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Ben Passmore is an Ignatz Award-winning and Eisner-nominated cartoonist whose mini-comic “Your Black Friend” has become one of the most cogent statements about systemic racism available. Last year BTTM FDDRS, his collaboration with Ezra Claytan Daniels about horror and gentrification, was another thought-provoking hit, as was Sports is Hell from earlier this year.

He’s just moved on to an even bigger platform. As announced today, his upcoming book Black Arms to Hold You Up has just sold at auction for six figures to editor Tim O’Connell at Pantheon. The deal was repped by Chad Luibl at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. I’m told 10 different publishers were involved in the auction, making it one of the most hotly sought after books of recent months.

The book will be a graphic history of six black activists and their armed resistance against racism and the police state. I expect when it comes out, we’ll be talking about it a lot.

Ben Passmore has long been an important voice in the indie comics scene, able to translate complicated emotions and conflicts into clear, passionate comics. It’s important to see graphic novels getting this kind of attention from the mainstream publishing world — and even more important to have Black cartoonists being seen.

Passmore is repped for film and media rights by Kim Yau at Echo Lake Management.

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