January 22, 1963 |
New York City
|Awards||Glyph Awards, 2013|
Jerry Craft (born January 22, 1963, in New York City) is an American cartoonist and children's book illustrator best known for his syndicated newspaper comic strip Mama's Boyz. Craft is one of only a handful of syndicated African American cartoonists in the US.
Craft worked for twelve years as a copywriter for various advertising agencies, during which time he also got his first comics work on projects for Marvel Comics and Harvey Comics. Moving on to King Features Syndicate, Craft spent eight years writing sales brochures. This connection with King Features led to the syndication of Craft's Mama's Boyz beginning in 1995.
Craft performs regular cartooning workshops at schools, camps, and libraries.
Mama's Boyz follows the lives of African American single mother Pauline Porter and her two teenage sons Tyrell and Yusuf. Other characters include Pauline's brother Greg and their parents.
Mama's Boys is the outgrowth of a prior strip called The Outside View, which Craft first self-syndicated in 1987. In 1990, he adapted some elements of The Outside View to create Mama's Boyz, which he self-syndicated to New York's The City Sun and eventually a number of other weekly papers across the country. In 1995, Mama's Boyz was picked up for weekly syndication by King Features.
Mama's Boyz has been praised in Great Books for African American Children, and featured in Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing. The Mama's Boyz characters also act as official "spokescharacters" of the American Diabetes Association's African-American Program.
- Glyph Awards, 2013 — Best Comic Strip or Webcomic
- American Diabetes Association Outstanding Supporter Award (2x)
- African American Literary Awards Show Open Book Awards, 2004 and 2009
- “Conversation Starter” award, 2007 — DC Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy
- National Cartoonists Society — nominated
- (written with Jaylen Craft & Aren Craft) The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention! (Mama's Boyz, Inc., 2014)
Mama's Boyz collections
- As American as Sweet Potato Pie! (American Publishing Company, 1997)
- Home Schoolin’ – Because Learning Shouldn’t Stop at 3 O’Clock (Mama's Boyz, Inc., 2007) — endorsed by both Teachers Against Prejudice and Comics in the Classroom
- The Big Picture: What you Need to Succeed! (Mama's Boyz, Inc., 2010)
- (with writer Lori Nelson) Hillary’s Big Business Adventure (Nelson Publishing, 2008)
- (with writer Margo Candelario) Looking to the Clouds for Daddy (Karen Hunter Media, 2009)
- (with writer David Miller) Khalil's Way (Urban Leadership Institute, 2012)
- Craft entry, Lambiek's Comiclopedia. Accessed Jan. 22, 2014.
- "Mama's Boyz" (interview), News 8 WTNH website (Feb. 15, 2010).
- "Book Lovers Corner: "The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!" News 8 WNTH website (Nov. 7, 2013).
- Edwards, Gwen. "Our Lives 9/28," News 12 Connecticut website (Sept. 27, 2013).
- "Cartoonist Jerry Craft Publishes New Book," King Features website (Feb. 24, 2010).