Kerry G. Johnson
|Occupation||caricaturist, caricature artist, cartoonist, children's book illustrator, writer, graphic designer, art director, author, webcomic artist|
|Known for||illustration, caricatures, children's book illustration, cartoons, webcomics, black cartoonists, African American cartoonists, Spectra (laser superhero)|
|Spouse(s)||Tawanda W. Johnson|
Kerry G. Johnson is an African-American cartoonist, graphic designer, art director, caricaturist and children's book illustrator. He specializes in caricatures but has created cartoons, illustrations and news graphic work (maps, information graphics, feature page design) in his career in newspaper and publication design.
Early Life & Education
He was born in Nashville, Tennessee on September 30, 1966. He attended Hillsboro Comprehensive High School, Columbus College of Art and Design and The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Johnson is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He currently resides in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, Tawanda W. Johnson, a press secretary, media specialist and co-writer of Harambee Hills, along with their daughter and son.
In May 2008, he debuted his webcomic, Harambee Hills. Harambee Hills is a diverse webcomic that follows the life observations of Gerard and those of his modern African-American family, co-workers and wacky neighbors of Harambee Hills, a fictional suburban neighborhood outside Washington, D.C. The webcomic’s characters often provide commentary on pop culture, entertainment, sports and top news stories.
He is the co-creator of the science-based teen superhero SPECTRA. Spectra, the main character, is also the mascot for Laserfest 2010, a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser. In 2011, Johnson worked with writer Rebecca Thompson and published their third comic book, Spectra, The Original Laserfest Superhero, for the PhysicsCentral.com web site.
In 2012, he worked with author Nicolle Brazil and illustrated the book You Can't Move an Elephant in One Day.
In August 2018, he was interviewed by Al Jazeera America regarding the 50th birthday of Peanuts comic strip. Franklin and he provided commentary on the status of modern-day African-American cartoonists.
List of contributions
His cartoons, illustrations and information graphics have appeared in these newspapers:
- The Nashville Banner (defunct newspaper)
- Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
- North Hills News Record (Warrendale, PA)
- Valley News Dispatch (Tarentum, PA)
- New Pittsburgh Courier
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Greensburg Tribune-Review
- The Baltimore Sun
- The Baltimore Examiner
- The Los Angeles Times
- Chicago Tribune
- N.Y. Newsday
- APS News American Physical Society
- The Muskegon Tribune (Michigan)
Additionally, his work has appeared in magazines, web sites and other national media outlets including 60 Minutes, USA Today, KRT (Knight-Ridder Tribune Graphics) and Gannett News Service.
Awards and honors
Kerry G. Johnson has won over 20 Awards for his work in graphic design and illustration including:
- 2012, Graphic Design Magazine (GD USA) Award for InHouse Design
- 2010, Glyph Comics Awards nominated in the Rising Star category, presented by the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC)
- 2008, first place: the National Arts Program for Illustration
- 2002, 2001, 1996, first place: Press Club of Western Pennsylvania’s Golden Quill Award for News Illustration
- 2002, Society for News Design Award of Excellence for Photo illustration
- 2001, judge: Pittsburgh’s 2001 ARTWorks Competition
- 2001, 1998, 1994, 1993, first place: Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Robert L. Vann Award for Feature Illustration
- 2000, second place: National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Heritage Award for Editorial Cartooning
- 1996, first place: National Association of Black Journalists NABJ Award for Art and Design
- 1994, first place: Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association’s Award for Graphic Illustration
He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) fraternity, the National Cartoonists Society (NCS), the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the National Caricaturist Network, American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
He currently lives in Columbia, Maryland with this wife, Tawanda W. Johnson, a public relations executive, along with their daughter and son.
- Soap & Bubbles (illustrator) 2012
- You Can't Move an Elephant in One Day (illustrator) 2012
- PhysicsQuest 2008: Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair (illustrator) 2008
- SPECTRA #1: The American Physical Society introduces, SPECTRA (illustrator) 2009
- SPECTRA #2: SPECTRA'S Power (illustrator) 2010
- SPECTRA #3: SPECTRA'S Force (illustrator) 2011
- SPECTRA #4: SPECTRA Heats Up! (illustrator) 2012
- SPECTRA #5: SPECTRA Turbulent Times (illustrator) 2013
- SPECTRA #6: SPECTRA'S Quantum Leap " (illustrator) 2014
- Color Me Physics Coloring Book, First Edition Illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson; text by Alan Chodos, PhD, Jessica Clark, PhD and Kendra Rand (2007)
- "Harambee Hills - The webcomic by Kerry G. Johnson". Archived from the original on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- : Interview with Al Jazeera America regarding the 50th birthday of Peanuts comic strip Franklin.
- ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com: My 'Take' On: Spectra #1 (illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson) - As Seen At the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International by Michael D Hamersky, August 17, 2010
- The New Pittsburgh Courier Former New Pittsburgh Courier cartoonist nominated for award, Wed. May 19, 2010 
- The African American Literature Book Club AALBC.com, Kerry G. Johnson 
- PhysicsQuest 2008: Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair (2009)  ISBN 978-0-9823238-0-9 Co-written by Rebecca Thompson-Flagg PhD, Christopher DiScenza, Justin Reeder and Kerry G. Johnson; illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson; published by the American Physical Society 
- APS News: Lighting Up Classrooms: PhysicsQuest 2008 book and kits launched; illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson (February 2009, Vol. 18, No. 2) (http://apsweb.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200902/physicsquest.cfm)
- Energy Future: Think Efficiency: An Energy Efficiency Report (2008) Art directed and designed by Kerry G. Johnson; published by the American Physical Society 
- Color Me Physics Coloring Book, Second Edition Illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson and Krystal Ferguson; text by Alan Chodos, PhD, Jessica Clark, PhD and Becky Thompson-Flagg, PhD (2008)
- The Daily Cartoonist.com News Brief (August 12, 2008) 
- Brooks, Charles, Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year: 2001 Edition: Kerry G. Johnson (page 166) Pelican Publishing, (2001)
- Brooks, Charles, Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year: 1999 Edition: Kerry G. Johnson (page 197) Pelican Publishing, (1999)
- National Association of Black Journalists member profile (Art and Design): Kerry G. Johnson, (1999)
- Top 30 Under 30: Kerry G. Johnson, Urban Profiles magazine, (May 1989)
- Jones, Kimberly, Dimensions Newsmagazine: Editor profile: Kerry G. Johnson (1988)
- Kerry G. Johnson on Twitter
- Kerry G. Johnson's official web site
- Baltimore Sun: Kerry G. Johnson, illustrator - comments on Columbia, MD's 50th anniversary.
- Harambee Hills  is Johnson's semi-autobiographical webcomic co-created with this wife, Tawanda.
-  Listed as notable alumni of Hillsboro Comprehensive High School of Nashville, Tennessee
- The National Arts Program [permanent dead link]
- Color Me Physics Coloring Book Illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson; text by Alan Chodos, PhD, Jessica Clark, PhD and Kendra Rand]
- Comixpedia.com: About Kerry G. Johnson