Author Jerry Craft:
Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle-grade novels for publishers such as HarperCollins, Scholastic, Benchmark, Pearson, and his own publishing company, Mama’s Boyz, Inc.
Jerry is also the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 – 2013; making him one of the few syndicated African-American cartoonists in the country. Mama’s Boyz follows the lives of Pauline Porter, a widow raising her two teenage sons, Tyrell and Yusuf, while also running the family bookstore. Jerry has won five African American Literary Award Show Open Book Awards for “best comic strip” (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 & 2004).
Jerry is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts where he received his BFA degree in advertising. After working in the ad world for a dozen years as a copywriter, he got his first job as a cartoonist working as an assistant to Barbara Slate on a variety of comic books and graphic novels for Marvel and Harvey Comics, including Sweet 16 and New Kids on the Block. This was followed by eight years at King Features Syndicate where he wrote sales brochures for some of the world’s most popular comic strips. Before stepping out on his own, he was the Editorial Director for the Sports Illustrated for Kids web site where he was nominated for a New Media Award by the National Cartoonists Society for his series of popular Flash cartoons.
He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 50,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.