5. WE HEAR FROM BRANDON-CROFT HERSELF.
Included are two essays from the history-making Brooklyn, New York, native: One titled "Where I'm Coming From" that's republished from the December 1992 issue of Cartoonist Profiles, and the other titled "Where I'm Coming From Now" written for this book.
Through her own words and personal photos, we learn how and where Brandon-Croft originally worked out her ideas for the comic strip in 1981, how it was at the encouragement of her father in 1988 that she considered publishing the cartoon in the Detroit Free Press, how some syndicates in 1990 cited the existence of Cathy by cartoonist Cathy Guisewite as their reason to pass on Where I'm Coming From, what she moved onto after syndication ended in 2005, how meeting curator Tara Nakashima Donahue reminded her that Where I'm Coming From still resonates, and how the 2016 election compelled Brandon-Croft to start cartooning again.
"All the fear, rage, disbelief was bubbling up inside of me," writes Brandon-Croft in "Where I'm Coming From Now" about why she came back to cartooning in 2016. "I had to get it out."
Since then, Brandon-Croft has occasionally taken to Facebook and Instagram to post a new cartoon in response to a current event that moves her to create (her most recent cartoon was posted on January 22, 2023 in reaction to the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Black Memphis police). It's a feat for the self-proclaimed "technophobe," but a welcome one.
"It's not healthy keeping so much locked inside," she writes.
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Where I'm Coming From by Barbara Brandon-Croft releases on February 7, 2023 from Drawn & Quarterly.
Tune in to the Drawn & Quarterly Instagram account on February 7, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EST for "At Home with Barbara Brandon-Croft," an Instagram Live conversation with Barbara Brandon-Croft. To attend the free event, follow Drawn & Quarterly (@drawnandquarterly) on Instagram, and tap on their profile photo when it shows they've gone live.