Star reporter, Brenda Starr, will be retired from newspapers on January 2nd. Like many other reporters, she is unable to survive the shrinking comic page as the newspaper industry declines. Brenda Star is a long-lived cartoon character, have survived over 70 years of assignments.
The cartoon was syndicated in over 250 papers during its peak in the 1950’s. Brenda was an adventurous career woman, an innovative character ahead of the times. She was a sexy, romantic redhead, modeled after actress Rita Heyworth.
The creator of the strip was writer and illustrator Dale Messick, who drew the strip for 40 years. Messick had to fight resistance to female cartoonists to become a successful cartoonist in her time.
After retirement, she turned the strip over to Chicago-Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and artist June Brigman who continued the strip for 25 more years, bringing it into the 21st century.
Brenda Starr, Reporter, has been the subject of movies and television shows, none very successful. It was one of 20 comic strips honored as a classic with a postage stamp in 1995. A volume of collected strips is due from Hermes Press in June.