Barbara Brandon Cartoon Career Illustrated

While comics have appeared in print since the late 1800s, it wasn’t until 1989 that “Black women characters drawn by a Black woman’s hand have been given a voice on the comics page in the mainstream press,” says cartoonist Barbara Brandon-Croft. Thirty-four years ago, her comic strip, “Where I’m Coming From,” was first published in the Detroit Free Press. Two years later—after she published an incisive letter about the lack of diversity in comics—Brandon-Croft’s work was picked up by the Universal Press Syndicate, making her the first Black woman to have her work nationally syndicated in mainstream newspapers.

© Barbara Brandon-Croft

In this month’s Drawn to MoMA, the renowned cartoonist looks back on how her journey in comics started with her father, Brumsic Brandon Jr., who “by far left the biggest impression.”

Barbara Brandon-Croft illustrated her journey from daughter to drawer for MoMA Magazine.

From the June 11, 1989 Detroit Free Press: