Named an American Library Association Booklist
Top 10 Biography of the Year
One of the "Top 10 Books on The Arts in 2008"
--Booklist, American Library Association
Listed as one of the Best Books of 2008: "Ormes's hitherto underexposed work is celebrated in this lavishly illustrated career biography."
"Those interested in the history of African Americans, dolls, and print journalism will particularly find this book valuable."
--E. Frances White, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
"The Best of 2008. . . a vitally necessary rewriting of comics history which not only confirms Ormes role as a true trailblazer but underlines the significance of cartoon content to be rediscovered in the major black papers of the past, and indeed in all of the underexplored, non-mainstream, nonwhite press in America and elsewhere. . . a classy 240 page hardback. . ."
--Paul Gravett, London-based comics, graphic novels, manga journalist
"Fans. . . will be thrilled to find high quality reproductions of 125 of her comics and cartoons, in both black and white, and color, for the first time since their initial run. . . .The book, engagingly written, is a resource of the best kind."
--Womens Review of Books
"Jackie Ormes is a compact masterpiece that should serve as a model for future research on black cartoonists and on black popular culture in general."
--The Black Scholar
"Few cartoonists have ever been as fashion-conscious as Ormes. . . .In contrast to the images of African-Americans that prevailed in other pop culture of their time, the sisters [Patty-Jo and Ginger] are overtly upper class; they live in a well-decorated home, graced with fancy new products. . . chapters. . .are devoted to reproductions and discussion of her work, with useful digressions on the hierarchy of black newspapers, the history of doll materials and the cartoonist's now-arcane allusions to pop culture and fashion."
--New York Times Book Review
"[A] groundbreaking new book. More than just a biography, this monumental homage pulls together for the first time pages and pages of reproductions from Jackie Ormes, an original American cartoonist, active from the mid 1930s through the mid 50s."
--Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"Goldstein. . . establishes a perspective from which to revalue the power of the black press, not in its conventional acts of reportage, but in serial features in which "the news" and "the editorial" are often interlocked."
--American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography
"Clear chapters and fascinating appendices. . .illustrate the life of a woman who poked at the rules of society even as she charmed them with her talent, wit, and legendary beauty. Goldstein has unearthed a chapter of comics history that might easily have been forgotten."
"Black papers are extremely rare in their original form. . .in a major coup that bespeaks Goldstein's dedication to the project, she succeeded in locating a cache of original Courier color comic sections from which to reproduce the amazing Torchy in Heartbeats strips."
"Jackie Ormes is an eye opener of a book. . .This biography earns the full five out of five Tonys."
--Tonys Tips Xtra, Comics Buyers Guide online
Jackie Ormes's characters were smart and classy, drawn in a strong, clean style. Ormes's single panel cartoon, Patty-Jo 'n' Ginger, ran from 1945 to 1956. It featured two sisters. Ginger was this knockout older sister. She always looked smokin' in sort of a pin-up style. And she never said a word. And then you had her kid sister, Patty-Jo. Patty-Jo always had something very sharp to say . . . [in a cartoon about Emmett Till murder, with actor in child's voice:] . . . .'I don't want to seem touchy on the subject, but that little white tea kettle just whistled at me!'. . . ."
--Kyle Norris, Reporter for National Public Radio on All Things Considered, July 31, 2008; NPR.org
"Double Trouble... Jackie Ormes could draw like an angel, tell a great story, slyly insert a comment on racial inequity and throw in a few sexy frocks, all with panache. The mainstream
papers missed a lot by not having Ormes in their pages, but her community benefited by having an incredible artist tell their stories, undiluted by those same mainstream papers. This book fills
in a missing historical connection for all of us who love comics and cartoonists and need to have all our stories told. Little girls, pick up your pens--start your strip now!"
--Nicole Hollander, cartoonist and creator of Sylvia
"I am so delighted to see an entire book about the great Jackie Ormes! This is a book that will appeal to multiple audiences: comics scholars, feminists, African Americans, and doll collectors. . . ."
--Trina Robbins, author of A Century of Women Cartoonists and The Great Women Cartoonists
"A treasure-trove for any reader interested in African American history or American popular culture."
"Imagine if the only images of black people in the thirties, forties, and fifties were those in the mainstream media! Thank you, Jackie Ormes, for telling it like it was and recording it all with consummate grace, humor and style. Ormes paved the way for me and we traveled many of the same paths-working as a journalist, struggling to make a way in the "man's world" of cartooning, and addressing in our cartoons a range of issues still with us, even fifty years later. The importance of this book is immeasurable. Nancy Goldstein's commitment to uncovering Jackie's story--one that was clearly endangered--and providing this comprehensive collection of her work is nothing short of magnificent."
--Barbara Brandon-Croft, cartoonist and creator of
Where I'm Coming From
"Here's a book that addresses Chicago history and racial politics. This book was such a find! Jackie Ormes took to newspaper cartooning as a mode of dissent. Patty-Jo is a sharp-tongued five-year-old, quite precocious, along with her gorgeous older fashion plate sister Ginger. Patty-Jo makes comments and Ginger stands around looking beautiful. The dynamic is quite hilarious! And Jackie Ormes had a tremendous social conscience - and she used Patty-Jo to make comments about the war, McCarthyism, attacks on the left, and moved forward with issues far ahead of her time in this very saucy, complex come-hither appeal . . .and then she would slam it out! She was at the heart of the Chicago Renaissance. Her husband Earl managed upscale hotels, and there are photos of her with people like Duke Ellington, and others. She had quite an amazing life"
--interview with Donna Seaman, reviewer for Booklist, American Library Association
WBEZ - Chicago Public Radio
podcast, Hello, Beautiful, January 6, 2008
"In the first book devoted to Ormes, Goldstein not only recounts with enthusiasm the trailblazing cartoonist's remarkable story from her birth in Pittsburgh to her celebrity-filled life in Chicago but also keenly analyzes Ormes' influential cartoons and the role black newspapers played in the struggle for racial equality. With a generous selection of Ormes' "forward-looking" cartoons resurrected for the first time, this is one exciting and significant book. Viva Jackie Ormes."
--”Donna Seaman, Booklist, American Library Association
"YA/S: Teens interested in comics and graphic novels, as well as African-American and women's history, will find elegant, creative, and bold Ormes alluring and impressive. DS."
"In a textbook case of pop culture archaeology uncovering a forgotten pioneer, Nancy Goldstein's Jackie Ormes: The First African-American Woman Cartoonist (Univ. of Michigan) offers a fascinating look at a comics trailblazer whose name and works have largely fallen through the cracks of time and memory. . . .Besides its compelling account of a racist national climate alien to most readers under the age of 50, Goldstein's book will attract curious cultural critics, casual fans and comics historians with its look at the black press, its infectious admiration for the subject and numerous reproductions of Ormes's work. The image of a minority woman holding her own in the troubled America of 1937-1956 is a powerful one."
--Steve Bunche, Publisher's Weekly, February 5, 2008
"In an assured, comic book style, Jackie Ormes
drew opinionated, often sexy, and always well
dressed heroines who delighted African American
audiences in the 1940s and 50s. But because her
work appeared in black newspapers, Ormes flew
under white Americas radar. Now, thanks to
Nancy Goldsteins fascinating biography, her
story will delight anyone interested in comics,
women, dolls, fashion, and what it was like to be
a middle-class black person in mid
twentieth-century America. Jackie Ormes is a
--Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News,
winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning
"Despite its seeming brevity, this book is excellent, a revealing and thoroughly documented glimpse into African American life of the times, the racist mores of the era, and the professional and personal life of a little-known but oft-celebrated figure in the history of American cartooning. Goldstein is scholarly without being pedantic, performing extensive research into the existing record of Ormes' oeuvre and interviewing the cartoonist's surviving relatives, who, upon learning of Goldstein's interest, shared family stories, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Get this one and keep it."
--R.C. Harvey, author of Meanwhile...: A Biography of Milton Caniff, Creator of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon
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