Torchy Brown, by Jackie Ormes

Jackie Ormes, by most accounts, became the first nationally syndicated black woman cartoonist in 1937. Her 'Torchy Brown' series first appeared in the black-owned Pittsburgh Courier in 1937. Ormes' strips depicted blacks in a very different fashion than was the norm of her day. In 1940, the strip was stopped, and Jackie Ormes dedicated herself to two single-panel cartoons, 'Candy' and 'PattyJo 'n' Ginger'. 'Torchy Brown' reappeared in 1950, titled 'Torchy Brown's Heartbeats'. Just like Dale Messick's 'Brenda Starr', Torchy Brown got in all kinds of adventures. Jackie Ormes also included paper dolls in her Sunday pages, called 'Torchy's Togs'. Unfortunately, Ormes' success was limited, because her cartoons were only printed in black-owned newspapers. Jackie Ormes is truly an unsung heroine of American cartooning.

Torchy's Togs, by Jackie Ormes 1950

Jackie Ormes site

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