Monday, July 2, 2007

Where are the black cartoonists?

I was thinking the other day that there are only a handful of African-American syndicated cartoonists. I'm guessing that there are less than 10 of us currently syndicated, and the numbers keep getting smarter. I went to the reception of the National Cartoonist Society (NCS) Rubens Awards ceremony and didn't find another minority face. Pretty sad. I was hoping to bump into Morrie Turner or Robb Armstrong. Didn't find another brutha except the one in the mirror. It was a messed up situation. I have to do more research on the topic, but if anybody knows of the actual number I'd really like to know.


hungrydog said...

Firstly, I think Cafe con Leche is great -well written, great art. Can we see some more art on your blog please?

This reminds me of the debate I used to have with people over why there weren't more women cartoonists (the US is ahead of the UK/NZ on this one). Is it that the cartooning profession is less welcoming for women, or is it that women are less inclined to draw cartoons? Either way, things have changed and you do now see a lot more female cartoonists, although they do tend to focus on female issues/situations like relationship strips.

Do you think that the number of black cartoonists will grow and that they will branch out into subjects that aren't black? Right now there is a need to cover those subjects, but it would be nice to get to a point where the cartooning world is colour and gender blind.

Charlos Gary said...

You make some good points. The blog is relatively new, but you'll see more artwork in a few days...

D. D. Degg said...

Don't know if this is the actual number, but here are the syndicated black cartoonists I know about.
Morrie Turner
Robb Armstrong
Keith Knight
Stephen Bentley
Darrin Bell
Cory Thomas
Steve Watkins
and Ray Billingsley (who was at Orlando).
Oh, and Charlos Gary.

Charlie Brubaker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Brubaker said...

The lack of diversity is more noticable in the editorial cartooning field. You're lucky if a white WOMAN can become an editorial cartoonist in one form or another.

I admit, this subject interests me, being a 1st generation Japanese-American (despite my not-so Japanese name). Although the huge manga/anime fad going on may help me someday (despite my cartoon style not to Japanese looking)

MorrieTurnerFilm said...

Dear Charlos,

It's a pleasure to have found you online. For over 4 years, I have assisted Heaven Sent Productions, as Associate Prod. and Researcher, in producing the documentary "Keeping the Faith With Morrie"; about the life and work of pioneer cartoonist Morrie Turner. We would love to interview you when we visit New York to film interviews.

We are hosting a silent auction fundraiser at Comic-Con 2007 to raise funding to complete the film. Morrie is a special guest at the convention and Sergio Aragones will interview him at 1PM, Room 3, on Thursday, July 26.

Please post this info. on your website. Feel free to contact me at Blessings, Charles.

Dear Friends of "Keeping the Faith With Morrie",

On behalf of Heaven Sent Productions and Morrie Turner, I contact you seeking donations for our silent auction fundraiser at Comic-Con 2007.

The proceeds will benefit the documentary film "Keeping the Faith With Morrie" and the "Keeping the Faith Tour" outreach program for public schools. The film documents the life and work of pioneer cartoonist Morrie Turner. With Morrie as the centerpiece, the film chronicles the unknown history of minority comic strip and political cartoonists (e.g. George Herriman (Krazy Kat), Dale Messick (Brenda Starr, Reporter), Gus Arriola (Gordo), Antonio Prohias (Spy vs. Spy), Ollie Harrington (Dark Laughter/Bootsie)) and ethnic and gender images in the comics.


Please send a jpg. image of your comic art by Friday, July 20th. We ask donors to please send jpg. images to Images will be uploaded and displayed on an online silent auction page, hosted by Ebay.

Upon receipt of payment, we will furnish all donors with contact information for their respective auction item winner. Thereafter, donors will send their art to the winners. All art purchased at $250 or more, is tax- deductible through the International Documentary Association (IDA), our 501 (c) (3) non-profit fiscal sponsor. (

If our request is not convenient for you, feel free to send the art to the address below by the Friday, July 20 deadline date:





Monetary donations are always accepted, as well! Donations of $250.00 or more are tax-deductible through the IDA.

Thank you very much for lending your talent and support to this historical film. Your participation really means a great deal to Heaven Sent Productions and Morrie Turner! Have a blessed day!

Warm regards,

Charles Davis, Associate Producer/Researcher



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