SHORT BIO

Jerry Craft has illustrated and written close to two dozen children's books, graphic novels and middle grade novels including his acclaimed anti-bullying book, "The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!" In 2014, Jerry illustrated "The Zero Degree Zombie Zone," for Scholastic which earned him recognition from the Junior Library Guild. He is the creator of Mama's Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 - 2013. Jerry has won five African American Literary Awards. He is also a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg's Annual Black Comic Book Festival which draws more than 7,000 fans each year. He is currently working on a middle grade graphic novel for Harper Collins. For more info visit: www.jerrycraft.net.

LONGER BIO

Jerry Craft has illustrated and/or written close to two dozen children's books and middle grade novels, working directly with the authors to bring their text to life. His newest book is a middle grade novel co-written with his two teenage sons, Jaylen & Aren Craft called: "The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!" -- an action / adventure story designed to teach kids about the negative effects of bullying. It's the story of five school bullies who get superpowers, but instead of turning into cool heroes, they take on the characteristics of the kids they pick on. 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.2014 marked the release of his first book for Scholastic, called The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, written by Patrik Henry Bass of Essence Magazine.

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 three Mama's Boyz books. The first, Mama's Boyz: As American as Sweet Potato Pie! was named in Great Books for African American Children. His most recent, Mama's Boyz: The Big Picture, is 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!

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!

In February of 2015, Jerry will be honored in a PSA on Cablevision for Black History Month, as well as being a featured author on The Brown Bookshelf's 28 Days Later 2015 Campaign. He was also selected as a discussion leader on the SCBWI Blueboards (in conjunction with We Need Diverse Books), the preeminent site for children’s book authors and illustrators to share and discuss the business, culture and concerns of the children’s publishing industry.

Feel free to email me at jerrycraft@aol.com

 

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