COLUMBIA, Md.—Kerry G. Johnson knew he was a gifted artist after winning an art contest as a kindergartner in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn.
“Ever since I was a little boy, art has been my passion, and I have relished developing my skills as a cartoonist, caricaturist and graphic designer throughout my life,” said Johnson, whose webcomic, Harambee Hills (http://www.gocomics. com/harambeehills), was recently nominated in the “Rising Star” category of the 2010 Glyph Comics Award presented by the East Coast Black Age of Comics.
Launched in 2006, Harambee Hills is a semi-biographical strip that follows the life observations of the main character, Gerard, and his modern African-American family, co-workers and wacky neighbors. The characters often provide commentary on pop culture, entertainment, sports and news stories. Johnson and his wife, Tawanda, former Courier editor, co-writer of Harambee Hills and a new media specialist live in Columbia, Md., with their two children. “I take great pride in this strip, and my wife has been invaluable to me as a co-writer of Harambee Hills. My hundreds of Facebook fans have also given the strip tremendous positive feedback, and I am truly grateful that they enjoy my work.”
A former graphics director and newspaper artist, Johnson’s award-winning cartoons, caricatures and illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, including The Baltimore Sun, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the New Pittsburgh Courier. Johnson is also the co-creator of the science-based comic book, SPECTRA, based on a pre-teen superhero. The comic book is available at PhysicsCental.com. SPECTRA, the main character, is also the mascot for Laserfest 2010, a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser.
A consummate professional, Johnson’s work has garnered him many accolades, including more than 20 awards for his work in graphic design, cartooning and illustration. In addition to the “Rising Star” nomination, some of those awards include:
2009: “Harambee Hills” qualified for the second round of entrants in the Amazon Comic Strip Superstar contest
2008: First place, National Arts Program for Illustration (caricature of President Barack Obama)
2002, 2001, 1996: First place, Press Club ofWestern Pennsylvania’s Golden Quill Award for News Illustration
2001, 1998, 1994, 1993: First place, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s 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
• PhysicsQuest 2008: Nikola Telsa and the Electric Fair
• SPECTRA #1: The American Physical Society introduces, SPECTRA
• SPECTRA #2: SPECTRA’S Power
• Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year: 2001 Edition: (p: 166)
• Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year: 1999 Edition: (p: 197)
For more about Kerry G. Johnson or Harambee Hills, visit:
FACEBOOK: Kerry G. Johnson