paper trail

BuzzFeed plans to go public; Charles Johnson on the art of comics

Charles Johnson. Photo:  Lynette Huffman Johnson.

BuzzFeed news is merging with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners so that it can be traded publicly. The internet media company is aiming for a valuation of $1.5 billion and plans to acquire other digital publications, beginning with Complex Network.

At LitHub, an excerpt from a new comics collection, It’s Life as I See It: Black Cartoonists in Chicago 1940–1980. In one of the book’s introductory essays, Charles Johnson writes about his early days as an artist and why he still loves comics: “As a writer, I think visually, and no creative pleasure is greater for me than the physical (as well as mental) process of comic art.”

Saeed Jones has signed a contract for his new book, Alive at the End of the World, with Coffee House Press.

For the New Yorker, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes an in-depth review of Elizabeth Hinton’s America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s. Taylor observes that Hinton “challenges the dismissal of what she describes as the ‘violent turn’ in Black protest, forging new ground in our understanding of the tactics employed by African-Americans in response to the extralegal violence of white police and residents and the unresolved issues of racial and economic inequality.”

The era of the in-flight magazine is coming to a close.

Curator, author, and professor Nicole R. Fleetwood—author of Marking Time Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration—has been hired as the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor at NYU.