Jennifer Cruté: Using Comics, Life Story To Fight Stereotypes

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For Black History Month, NewsOne honors GAME CHANGERS: Everyday heroes whose actions make life better for the people around them. SEE ALL OUR GAME CHANGERS HERE.

Jennifer Crute Comics

Jennifer Cruté

Place of Residence: New York City

Why She’s a Game Changer: Cruté’s adult comic, “Jennifer’s Journal The Life of a SubUrban Girl Vol.1,” chronicles her life as a kid and young adult in New Jersey with humor and creativity. Cruté is leading a new diverse mix of people breaking in to the comic book industry by telling stories that are traditionally ignored.

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But to hear Cruté tell the story, after studying illustration, she almost didn’t listen to the voice telling her to launch “Jennifer’s Journal.”

“My comics came to me randomly and I actually didn’t take them seriously until I had a pile of pages…and [then] I had a dream where Shirley Chisholm grabbed me and shook me while screaming, “It’s not just a stupid comic! Finish it!” Pretty scary. So, I got on it,” Cruté told bitch media.

Working as a graphic artist, Cruté had experiences where her characters simply weren’t the type of Black person that her clients were looking for. At first she didn’t understand, until her clients explicitly said they wanted the Black woman she was drawing to look more “European.” Check out Cruté’s strip on the situation below.

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Cruté decided to self-publish the comic to maintain control over her work.

“I also wanted to keep absolute control of my characters, and the way African-American girls and woman have been portrayed in media was part of the deciding factor. I think it’s a disservice to readers when your own life story is edited into the fabricated life of a stereotype,” said Cruté.

The comic contains “honesty and simply drawn characters to soften the complex and contradictory real life situations I’ve encountered from childhood until now,” she added.

And Cruté can’t be just boxed in as a comic book artist. She’s also a talented visual artist as well.

“I want to help in the breakdown of some of those Black girl/Black women stereotypes,” Cruté told LadyGunn.

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