It’s about time that black girls see themselves represented in comics.
Storm of the X-Men and Misty Knight made waves in the mid-’70s, and now we’re seeing black women shut it down in movies like Black Panther. But before these heroines hit comic book pages, there was Torchy Brown.
Torchy Brown in “Dixie to Harlem” was first published in the Pittsburgh Courier in 1937. The comic strip was created by Jackie Ormes—the first black woman with a syndicated comic strip. Cartoonists everywhere acknowledge Ormes’ contributions to the craft, including Sheena Howard—a professor and comic book writer and the first black woman to win an Eisner Award, which recognizes the best and the brightest in the comic book industry.
“Jackie Ormes is super important when we’re talking about the history of comics—period,” Howard says. “I don’t even want to relegate it to just black comics.”
Watch the story of Torchy Brown and her creator, Jackie Ormes, in the video above.