Barbara Brandon-Croft

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Barbara Brandon-Croft
Born (1958-11-27) November 27, 1958 (age 60)
Brooklyn, New York
OccupationComic strip Illustrator
Notable worksWhere I'm Coming From

Barbara Brandon-Croft (born November 27, 1958[1]) is an American cartoonist,[2] best known for creating the comic strip, Where I'm Coming From, and for being the first nationally syndicated African-American female cartoonist.[3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Brandon-Croft was born in Brooklyn, New York,[1] to Brumsic Brandon Jr.. Her father was also a cartoonist and he was the creator of the comic strip Luther which was in circulation from 1970 to 1986 under the Los Angeles Times Syndicate newspapers.[3][6][7] She and her father are said to represent the only occurrence of father-daughter newspaper cartoonists.[3]

She attended the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.[1] In 1982, she developed a cartoon feature for Elan, a magazine for black women.[1] She later joined the staff of Essence magazine as their fashion and beauty writer. She also did illustrations for The Crisis, published by the NAACP, The Village Voice, and MCA Records.[6]

Brandon Croft's illustrating talent had developed naturally. Growing up she helped her father with his comics in exchange for allowance.[1] She was first recognized for the comic strip Where I'm Coming From. She later did other illustrations including Sista Girl-Fren Breaks It Down...When Mom's Not Around.[1] Brandon Croft also created a line of illustrated greeting cards for OZ.[1]

Where I'm Coming From[edit]

Brandon-Croft started publishing Where I'm Coming From beginning in 1989 in the Detroit Free Press.[3][8] The comic strip traces the experiences of about twelve African-American women[3][5] and gives insight into the challenges of being an African American woman living in the United States.[8] It features characters such as Alisha, Cheryl, Lekesia, Nicole and others.[5][6][7] The characters are based on Brandon and her real-life friends.[1][6][7]

The artwork is minimalistic.[1] There is an absence of backdrop drawings, with the focus solely on the characters who are represented by drawings of their upper torso.[1] Speech bubbles are also omitted and the characters address the reader directly.[1]

Where I'm Coming From went into national syndication in 1991 with the Universal Press Syndicate[8] making Brandon-Croft the first female black cartoonist to be nationally syndicated.[3][6][8][9] It was the first comic strip by a black woman to be syndicated in mainstream newspapers.[10] The comic strip was featured in more than sixty newspapers between 1989 and 2004.[3][7] It appeared in newspapers throughout the United States, including Essence, The Sacramento Bee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Baltimore Sun, as well as in The Gleaner in Jamaica and the Johannesburg Drum magazine.[1][3][7] Brandon-Croft ceased publication of the comic strips in 2005 after subscriptions dwindled.[9][11]

Brandon-Croft and her father's work are both represented in the Library of Congress and in editions of Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Brandon-Croft is married to Monte Croft, with whom she has one child, Chase, and reside in Queens, New York.[11][12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Otfinoski, Steven (2003). African Americans in the Visual Arts. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 9781438107776.
  2. ^ Maurice Charney, ed. (2005). Comedy: A Geographic and Historical Guide, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 131. ISBN 9780313327148.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Black Comic Book Day: Barbara Brandon-Croft - Where I'm Coming From". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Toni Morrison Among Lates Medal Of Freedom Honorees". April 30, 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Where I'm Coming From Sampler". The Lakeland Ledger. August 2, 1994. p. 6B.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Barbara Brandon Croft (1958-)". Source: Black Women in America, pp. 161-62; Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 3, pp. 16-17. October 24, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2014.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e "'Coloring Outside the Lines: Black Cartoonists as Social Commentators' exhibit to open at Laney". Oakland Local. August 6, 2010. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Astor, Dave (8 March 2005). "End is Near for Groundbreaking 'Where I'm Coming From'".
  9. ^ a b "Barbara Brandon-Croft Ending Strip". Comics Reporter. March 9, 2005. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  10. ^ Wolk, Douglas (March 30, 2008). "Origin Story". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b "Barbara Brandon". Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  12. ^ a b C.,, Howard, Sheena. Encyclopedia of black comics. Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.,, Priest, Christopher J. (Christopher James), 1961-. Golden, CO. ISBN 9781682751015. OCLC 974683696.


  • Brandon, Barbara (Apr 10, 1993). Where I’M Coming From. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 96.
  • Ahmed-Cawthorne, Francheska; Brandon, Barbara,illustrator (1996). Sista’ Girlfren’ Breaks It Down When Mom’s Not Around. Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Further reading[edit]

Jackson, Tim (2016). Pioneering cartoonists of color. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781496804853.

External links[edit]