Barbara Brandon was raised on Long Island, New York. Her father was Brumsic Brandon Jr., who drew the comic strip ‘Luther’. Barbara was atill very young when she started assisting her father on this strip. She studied Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, where she graduated in 1980. Magazine Essence employed her as fashion and beauty writer, and it wasn’t until 1989 that her comic strip ‘Where I’m Coming From’ was published in The Detroit Free Press. In 1991, she was contracted by Universal Press Syndicate, making her the first black woman comic artist to be nationally syndicated since Jackie Ormes. (Currently, she is the only syndicated Black woman cartoonist) Her comics have been published in two collections, titled ‘Where I’m Coming From’ and ‘Where I’m Coming From Still’.
Morrie Turner, an Oakland, Calif., native, was the youngest of four children. His father, a Pullman porter, and mother, a devout Christian, instilled in him the faith — faith in himself, faith in others, faith in his ability to be a comic strip artist. He began drawing cartoons in the fifth grade.
As a young man, he served a stint in the service during World War II, where he drew strips for military newspapers. Following his discharge, he juggled his comic strips with legal publications and work as a police clerk. Finally, in 1964, he wholeheartedly pursued his cartoon aspirations full-time, once again relying on his faith.
One life-changing honor was during the Vietnam War, when Turner was one of six cartoonist asked by the National Cartoonist Society to go Vietnam. Morrie spent 27 days on the front lines and in hospitals, drawing more than 3,000 caricatures of service people.
In 1965, he created the Wee Pals comic strip. It was Morrie’s intention to portray a world without prejudice, a world in which people’s differences — race, religion, gender, and physical and mental ability — are cherished, not scorned.
When Wee Pals was first created, bringing black characters to the comics’ pages was by no means an easy task. In 1965, only five major newspapers published the strip. It was not until 1968 — and the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. — that Wee Pals achieved nationwide acceptance. Within three months of King’s death, the strip was appearing in over 100 newspapers nationwide.
Monica [Rambeau] is perhaps still best known for being the second character to take on the name Captain Marvel (in Marvel canon, anyway), and for being written to not only appear in the Avengers comic book in the 1980s, but become the team leader.
As we’ve mentioned before on Racialicious, the key words there are “being written to ____.” Because ever since her run with the Avengers, not only have Monica’s appearances dwindled to a few miniseries, but she’s been written to give up her superhero name twice to the original Captain’s son, Genis-Vell, leading to Monica getting rebranded from Captain Marvel to Photon to Pulsar, with less emphasis on her along the way.
That doesn’t figure to change with the news that there will be a new Captain Marvel series, where Carol Danvers, the character formerly known as Ms. Marvel, will get the benefit of not only the Captain Marvel brand, but a new costume, and Marvel’s promotional muscle behind her. In other words, the Danvers character is being positioned to be all but a cinch for inclusion in the next round of Marvel films.
This isn’t a knock on the new Marvel’s creative team, writer Kelly Sue DeCormick and artist Dexter Soy. But Marvel editor Steve Wacker did shed some light on the company’s thought process in this piece by Comics Alliance’s Laura Hudson, where he told Hudson he “has been trying to get this name change since my first day editing the book about five years ago, so this has been a long time coming.”
Think about that for a second. Wacker had been working on raising the Danvers character’s profile for five years. All the while, Carol has been written to be a part of at least one Avengers team, on top of getting her own solo series. Has anybody given such consideration to an audience for Rambeau, even as she was part of the cult hit miniseries Nextwave?Apparently not, because ever since Nextwave, Rambeau has only been written as a supporting players in miniseries like Marvel Divas, Heralds, and Young Allies, none of which was promoted as a major event by Marvel.
Yay that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is slaying it in The Avengers flick, but quite a few other characters of color in that ‘verse may not make it to the big screen at all. Arturo Garcia breaks it down at the R today.