Where I’m Coming From

Drawn & Quarterly. Feb. 2023. 184p. ISBN 9781770465688. $29.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Lekesia, Cheryl, and friends are back in this collection of Brandon-Croft’s (the first Black woman cartoonist to be published nationally by a major syndicate) seminal 1990s comic strip about the lives of Black women. Lekesia, the group’s resident news buff, delivers ingeniously candid social and political commentaries about the era’s current events. Cheryl gives her friends honest opinions on their love lives, which sometimes leads to them temporarily not speaking to her. Lydia, the only parent among the friends, laments about preparing her daughter for preschool, considering the cost of tuition and the potential for school shootings. Many of the panels include witty punchlines that come from reality. Ongoing storylines include the ups and downs of dating, the joys and fears of motherhood, and everyday microaggressions and pay inequities at work. Brandon-Croft’s minimalistic drawings depict each character as floating heads with hands and arms and with an array of expressions and hairstyles. Each character has a distinct personality that subverts traditional stereotypes of Black women.
VERDICT Although this nationally syndicated comic strip was written 30 years ago, the stories and societal critiques are still applicable today. Readers will likely embrace being part of this sisterhood of outspoken friends.
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