Produced in New York in 1958, cartoonist Barbara Brandon became the very first African American female to own a nationally syndicated comic strip. Brandon subsequently worked briefly for Elan magazine and after that became a beauty and style writer for Essence magazine. In 1989, she started her comic strip Where I am Coming From in the Detroit Free Press. Brandon could take the strip national couple of years. Where I am Coming From ran in papers until 2005. Produced in The Big Apple on November 27, 1958, cartoonist Barbara Brandon made history as the very first African American girl to own a nationally syndicated comic strip. Her dad created the Luther comic strip, which he began in the 1960s.
Brandon pursued her own curiosity about the artwork as a student at Syracuse University. Not long after graduation, Brandon got work at creating cartoons to get a magazine called Elan. The publication, sadly, went out of business before her work could appear. Brandon afterwards became a fashion and beauty writer for Essence magazine. The strip featured a different number of African American girls—from activist Lekesia to single mom and company owner Lydia.
Brandon got a development contract with Universal Press Syndicate to take her comic strip into a national audience. In 1991, Where I am Coming From began to appear in papers all over the united states. In a interview with Editor & Publisher, she said, “I Have received letters from those who say the characters kind of remind them of themselves. That is the very best compliment you are able to get.”
In the drawing of Where I am Coming From, Brandon selected to focus just on the characters’ heads and hands. It was a conscious choice by Brandon. As she described to Editor & Publisher, “I am a little tired of how girls are depicted in videos, auto advertising and elsewhere. We are constantly summed up by our anatomies. I simply need to give us a bit more dignity.” By 2005, however, interest in Where I am Coming From had waned. It was just being carried by seven papers when Brandon made a decision to terminate the strip. After 14 years, in March 2005, she released her last Where I am Coming From strip.