New Kid by Jerry Craft Jerry Craft

 

 

Jerry Craft

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Jerry Craft
Photo Credit Hollis King

Jerry Craft

Photo Credit Hollis King

Jerry Craft

Photo Credit Hollis King

SHORT BIO

Jerry Craft has illustrated and/or written nearly three dozen children’s books, graphic novels and middle grade novels for publishers such as HarperCollins, Scholastic, Benchmark, Pearson and his own publishing company, Mama's Boyz, Inc. His middle grade graphic novel, New Kid, will be released by HarperCollins on February 5, 2019. Jerry has earned recognition from the Junior Library Guild, and has won five African American Literary Awards. He is the creator of Mama's Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 - 2013. He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 40,000 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.

 

LONGER BIO

Jerry Craft has illustrated and/or written nearly three dozen children’s books, graphic novels and middle grade novels for publishers such as HarperCollins, Scholastic, Benchmark, Pearson and his own publishing company, Mama's Boyz, Inc. His middle grade graphic novel, New Kid, which he both wrote and illustrated, will be released by HarperCollins on February 5, 2019.

In 2014, Jerry earned recognition from the Junior Library Guild for illustrating The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, written by Patrik Henry Bass and published by Scholastic. His middle grade novel, that he co-wrote with his two sons Jaylen & Aren Craft, "The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!" -- is an action / adventure story designed to teach kids about the negative effects of bullying. It was chosen by PACER.ORG as one of the best middle grade books on bullying.

Jerry's illustrations have also appeared in national publications such as Essence Magazine as well as comic books, greeting cards, book covers, and board games.

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).

He has published four Mama's Boyz books. The first, Mama's Boyz: As American as Sweet Potato Pie! was named in Great Books for African American Children. Mama's Boyz: The Big Picture was named the 2010 S'Indie Award Winner for best children's book and was featured in School Library Journal. The comic has been featured in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books, The Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing and even the math text book, A Problem Solving Approach to Mathematics For Elementary School Teachers! His most recent in the series, Mama's Boyz: In Living Color, is the first done as a full-color graphic novel.

Although humorous, Mama's Boyz has also teamed up with several national organizations to help raise awareness for serious topics such as his comic book on leukemia. His work for the American Diabetes Association earned him two Outstanding Supporter Awards. In addition, he has helped to fight childhood obesity with the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition; raise awareness of organ and tissue donation for Donate Life America; and increase support for the DC Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy. The latter earned him a "Conversation Starter" award. Most recently he worked with the DC public school system to do a series of bus and subway posters telling kids the importance of a good education.

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.

Jerry has produced five Black Comic Book Days in Harlem, the last three being at the famed Schomburg Research Center in Harlem. The event annually draws more than 40 artists and writers of color from around the country and close to 2,500 fans!

 

Feel free to email me at jerrycraftbooks@gmail.com

 

AWARDS & COOL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS