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Pitch Black

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  390 Ratings  ·  100 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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Cinco Puntos Press
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Mar 06, 2010 Philip rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Oscar Wilde says, "The critic is he who can translate into another manner or new material his impression of beautiful things."

Pitch Black didn't really move me, and because of that I almost gave it a really bad review. They're easier to write, and lets face it, everyone loves a good bad review.

But I didn't want to haphazardly jot off some cursory thoughts based on a book I hadn't really given much thought to. So, I stopped and thought about it a little bit. (It may have helped that I'm re-readin
Apr 06, 2009 Raina rated it really liked it
I like unique things. This is unique.
It's a thin, long, hardcover book, so it looks a bit like a picture book. Sometimes it has panels, sometimes one illustration takes up a full two-page spread. It's autobiographical, and issue-based. I was impressed with the vulnerability and openness of the narrator. And illustrations are stunning - the black and white only adds to it. I've always lived in the same house. So one of my fantasies, growing up, was what it would be like to live somewhere else. In
Behind The Book
Jan 12, 2014 Behind The Book rated it it was amazing
Based on the true story of Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton's uncanny friendship, Pitch Black tells the story of how Landowne, a Brooklyn-based artist, meets Horton, street artist and member of the underground community known as the "mole people", on the platform of a subway stop one day. Both admiring the same piece of art, Horton asked Landowne if she was an artist. "Isn't everyone?" she replied. From there the two struck up conversation and spent an entire afternoon riding the train, uptown ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Graphic novel set almost entirely underground. This is a collaboration between children's author/illustrator Landowne, and Anthony Horton, who was homeless when they met on the subway. Black and white sketches bring beauty, but do not soft-pedal the harsh realities of Horton's life among the people and rats who take shelter in New York's subway tunnels.

Like other books from Cinco Puntos Press, this is a direct and compassionate story: simply told, with subject matter beyond the range of what mos
Jun 19, 2015 Alicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban, adult, odd, war, decisions, dark, artsy
This unique graphic novel with its long pages and black and white sketching and drawing is a blend of hard urban and creative art with the pain and issues of the homeless, those that co-exist in their hussle-bussle lives moving in and out of the subways without thinking twice, and the artists whose imagination is like breathing.

Highly recommended in the first-person narrative of living below ground in the tunnels of the subway, the friends and family you meet along the way, and the life of a st
Candice M (tinylibrarian)
Jan 21, 2009 Candice M (tinylibrarian) rated it it was amazing
"Pitch Black" is the moving true story of how author and artist Youme Landowne met co-author/co-artist Anthony Horton. Youme meets Anthony one day as she is taking the subway in New York. They start to chat and end up talking about life and art for hours. Anthony is homeless, has been since he was a teen, and lives in the subway tunnels. He tells Youme his life story, shows her the tunnels that he has lived in, and the art that he creates while down there. The text is meager but concise, and the ...more
Apr 30, 2009 Nelly rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young Adults 12-15
A book that slightly parallels how one modern African American lives below the ground in secrecy much like slaves who gained their freedom by way of the Underground Railroad. The book's illustrations are wet and often atmospherically appropriate for the subject matter, but this style is not so appealing to me. I felt as though the book was simply a vignette rather than a complete thought. The story has endless possibilities but an abrupt ending.
Jul 02, 2014 Karen added it
This is the kind of book that's hard to give a review on because it's based on a true story. Pitch Black is a short graphic novel about two artists' chance meeting on a subway platform. It's the story of the homeless man who illustrated the book (Anthony Horton), and what his life was like. The illustrations are unique--rough but still detailed. I think it's worth a read.
Apr 18, 2014 Kristin rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I was a huge fan of the film Dark Days when it first came out, and this is another great first-person story from the tunnels. Just beautiful.
A woman is standing on a busy subway platform when she is approached by a man, they discuss graffiti that she is looking at. He asks her if she is she is an artist and she confirms. They ride the subway together and this man, Anthony, tells her about his life. He was given up for adoption at a young age. He was never wanted and ended up on the streets as a teenager. The city sent him to live in a shelter.
Anthony said that the shelter was worse than living on the streets. To avoid the drug add
Oct 06, 2016 Kyle rated it it was amazing
"Just cause you can't see
Don't mean aint nothing there."

Profound little book with amazing illustrations that offers a unique perspective of race and living on the streets.
Jul 30, 2013 Brooke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs678
Non-Fiction Pitch Black
Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton
Pairing “Pitch Black” is a great compliment to the story “Yummy”. Although “Yummy” is focused more on gang life “Pitch Black” tells the story of a homeless man living under the subway in New York.
Audience I would suggest this book to any study who enjoyed reading the graphic novel “Yummy”. Students interested in comics or graphic art would also like this book.
6.24 The student will explain orally and in writing the means by which visu
Jun 08, 2013 Merrikay rated it it was amazing
I first learned about Anthony Horton when he died in a fire in his underground home in a subway tunnel in New York City.  Mr. Horton was given away by his birth parents and then spent years in the foster care system. He was involved with the criminal justice system and lived in homeless shelters.  He found the shelters to be dangerous and undesirable places.  While running from the transit police, he accidentally found the underground subway tunnel community that exists in New York, as well as ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Yasmeen rated it it was amazing
Grade/Interest level: Middle School 6-8th grade
Reading level:760 L
Genre: Graphic Novel, Autobiography
Main Characters: Anthony, Youme
Setting: New York City
POV: 3rd person, Anthony

"Pitch Black" is a graphic novel that tells us how the author and coauthor met on a subway train in New York. They have used both stunning illustrations and dialogue to tell the story of Anthony who lives in the underground subway tunnels of New York. Youme meets him on a subway ride and they connect over art and thats
This novel is about homelessness, an issue that is often overlooked in our society but is real and not minor. It is from an aspect that most people would not expect. Rather than a complaint or how homelessness sucks, this novel shows what the author actually appreciates about it. Who knew the subway tunnels of New York held more than just rats?
As a reader, I followed the story well. For such short text there is a lot of depth but I enjoyed that. I read this book about three times just to discove
Aug 20, 2014 Hollowspine rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting graphic novel, that is part biography part social commentary. I found the format of the graphic novel, long and skinny, created a tunnel like canvas for the art, and Horton often kept the art to glimpses, such as a rider on the subway would have of the passing stations and faces. Like most things in life greater understanding is found the longer one studies something, in this graphic novel readers could miss a lot if they don't examine the backgrounds, which are full ...more
Becki Iverson
Nov 18, 2015 Becki Iverson rated it it was amazing
I picked up this wonderful book after my boyfriend recommended it and wow, I am so glad I did. Homelessness is quickly becoming the next "cause of the month," and it's great that attention is being drawn to it - but not every homeless person has the same story, ergo the solutions for homelessness must be varied and complex.

This is a very different story about homelessness than what you often hear on the news, both in its resilience and it's total abandonment by society. There is nothing the man
Nov 14, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it
Pitch Black is different than any graphic novel I've ever read. The story is quite simple: one day a woman artist starts up a conversation with a man she meets in the subway. He then begins to tell her his life story, in all its pain, loss, poverty, and violence. Abandoned at birth, shuffled through foster homes, and finally dumped in a homeless shelter, the man was illiterate, uneducated, and had no future. One day when being chased by the cops for sleeping he discovers his way down into the ...more
Eileen Corbett
Oct 25, 2010 Eileen Corbett rated it really liked it
Pitch Black is a graphic novel written by the two main characters in the book, Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton. The book recounts how two unlikely friends meet. Anthony is an African American young man who lives underneath the subway system in New York city, while Youme is an educated white female. They meet in the subway station and quickly learn they are both artists. They begin to share with one another their feelings about art and life. Anthony eventually takes Youme underneath the subway ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Christiane rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Anthony Horton and Youme Landowne meet on a subway platform in New York. Both are artists, though Horton is a homeless artist living in the subway tunnels. The two hit it off and eventually collaborate on a book. The story is powerful and stark, Horton telling how he was born to people who didn't want him, and navigated a childhood on the streets, unable to read or write. The detailed black and white artwork perfectly depicts the chaos and danger of life underground. The story doesn't have a ...more
The illustrations were breathtaking and the story was powerful, but there wasn't quite enough arc or movement for me to enjoy this story as much as I wanted to.

That said, it's a 4-star concept: two artists from very different backgrounds meet on the subway, one of whom is a man who lives underground in the subway tunnels and has a tragic past. The graphic novel focuses on his story, and is told by the two of them. I love the magical concept and want to look at the carefully detailed illustration
Max Chapman
Mar 01, 2012 Max Chapman rated it liked it
The genre of this book is graphic novel.It was different because it was more like a comic.The book is about a man who is homeless and lives behind the subway. He tells his story and he went threw hard times to an artist he meets on the train. He finds out there is a whole world below the subway.I liked how the man told his whole story and you could see it.
I think they should add what happened to the man, where he is today and if he ever saw the girl again.I would give this book 3 stars. I would
Dec 11, 2012 Harris rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, library-book
As a collaboration between two artists, one homeless, "Pitch Black," packs a lot of power and impact in a short, concise work. It reflects the diverse, multicultural environment of New York City above ground and the world of those forgotten by society below it, in spite (or because) of being rendered in black and white. "Pitch Black" explores ideas of artistic expression, "home," and meaning, does not present either an idealized or a stigmatized view of the homeless. In fact, the comic opens up ...more
Sep 08, 2008 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teens/Adults
Recommended to Molly by: Ann Pechacek
Shelves: graphicnovels
It was really hard for me to deciede whether to give this a 4 or 5 star review and I may keep changing my mind. Overall this is a great book and one that I think Teens will enjoy and Adults. It is the life of a man who ends up living in the subway tunnels. It is a hard story about a hard life but there is something about the way it is written that does not leave you feeling hopeless.

I would give this to a Teen who has read Money Hungry by Sharon Flake. Or someone who is interested in the strugg
Jun 02, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
I didn't like this book nearly as much as I wanted to. Artist Youme Landowne collaborated together with Anthony Horton, a homeless man, on this story of his time living underground in the subway tunnels. I realize Landowne deliberately works in a smudged palette of blacks and grays, but I didn't find the art particularly effective. For me the story was also far too brief and lacking in detail. For adults interested in people living underground in New York, reading The Mole People. Much more enga ...more
Sep 19, 2008 Betsy rated it liked it
I'm not sure how to categorize this - graphic novel or picture book? And, I wonder who the audience will be. It is certainly a beautiful book in terms of the drawings but I didn't find that the words and pictures together made it soar as can happen with a truly amazing graphic novel. The narrative is thin and there is a message about man's inhumanity to man and seeing past the way people often present themselves.
Chili Public
Really great quick read about a guy in NYC who's lost in the system and who eventually finds that life on the streets is better than life in a shelter. On the streets he's hassled by cops and eventually his travels lead him to the subway station, where far below ground, everything is pitch black. There he finds a motley crew of homeless people who show him the ropes and eventually become a family of sorts.
Based on Anthony's real-life experiences.
Aug 04, 2010 S10_Helena rated it really liked it
Shelves: poverty
Genre: non-fiction
Format: graphic novel
Grade level: upper middle school - high school

This is a graphic novel about two artists, the authors of this novel, who meet on the platform of the subway. The African-American artist, Anthony Horton, was an orphan as a child and he grew up living on the streets. He creates a home in the underground tunnel of the subway and this is also where he creates his art.
Really great quick read about a guy in NYC who's lost in the system and who eventually finds that life on the streets is better than life in a shelter. On the streets he's hassled by cops and eventually his travels lead him to the subway station, where far below ground, everything is pitch black. There he finds a motley crew of homeless people who show him the ropes and eventually become a family of sorts.
Based on Anthony's real-life experiences.
Sep 12, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst graphic novels I have ever read. Two people meet while riding the subways, one is an educated, white woman, the other, a homeless, black man. They share a fondness for art, and the man shows the woman his canvases, which are underground in the subway tunnels. I found the story choppy, the drawing simplistic and clunky, and the storyboards challenging to follow. Not recommending.
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"Youme (Nguyễn Ly née Landowne) is an author, illustrator and community based artist who has worked internationally in Asia, Africa and the Carribbean. Winner of the 2005 Jane Addams award for her first book, Selavi (That is Life) A Haitian Story of Hope, which is now available in Haitian Kreyol, and YALSA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels in 2009 for Pitch Black (Don't Be Skerd), with Anthony Horton. ...more
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