Thursday, August 28, 2008

E. Simms Campbell

With Obama's historic nomination for US president in the headlines, I figured I'd remind people of another important figure in America, particular American cartoons.

St. Louis, Missouri native E. Simms Campbell (1906-1971) was perhaps the first important black cartoonist. He was certainly the first openly known black cartoonist to draw for national publications. I admit that I'm only beginning to know Campbell and his work. So I can't say too much about him. But I do know he was an outstanding illustrator and, at times, matched the level of artistry seen in Rockwell's work. I don't think many black artists can do illustrations, comics, and editorial cartoons and maintain a consistent level of quality like Campbell did.

I wish there was more information about him other than what's on Wikipedia. This man, I believe, isn't talked about as much as other black cartoonists like Morrie Turner. But here's a little reminder.