Profile: Kerry G. Johnson (1966-)

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 2005, he illustrated a coloring book for the American Physical Society about famous physicists. In 2005, he designed the official logo for the American Physical Society.

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 Laser fest 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 Laser fest Superhero, for the 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.

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