Sally here with comics by Ben Passmore, Whit Taylor, Robb Armstrong, Stephen Bentley, Morrie Turner, and many more!
The African American Literature Book Club (AALBC) has a page on their site devoted to nationally syndicated cartoonists of African decent. They list 12 cartoonists who have/had strips in newspapers or available via online syndicates, and include bios and information about each of them. I’m not sure when the page was last updated (some of the info listed under “Where to Submit Your Portfolio” is a bit outdated) but it’s a good reference nonetheless. Check out the list HERE.
Here’s a recent strip by Stephen Bentley. Herb and Jamaal also appears daily on GoComics – read it HERE. Bentley made comics while he was in the Navy, then worked in advertising for a long time before starting to draw Herb and Jamaal in 1998.
The AALBC list also includes Barbara Brandon, creator of Where I’m Coming From, and daughter of Brumsic Brandon Jr. I wrote about Barbara a few weeks ago, and about her father and his Luther strip before that.
Brumsic Brandon Jr. isn’t mentioned on the AALBC list, but Morrie Turner is. He created the first syndicated comic strip that featured integrated characters – Wee Pals. It wasn’t particularly well received when it came out in 1965, running in only one paper – but after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. the strip rose in readership and found its way into over 100 papers. (Brumsic Brandon Jr.’s Luther also rode that wave, coming out in 1968.)
It was Charles Schulz, a friend and mentor of Morrie Turner’s, who encouraged him to draw a strip with integrated characters, after Turner pointed out the lack of one in the papers of the day. Schulz shared his contacts from the world of syndication, and the strip eventually took off. You can read more about Turner, and his barrier-breaking comics, in this New York Times tribute.
Whit Taylor has a comic on The New Yorker – Things That Should Come With Trail Periods – one such thing is shown above. There are many more things HERE.
More on the Comics Web
- Ben Passmore has a comic on The Nib about Whose Free Speech? Black Lives Matter, the ACLU, and Respectability Politics.
- Check out the work of Gado, a Tanzanian political cartoonist who lays claim to being the most syndicated cartoonist in East and Central Africa – his comics and bio can be found HERE.
- Here’s work by Zimbabwean cartoonist Tony Namate for you – he’s survived bomb attacks on the Daily Nation twice, and hasn’t given up on comics yet. A slideshow of his work can be viewed HERE.
- In fact, here is a whole list of the Top 10 Cartoonists in Africa.
- Here’s an article about how Aboriginal characters and ideas appear in numerous mainstream comic books, but are rarely created by Aboriginal artists or writers – lots of pictures and some interesting reading.
- One creator mentioned in the above article is Brenton E. McKenna, a Yawuru artist and writer who made the series Ubby’s Underdogs – check it out HERE.
Suzy and Cecil – 11-2-2017 – by Gabriella Tito