Women in Comics NYC Collective International: Women’s History Month Spotlights - Barbara Brandon-Croft

Since Kelly and I are doing our Female Creators countdown this week, I didn't have time to do spotlights on female-created comics like I normally like to do in March. Instead, though, I asked the nifty comic book writer Regine L. Sawyer to do some spotlights on fellow members of her Women In Comics NYC Collective. - BC

Barbara Brandon-Croft is first and foremost the proud daughter of Brumsic Brandon, Jr., creator of the 1960’s comic strip, “Luther” as well as the first African American cartoonist to be nationally syndicated. Barbara is a renowned comic strip creator and artist in her own right; following in her fathers footsteps, she is the first and only African American female cartoonist to be nationally and internationally syndicated in the mainstream press.

In 1989 when her comic strip, “Where I’m Coming From” debuted in the Detroit Free Press, it was later picked up by Universal Press Syndicate in 1991 and distributed internationally until 2005. The cartoon strip depicted the lives of a diverse group of African American women; from an activist, to a single mother, to a business owner. The body of work in and of itself was meant to explore the lives and relationships of these various women as way to connect universal themes amongst diverse communities.

One of the most interesting aspects of “Where I’m Commin’ From” when it debuted was how Barbara chose to depict her characters; she drew them as heads and would occasionally add arms; taking any and all focus away from their bodies. This was a conscious decision for Barbara, who was tired of seeing women being measured by the sum of their parts in the multi-media industry. Although it has been almost 10 years since “Where I’m Commin’ From” was last circulated, its legacy continues to resonate with women in working in the Comic Book industry. Currently, Barbara is the Senior Research Editor at Parenting Magazine, but she has hinted at the possibility of revamping her beloved comic strip for the next generation.

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