Book Review - Where I'm Coming From by Barbara Brandon-Croft

Who is underrepresented in the world of daily comics? We can all name the big ones: Peanuts, Garfield, Far From Home, Cathy, For Better or For Worse, that one about the caveman. With few exceptions (The Boondocks / Dykes to Watch Out For), the world of comics is largely cisgendered, and most certainly white. Enter Barbara Brandon-Croft.

But... Wait... What? She entered the scene in 1989? I, and I guess many other people, missed out on this triumphant comic. Entering syndication in 1991, Where I'm Coming From follows the lives of nine different black women. In this compilation, you get the major highlights from the series, while also getting the history of the text, its evolution and its worries. It's the way compilations ought to be made. Give readers context and history and never before seen glimpses! From rejection letters, to worries about the comic's unconventional drawings, this release gives new readers and returning readers something fresh.

What's amazing is the comics relevancy. While there are no doubt some references that feel products of the time (Bush the 1st and Bush the 2nd), the issues they're talking about feel more relevant than ever before. Issues with police brutality, abortion, and critical race theory are not only talked about; they're explored. It's quite stunning considering this is done in a format that wouldn't amount to more than a handful of frames.

Each of the nine women are charming and distinct. Whether it's sharp-tongued Cheryl or the sort-of anti-feminist Sonya, these women bring you into a world that is both eye-opening but also familiar. While they no doubt talk politics, they also spend their days talking about work or gossiping about whomever. It feels like you're in their living room, and that's the magic of Where I'm Coming From. The audience here is universal. But it's also not afraid to pull non-black females out and say, "but also, consider this." It's an achievement of the highest class. 

Good comics provide amusement. Great comics provoke thought. Where I'm Coming From does both. It's timeless. Essential, And maybe one of the most important comics of the last thirty years.

Where I'm Coming From by Barbara Brandon-Croft
Release Date: February 7, 2023
MSRP: $29.99


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