Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman CartoonistMarch 28th, 2008 | Posted by in Books
University of Michigan Press
In shops now
There is no doubt that cartoons, graphic novels and animated narratives are more popular than ever. It seems that every time you turn around, another comic is being optioned for a film. So it’s interesting to get into the history of some of these artists and their characters. Stuff like Dennis the Meance still holds up. Garfield has gathered new interest, even without the cat himself. And so, a new book caught our eye – an illustrated biography of a pioneer in the artform. Jackie Ormes stood out when few women (and far fewer African American women) were getting the opporunity to work and put their stamp on the world. With characters like Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger (nice), Ormes’ world lived on the pages of papers like the Pittsburgh Courier and Chicago Defender. Sassy little girls and Jessica Rabbit-esque ladies pair off in these single frames that would very likely end up in the funnies roundups of today. We now go to places like New York Times Week in Review and The Week for the newer comics, but Ormes’ work would have been a welcome addition to those collections.