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Posts tagged "Jackie Ormes"

theladybadass:

Jackie Ormes (August 1, 1911 – December 26, 1985) is known as the first African American female cartoonist. Her strips, featuring the lovable characters Torchy Brown, Candy, Patty-Jo, and Ginger, appeared in the Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier in the 1930s - 1950s. 

Jackie Ormes said, “No more…Sambos…Just KIDS!” and she transformed her attractive, spunky Patty-Jo cartoon character into the first upscale American black doll. At long last, here was an African American doll with all the play features children desired: playable hair, and the finest and most extensive wardrobe on the market, with all manner of dresses, formals, shoes, hats, nightgowns, robes, skating and cowgirl costumes, and spring and winter coat sets, to name a few. (Jackie Ormes Online)

I finally got Nancy Goldstein’s biography of Jackie Ormes for Christmas, and it’s fascinating stuff. I love that we have this video (or gifset of a video) of her at work. It is rare enough to see footage of any women cartoonists from this era, even fewer with merchandise based on their work. Jackie Ormes’s importance to the history of both women cartoonists and black cartoonists cannot be understated.

(via comicbookslumberparty)

Check out this old newsreel footage profiling Jackie Ormes, the first syndicated African-American woman cartoonist. As stated in the beginning of the footage, the newsreel was produced by “One Tenth of a Nation”, an African-American company dedicated to profiling achievements by African-Americans. I find it especially interesting that half of the people they chose to profile were women— gender parity in the 1950s was far from the norm. 

The Ormes Society Wants You!

ormessociety:

Are you a black woman working in the field of comics as an artist, writer, letterer, or editor? Are you a creator working on a comic that prominently features a black female character? The Ormes Society would like to hear from you! Drop us a line at theormessociety@gmail.com!

Signal boost!  I’ve found some great creators through this list and am keen to find more!

Reviewsy Bits

I’m going back through links that I’ve saved since January, so some of these may be a blast from the past, but hopefully most of them are exposing you to a comic you missed!

  • The Beat has an advanced review of Saga #1
  • Zoe/Wolverina reviews Womanthology on her podcast “How I Got My Boyfriend To Read Comics”!
  • The OuthousersBleedingCoolKelly Thompson and Blog@Newsarama on Grace Randolph’s Supurbia #1
  • Arthur and Posy, and indie comic from the UK, written by Ella Risbridger, earned this praise from Forbidden Planet:
    I’ve got to say, I was pretty much sold on it from the start. There’s a sweetness here, a delightful innocence about the pair. It’s got the feel of a somewhat off-kilter children’s book. Albeit a children’s book that looks like it’s going to be messing around with all sorts of gender roles and religious prejudices. And I’m intrigued and involved with the characters after just this short first issue to want to know much more.
  • Forbidden Planet has also looked at Karrie Fransman’s ambitious The House that Groaned, Magda Boreysza’s “dreamlike and beautiful” Toasty Cats #6, Jenika Ioffreda’s quirky gothic love story Vampire Free Style #6, Maura McHugh’s Róisín Dubh #2 (with “Celtic zombie-slaying action”), and Leeann Hamiliton’s “remarkably clever” Irish myth-inspired Finn & Fish.
  • Jamaica Dyer guest-posted on Robot 6, and she had this to say about the first Conan the Barbarian issue from Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan:
    I picked up the first issue of the new Conan the Barbarian, and I’m kind of bummed out by how cool it is. Becky Cloonan’s art is amazing, Brian Wood’s writing is compelling, and not only is Conan pretty fun to look at, but the Queen is dead-hot. The fantasy sequences are really well-done, though the action sequences are a little hard to follow. Why am I bummed out by it? Because I was dreaming of doing an indie adaptation of Conan, and it appears that the king and queen of indie comics just took up the mantle. You know what they say, “Conan, what is best in life? …”
  • J. Caleb Mozzocco found Nancy Goldstein’s Jackie Ormes biography excellent despite its limitations due to lack of primary sources
  • Johanna Draper Carlson recommends Faith Erin Hicks’s Friends with Boys.
  • Pink Raygun's Lisa “Alpha-Girl” Fary has some thought-provoking criticism of Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius Omnibus vol. 1
  • iFanboy says that Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman’s Heathentown is “undead horror born again on the bayou, perfect for anybody looking for the modern response to Creepy and other classic black & white tales of terror.”
  • Spandexless says of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema’s Dawn of the Jedi #1, ”For a first issue, it’s a well done beginning to a new chapter in the Star Wars saga, and though it has many elements that have been done before, when has that ever stopped anyone from enjoying more Star Wars?”
  • And Greg Burgas of “Comics Should Be Good” takes a look at Mary and Bryan Talbot’s Dotter of her Father’s Eyes.

Black History Month is wonderful. But the best thing about our history is that it’s not going anywhere. It’ll be there for us whenever we need it. But the present? That can slip through our hands like water if we don’t pay attention—water that can thin the “gumbo” and dilute its flavor.

So, for the next twenty-eight days, I propose we kick off a celebration of Black Present Month by gifting ourselves with wonderful creations by inspired artists and writers currently putting pen to paper and digit to keyboard. What’s out there now that we can pluck from the shelves or add to our feeds?

And for those of us who feel the drive to create as well as consume? Well, a Black Future Month is in order. The pot’s waiting.

Throw something new in it.

Cheryl Lynn “Digital Femme” Eaton

Cheryl Lynn is the founder of the Ormes Society, an organization supporting black female comics creators, characters, and consumers.  Her work has been invaluable to the development of the Black Creators category at the Women in Comics Wiki, and I support her proposal 100%.

The Ormes Society

gailsimone:

I talked about this a little bit, earlier. Here’s some follow up, that I hope you will read through.


Basically, a lovely interview went up today featuring the great Digital Femme, Cheryl Lynn Eaton. Cheryl is a writer and commentator who is vastly knowledgeable about black female creators and characters in comics. A comics fan herself, she has had a predictably up and down relationship with the lack of diversity both in the comics and behind the scenes. She’s been writing brilliantly about the topic for years, and is a real hero of mine.

But talking about it wasn’t enough for her, so she formed the Ormes Society, named after the first known black female cartoonist in comics. The group promotes positive work by women of color, and featuring female characters of color. Like its founder, the group is smart, sharp, and fearless.  There’s a website right here, which I strongly urge you to check out:  Theormessociety.com

Check it out, there’s good information there that could always use some more exposure, like creators who are worth discovering and characters who deserve attention.  Right now, and I admit I had no idea this was the case, the current update on the front page features two of my own characters, The Ferocious Lindo Sisters, but take a bit of time and look around and explore, there’s great information and a ton of important links.

This is both great information and wonderful activism, I love what the Ormes Society does to promote and encourage visibility. Really, go look. Spread the link around. 

Every year, I meet more and more women of color who want to make comics. The Ormes Society shows it can be done, and provides important encouragement by example. People like this are what will change the face of comics to match the readership, and I bless them for it.

Go look!  TheOrmesSociety.com

While I am at it, I somehow didn’t notice that the interview was conducted by ANOTHER favorite commentator of mine, who also happens to be WOC, the great Erica D. Peterman, who has a great website I really love at:  Girls-Gone-Geek.com

Sorry, Erica, I don’t know how I missed it!

The interview and both websites are all great reading. Please go enjoy, and then spread the word!  Thanks! And thanks to Cheryl and Erica, both of whom hung the moon, as far as I am concerned!


Black Women In Comics

gailsimone:

For the past several years, the great Cheryl Lynn, a.k.a. Digital Femme, has been talking extensively about black female characters and creators in comics. She comes at the issue from a place that is both just and informed, and she makes devastatingly good points on those occasions where she talks on the subject.

To that end, she formed the Ormes Society, named after the first known African American female cartoonist. I’ve been following Cheryl for years, she was one of the influences of Thomasina Lindo, the lead character in my Welcome to Tranquility series, for her honesty and willingness to state the truth plainly despite the usual crap that people always feel the need to hurl at anyone who does so.

In short, she’s f***ing awesome.

Here’s an interview with her. You should read it.

http://geekout.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/28/african-american-women-take-on-the-comic-book-industry/

Cheryl Lynn and the Ormes Society have been invaluable for putting together the list for the Black Creators category on the Women in Comics Wiki.

Happy 100th Birthday Jackie Ormes!!
Yes, today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first female African-American syndicated cartoonist.  Her strip “Torchy Brown” appeared in black-run newspapers and provided a positive depiction of African-Americans that was largely absent from mainstream comics and comic strips.  Today she is commemorated through The Ormes Society, which celebrates and promotes black female comics creators, characters, and consumers.

Happy 100th Birthday Jackie Ormes!!

Yes, today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first female African-American syndicated cartoonist.  Her strip “Torchy Brown” appeared in black-run newspapers and provided a positive depiction of African-Americans that was largely absent from mainstream comics and comic strips.  Today she is commemorated through The Ormes Society, which celebrates and promotes black female comics creators, characters, and consumers.

ProFile Friday 
Jackie Ormes (August 1, 1911–December 26, 1985) is known as the first African-American woman cartoonist, for her “Torchy Brown in ‘Dixie to Harlem’”.
Jackie Ormes was born Zelda Mavin Jackson in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Ormes started in journalism as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Courier, a weekly African American newspaper that came out every Saturday. Her 1937-38 Courier comic strip, “Torchy Brown in ‘Dixie to Harlem’”, starring Torchy Brown, was a humorous depiction of a Mississippi teen who found fame and fortune singing and dancing in the Cotton Club.
Ormes moved to Chicago in 1942, and soon began writing occasional articles and, briefly, a social column for the Chicago Defender, one of the nation’s leading black newspapers, a weekly at that time. For a few months at the end of the war, her single panel cartoon, Candy, about an attractive and wisecracking housemaid, appeared in the Defender. By August 1945, Ormes’s work was back in the Courier, with the advent of Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger, a single panel cartoon. It ran for eleven years, and featured a big sister-little sister set-up, with the precocious, insightful, and socially/politically-aware child as the only speaker, and the beautiful adult woman as a sometime pin-up figure and fashion mannequin.
Ormes contracted with the Terri Lee doll company in 1947 to produce a play doll based on her little girl cartoon character. The Patty-Jo doll was on the shelves in time for Christmas, and was the first American black doll to have an extensive upscale wardrobe. As in the cartoon, the doll represented a real child, in contrast to the majority of dolls that were mammy and Topsy-type dolls.
In 1950, the Courier began an eight-page color comics insert, where Ormes re-invented her Torchy character in a new comic strip, Torchy in Heartbeats. This Torchy was a beautiful, independent woman who finds adventure while seeking true love. Ormes expressed her talent for fashion design as well as her vision of a beautiful black female body in the accompanying Torchy Togs paper doll cut outs. The strip is probably best known for its last episode in 1954, when Torchy and her doctor boyfriend confront racism and environmental pollution. Torchy presented an image of a black woman who, in contrast to the contemporary stereotypical media portrayals, was confident, intelligent, and brave. Ormes’s obvious leftist politics led the FBI to investigate her during the McCarthy era.
Jackie Ormes enjoyed a happy, forty-five year marriage to Earl Clark Ormes.  She retired from cartooning in 1956, although she continued to create art, including murals, still lifes, and portraits. She contributed to her South Side Chicago community by volunteering to produce fundraiser fashion shows, and various entertainments. Ormes was also on the founding board of directors for the DuSable Museum of African American History.
In 2007, cartoonist and comics journalist Cheryl Lynn Eaton founded The Ormes Society, which promotes black female comics creators.  A biography of Ormes was written by Nancy Goldstein and published by the University of Michigan Press in 2008.

ProFile Friday

Jackie Ormes (August 1, 1911–December 26, 1985) is known as the first African-American woman cartoonist, for her “Torchy Brown in ‘Dixie to Harlem’”.

Jackie Ormes was born Zelda Mavin Jackson in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. Ormes started in journalism as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Courier, a weekly African American newspaper that came out every Saturday. Her 1937-38 Courier comic strip, “Torchy Brown in ‘Dixie to Harlem’”, starring Torchy Brown, was a humorous depiction of a Mississippi teen who found fame and fortune singing and dancing in the Cotton Club.

Ormes moved to Chicago in 1942, and soon began writing occasional articles and, briefly, a social column for the Chicago Defender, one of the nation’s leading black newspapers, a weekly at that time. For a few months at the end of the war, her single panel cartoon, Candy, about an attractive and wisecracking housemaid, appeared in the Defender. By August 1945, Ormes’s work was back in the Courier, with the advent of Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger, a single panel cartoon. It ran for eleven years, and featured a big sister-little sister set-up, with the precocious, insightful, and socially/politically-aware child as the only speaker, and the beautiful adult woman as a sometime pin-up figure and fashion mannequin.

Ormes contracted with the Terri Lee doll company in 1947 to produce a play doll based on her little girl cartoon character. The Patty-Jo doll was on the shelves in time for Christmas, and was the first American black doll to have an extensive upscale wardrobe. As in the cartoon, the doll represented a real child, in contrast to the majority of dolls that were mammy and Topsy-type dolls.

In 1950, the Courier began an eight-page color comics insert, where Ormes re-invented her Torchy character in a new comic strip, Torchy in Heartbeats. This Torchy was a beautiful, independent woman who finds adventure while seeking true love. Ormes expressed her talent for fashion design as well as her vision of a beautiful black female body in the accompanying Torchy Togs paper doll cut outs. The strip is probably best known for its last episode in 1954, when Torchy and her doctor boyfriend confront racism and environmental pollution. Torchy presented an image of a black woman who, in contrast to the contemporary stereotypical media portrayals, was confident, intelligent, and brave. Ormes’s obvious leftist politics led the FBI to investigate her during the McCarthy era.

Jackie Ormes enjoyed a happy, forty-five year marriage to Earl Clark Ormes. She retired from cartooning in 1956, although she continued to create art, including murals, still lifes, and portraits. She contributed to her South Side Chicago community by volunteering to produce fundraiser fashion shows, and various entertainments. Ormes was also on the founding board of directors for the DuSable Museum of African American History.

In 2007, cartoonist and comics journalist Cheryl Lynn Eaton founded The Ormes Society, which promotes black female comics creators. A biography of Ormes was written by Nancy Goldstein and published by the University of Michigan Press in 2008.

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