gritty as one might expect. Powerful."-- Kirkus Reviews

On the subway, do ever notice that people are always looking, but they only see what they want to? Things can be sitting right in front of them and still they can't see it.

That's your guide Anthony speaking. He'll show you how he lives in the tunnels underneath the New York City subway system--that is, if you'll let him. Which is exactly what Youme decided she would do one afternoon when she and Anthony began a conversation in the subway about art. It turns out that both Youme and Anthony Horton are artists. While part of Youme's art is listening long and hard to the stories of the people she meets, part of Anthony's is makingart out of what most people won't even look at. Thus began a unique collaboration and conversation between these two artists over the next year, which culminated in Anthony's biography, the graphic novel Pitch Black . With art and words from both of them, they map out Anthony's world--a tough one from many perspectives, startling and undoing from others, but from Anthony's point of view, a life lived as art.

Youme Landowne (known as Youme ) is a painter and book artist who thrives in the context of public art. She studied cross-cultural communication through art at the New School for Social Research and Friends World College. She has interned in public schools and has been a student at the Friends World College at the Nairobi and Kyoto campuses. Youme has lived in and learned from the United States, Kenya, Japan, Haiti, Laos, and Cuba. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Anthony Horton lived most of his life as a homeless artist, surviving and creating in the secret underground tributaries of the NYC subway system. On February 5, 2012 Anthony died in a fire in an abandoned subway room under the city. "Mr. Horton found solace in the blackness of the tunnels. He made the subway the subject of his canvases, the muse for a graphic novel that he co-wrote, and the place he called home for the better part of his adult life, even when he had other places to stay." -- New York Times, Feb. 6, 2012

Publisher: El Paso, TX : Cinco Puntos Press, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781933693064
Branch Call Number: 305.38 YOUME
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : all ill. ; 16 x 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Horton, Anthony 1968-


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May 22, 2012

Youme and Anthony meet at a subway platform in New York City, and find they have something in common: they are both artists. But Anthony, who has been homeless his whole life, finds shelter “six stories beneath the city,” surviving and making art in the dark underground tunnels. When he takes Youme down into his world, they begin a friendship that results in this gritty graphic biography of Anthony’s life and art.

Stark black-and-white illustrations give readers a glimpse into the dark world underneath New York City. A quick, but evocative read, this book’s fearless depiction of homelessness and the healing power of art will inspire teens and adults alike.

Starling16 Feb 08, 2012

A very moving and beautifully illustrated graphic novel. Unfortunately I found out about it by reading the 2/6/12 New York Times article announcing the co-author's death.

Nov 23, 2010

Pitch Black is a graphic novel collaboration between artist Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton, a homeless young man living in the subway tunnels of New York City. The two struck up a conversation one day while Landowne was waiting for a train, and after an exchange of art and stories, the unlikely duo decided to document Horton?s unique biography. Given up for adoption as a baby and then passed from foster home to foster home, Horton?s childhood was grim and violent. A harsh life on the city streets followed, every day a battle for survival. Then one day Horton flees from pursuing cops into a subway tunnel. Underground, Horton finally finds a place of refuge. Though a life in the dark and damp, surrounded by rats and garbage, may not sound ideal, Horton finally has the mentors and friends that he lacked growing up. He shares his story with Landowne?and with the reader?with an unflinching eye. The stark, black-and-white artwork by both Landowne and Horton shows life on the streets in all its gritty reality. But despite it all, readers will come away with a sense of hope and inspiration and a new respect for those who?whether by choice or by necessity?live their lives differently.


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