Today marks the final installment of Brenda Starr, a 70-year-old comic strip that hasn’t been written or drawn by its original creator since 1982. Part of me is happy to see the strip go, since it will free up valuable slots that can be used by up-and-coming cartoonists. Still, Brenda Starr proved to be one of those rare adventure strips that remained relevant after, say, 1965. That’s mostly because its writer, Mary Schmich, was a newspaper columnist who kept the stories topical, the pacing crisp, and the tone tongue-in-cheek. The strip’s artist, June Brigman, was no slouch either. Improbably, the two of them managed to make this decades-old strip their own.
Archive for the ‘Brenda Starr’ Category
While the rest of the country gears up for the midterm elections in November, folks in Chicago are pondering the fate of one Richard M. Daley, the son of former political giant Richard J. Daley, and a six-term mayor in his own right. Will Daley run for a record seventh term early next year, when municipal elections are held? His multiple missteps (leasing the city’s parking meters to a company that jacked up prices; bidding for an Olympics that could have cost taxpayers billions; allowing train tracks to deteriorate to the point that massive, commute-clogging repairs were needed) suggest otherwise. But his habit of winning elections by ridiculously wide margins suggests another term is in the offing. To date, no prominent public figure has issued a challenge to Daley, so he could remain mayor by default.
Are elephants violent? Because the only times I’ve seen them they’ve been slow-moving and seemingly lethargic. Size aside, my read on these animals is that they’re more apt to swat flies with their trunks than go on a murderous rampage. I’ve noticed elephants being led around the perimeter of a circus tent with nary a thought given to audience safety. And who can forget the classic image of an elephant rearing up in terror at the sight of a tiny mouse? None of this is to say that I would take an elephant lightly if I encountered it in the wild, but in the meantime I’m not overly concerned that one is going to come charging through the walls of my home.
It’s a treat to see panels from a 1965 installment of Brenda Starr as part of this 2008 strip. And while those panels remind me of a treasure I might find in a used bookstore, they also serve notice that today’s version of the strip is a marked improvement. I admit that Brenda Starr is an aquired taste in any era, but I’d argue that the millenial version soars above any of the soap opera strips out there today in terms of artwork, dialogue and pace.