The Million Year Picnic is delighted to announce that Jerry Craft (https://jerrycraft.com/, @JerryCraft) will be stopping by the shop to sign books and talk to fans on Sunday, 11 August 2019, from 1-2pm.
Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels for publishers such as HarperCollins, Scholastic, Benchmark, Pearson and his own publishing company, Mama’s Boyz, Inc. His newest book, NEW KID (HarperCollins), is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Booklist magazine that called it “Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”
In 2014, Jerry earned recognition from the Junior Library Guild for illustrating The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, written by Patrik Henry Bass and published by Scholastic. His middle grade novel, which he co-wrote with his two sons Jaylen & Aren Craft, THE OFFENDERS: SAVING THE WORLD WHILE SERVING DETENTION!, is an action / adventure story designed to teach kids about the negative effects of bullying. It was chosen by PACER.ORG as one of the best middle grade books on bullying.
Jerry’s illustrations have also appeared in national publications such as Essence magazine as well as comic books, greeting cards, book covers, and board games.
Jerry is also the creator of MAMA’S BOYZ, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 – 2013; making him one of the few syndicated African-American cartoonists in the country. MAMA’S BOYZ follows the lives of Pauline Porter, a widow raising her two teenage sons (Tyrell and Yusuf) while also running the family bookstore. Jerry has won five African American Literary Award Show Open Book Awards for “best comic strip” (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009 & 2004).
Jerry is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts where he received his BFA degree in advertising. After working in the ad world for a dozen years as a copywriter, he got his first job as a cartoonist working as an assistant to Barbara Slate on a variety of comic books and graphic novels for Marvel and Harvey Comics, including Sweet 16 and New Kids on the Block. This was followed by eight years at King Features Syndicate where he wrote sales brochures for some of the world’s most popular comic strips. Before stepping out on his own, he was the Editorial Director for the Sports Illustrated for Kids website where he was nominated for a New Media Award by the National Cartoonists Society for his series of popular Flash cartoons.
He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 50,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, NEW KID is a timely, honest novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?