Where I'm Coming From, by Barbara Brandon

Barbara Brandon-Croft is an American comic artist, whose best known work is 'Where I'm Coming From' (1989-2005), a newspaper comic dealing with the everyday life of black women in the United States. She holds historical significance for being the first African-American female cartoonist whose work has been syndicated on a national level. Apart from this feat she is also believed to be the only example in comic history of a daughter working alongside her father creating comics.

Early life and comics beginnings
Barbara Brandon was born in 1958 in Brooklyn, New York, as the daughter of cartoonist Brumsic Brandon Jr., who drew the comic strip 'Luther'. Indeed, her first steps in the industry occurred when she assisted her father on this series. Brandon studied Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, where she graduated in 1980. Two years later she published a comic strip in the magazine Elan, which aimed at an African-American female demographic. Later that decade the young woman was employed by Essence Magazine as a fashion and beauty writer. Further illustration work appeared in The Village Voice, MCA Records and The Crisis.

Where I'm Coming From
It wasn't until 1989 that her comic strip 'Where I'm Coming From' was published in The Detroit Free Press. The comic centers around twelve African-American female characters and how they cope with being part of two minority groups in the United States. Brandon based their personalities on herself and her friends. The comic strip is notable for its minimalistic and very verbal style. Usually only the characters' heads and hands are portrayed against a white void. This allows the reader to focus on the dialogues. In 1991, she was contracted by Universal Press Syndicate, making her the first black woman comic artist to be nationally syndicated since Jackie Ormes. Her comics have been published in two collections, titled 'Where I'm Coming From' and 'Where I'm Coming From Still'. By 2005 she discontinued the series when the subscriptions to it diminished to a mere seven newspapers, which wasn't enough to remain profitable for its backers.

Personal life
Barbara Brandon is married to jazz musician Monte Croft.

Where I'm Coming From, by Barbara Brandon

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