Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist

goldstein Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman CartoonistUniversity of Michigan Press
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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.

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Author: JP

JP SARNI is a producer and writer who holds a BFA in Media and Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design. Producer credits include: "Heartland" (short / set to premiere at the 2007 San Francisco International Gay & Lesbian Fim Festival), "The Launch" (short), readings of the rock opera "Utah's Crying" under his Métropole Ink production entity, plus "Play Ball! A Trilogy of Baseball Films" (associate producer) and "Flashback" (producer / showcase production) for Weird Sisters. For two years, he worked as a producer and on-air reporter for SIRIUS Satellite Radio (on programs including "The Judith Regan Show"). He has just finished line producing the feature-length documentary, The Pennhurst Project, for Radioaktivefilm NYC (The Ground Truth), and will next be line producing Charles Forbes' Minor Gods for the Summer Play Festival at Theatre Row. Additionally, he has worked for legendary publicist Bobby Zarem, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and numerous film production credits, including: Alfie, WTC View, and the upcoming P.S., I Love You.

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