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Billie Holiday: The Graphic Novel

Women in Jazz

Foreword by Keith Knight
Published by Fantoons
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Dive into the celebrated life of “Lady Day” with this fully-illustrated graphic novel that tells the story of Billie Holiday’s rapid—and, at times, grueling—rise to become one of the best musicians who ever lived.

From her days as a young entertainer performing for small jazz clubs in Harlem, to headlining sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, every trouble and triumph of Billie Holiday's bold, influential career is featured in this graphic novel from Fantoons.

Throughout the book’s 144 pages of dazzling color illustrations, readers will revisit Billie’s peak years as she helped lead the transition from the Harlem Renaissance to the iconic Swing Era alongside some of the top names in jazz—including Artie Shaw, Lester Young, and Count Basie.

Meanwhile, readers will learn the true history behind the making and recording of some of Billie’s most-classic hits, like “God Bless the Child,” and “Strange Fruit,” the latter of which is considered to be the first protest song of the civil rights era.

Widely recognized as one of the greatest jazz singers of all time, Billie’s emotive voice, distinct phrasing, and flawless technique cemented her place as an American icon. Now, new and longtime fans alike have the opportunity to learn more about Lady Day’s short but spectacular life.

At a time when the country is struggling with issues involving identity and race, this graphic novel provides a timely look into the fascinating life of a fighter, survivor, and world-renowned artist.

About The Authors

Ebony Gilbert is the co-author of Women in Jazz Graphic Novels: Billie Holiday. Strongly impacted by the poverty, violence, and drug use she witnessed as a child living in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, Ebony has devoted her life to using the written word to highlight marginalized communities, give a voice to the voiceless, and capture the experiences of the disenfranchised. 

While in high school, Ebony served as a frequent contributor to the Miami Herald and the Miami Times, where she published stories that called out the systemic racism and inequality facing minority youth. After earning a degree in English from the University of Florida, where she researched Black women in media, Ebony moved to Los Angeles and interned for a variety of high-profile media companies, including BET, The Queen Latifah Show, and Overbrook, Will Smith’s production company, all while earning her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University.

In addition to co-writing and directing complex[ion] woman, an award-winning play that explores the intricacies of Black womanhood, Ebony was named a 2018 Writer to Watch by WeForShe. She currently works as a story editor on The CW’s Batwoman.

Originally from Caracas, David Calcano has been fusing still and moving pictures with music to craft meaningful stories for over a decade, as the Chief Creative Officer of Fantoons Animation Studios. He’s written for the page and screen, as well as directed animation for the likes of Disney, Publicis, Rush, Motörhead, Nat King Cole, Iron Maiden, Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, The Beach Boys, Johnny Ramone…the list goes on and on!

His creative output includes: award-Winning Animated music videos, advertising spots, album Packages, concert Visuals, and critically-acclaimed books. Beyond his professional delivery, David is a massive music fan with a collection of over 10,000 records…and counting.



Product Details

  • Publisher: Fantoons (April 20, 2021)
  • Length: 148 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781970047134

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