End of Story for Brenda Starr Comic Strip

Writer Mary Schmich and Artist June Brigman closing out 70-year-old classic

Dec 09, 2010, 07:00 ET from Tribune Media Services

CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Globetrotting redheaded reporter Brenda Starr is hanging up her reporter's notebook for The Flash after a 70-year run in newspaper syndication. Writer Mary Schmich and artist June Brigman have chosen to end their work on the seven-day-a-week strip, bringing the Brenda Starr storyline to a close. The strip's final appearance in newspapers will be Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Brenda Starr, who got her trial run in a Chicago Tribune comic book insert on June 30, 1940, went on to capture the imagination of millions of readers every day on newspaper comics pages around the world. Much like her original creator, Dale Messick, a New York greeting-card artist who changed her name from Dalia in the 1940s to get her work noticed, Brenda became one of the first career women in the male-dominated comics world. Brenda, with her keen intuition and high style combined with a fearless but fair and diligent approach to the job, became a symbol for successful professional women worldwide.

Tribune Media Services (TMS), the property's owner, made the decision to end the feature's newspaper syndication when Schmich and Brigman determined they would finish their long stewardship of the feature.

"Mary and June have been instrumental in shaping Brenda's current character and have provided readers with sophisticated, adventurous, witty storylines and brilliant artwork," said Mary Elson, managing editor for TMS. "They have guided Brenda into the 21st century and made her the contemporary icon she is today. We're proud of the way they have cared for her and the strip's cast and storylines over the years while maintaining the values instilled by creator Dale Messick."

The classic soap-opera strip was a pioneer comic that not only featured a strong female lead but an exclusively female writing and artistic team throughout its seven decades:  Dale Messick (1940-1980); Dale Messick and Ramona Fradon (1980-1982); Ramona Fradon and Linda Sutter (1982-1985); Ramona Fradon and real-life reporter Mary Schmich (1985-1995); and Mary Schmich and June Brigman (1995-2011).

TMS has partnered with Hermes Press to publish a series of books called "Brenda Starr, Reporter® by Dale Messick: The Collected Daily and Sunday Newspaper Strips." The first volume of these landscape hardcover books will be published in June 2011 and be distributed worldwide.

Brenda Starr will best be remembered for her ability to combine glamour, intrigue, romance and family with the strains of balancing a full-time job—not unlike many women today.

About Tribune Media Services

Tribune Media Services (TMS), a subsidiary of Tribune Company, is a leading provider of information and entertainment products for print, electronic and on-air media in the United States and abroad. It distributes TV and movie listings and related editorial content under the TMS and Zap2it brands; syndicates comics, editorial cartoons, features and opinion columns; creates and distributes a variety of online information products; licenses editorial content from national periodicals; and manages national advertising networks. TMS also markets news, features, information graphics and multimedia content to media clients around the world through the McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information, visit www.tmsfeatures.com.


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