Big Bull Benson

Created by Percy Spurlark Parker The South side of Chicago is one of the baddest parts of town, and BIG BULL BENSON, at six-six and tipping the scales at 285, is not a man to mess with, anywhere--never mind his home turf. He's a gambler with a taste for Grand-Dad and sticking his nose in … Continue reading Big Bull Benson

Hawk (A Man Called Hawk)

Created by Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) Developed for television by Stephen Hattman and William Robert Yates "You push yourself till you can't stand the pain, then you push yourself a little bit more.'' -- Hawk counsels black youth He's big, he's Black and he's mean. And he knows you didn't watch his show!!! It's generally … Continue reading Hawk (A Man Called Hawk)

Sam Cairo

Created by Gary Phillips and Manoel Magalhães Los Angeles' South Central district, 1958, and private eye SAM CAIRO is on the case, in a digital comic available exclusively on Aces Weekly, a British web site.  And that's about all I know, so far. BUT... It's scripted by Gary Phillips, a man who knows a thing or … Continue reading Sam Cairo

PaPa LaBas

Created by Ishmael Reed (1938-) Ishmael Reed's headspinning Mumbo Jumbo (1972) is mish-mash of Black pride, righteous anger, fingerpointing and, um, Footloose? It's also, if you look at it in just the right light, a private eye story. It’s the early 1920s, Warren Harding is president, membership in the Ku Klux Klan is growing, ragtime is morphing into jazz, … Continue reading PaPa LaBas

D Hunter

Created by Nelson George Stop me if you've heard this one before... Professional bodyguard D HUNTER (no period after the "D," please) is a tough, street-smart African-American cat with a penchant for wearing shades and black clothing. He's alternately angry and cryptic, distrustful of authority but, of course, stone cold fucking cool; the strong, silent … Continue reading D Hunter

Luke Cage

Created by Archie Goodwin and John Romita, Sr. "I ain't about the tights and shit..." -- Cage on why the tiara is gone, in Alias #1 A working class hero is something to be... When LUKE CAGE made his debut in Luke Cage: Hero for Hire in 1972, he was the first African-American superhero to … Continue reading Luke Cage

Ivan Monk

Created by Gary Phillips "Who's the man with the donut shop and the sense of responsibility? --Monk! --Daaamn right!" -sub-title of interview with Phillips on Troutworks   One of the more politically charged of the post-Easy Rawlins nineties mini-boom of black eyes was battle-weary, middle-class, fortyish IVAN MONK, the star of of four ambitious, highly-acclaimed and … Continue reading Ivan Monk

Ellis Mason

Created by Johnnie Mitchell It's Chicago, 1988, and low-key black P.I. ELLIS MASON's one-man agency is hired by an ex-con to check up on his girlfriend, who soon enough assumes permanent room temperature. Suddenly Ellis finds himself caught up in the case, trying to defend his client against a backdrop of murder, lies, deceit, politics … Continue reading Ellis Mason

Easy Rawlins

Created by Walter Mosley (1952--) “If I knew where I stood then I had a chance of getting where I was going.” -- Cinnamon Kiss In post-WWII Los Angeles, EZEKIEL "EASY" RAWLINS, an unemployed black vet desperate to hang on to his small house, agrees to do a little private snooping for a local gangster, … Continue reading Easy Rawlins

Leonid McGill

Created by Walter Mosley (1952--) LEONID McGILL may just be the Job of detective fiction. Walter Mosley's contemporary African-American private eye and family man (with three grown -- and at times troublesome -- children), partial to Lucky Strikes and beer, is trying to make a go of it on the decidedly mean and frequently bewildering … Continue reading Leonid McGill