32¢ Brenda Starr, Reporter
Comic Strip Classics
Issue Date: October 1, 1995
City: Boca Rotan, FL
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
During the first two decades of the comic strip, most female characters appeared only to highlight their male counterparts. As women began entering the work force however, they inspired numerous strips (most drawn by men) that reflected their growing presence in the workplace. But beginning in 1940, Brenda Starr and her creator Dale Messick offered female readers an alternative to traditional male-dominated adventure strips.
Dale Messick has the distinction of being the only woman among the twenty cartoonists honored, as well as the only creator who is still living. Earning this distinction was not easy. After numerous attempts to have her strip published, the cartoonist changed her name from Dalia and began mailing her work to avoid prejudice, and in 1940 Brenda Starr was accepted for distribution by the Tribune-News Syndicate.
Her strip featured “girl reporter Brenda Starr,” whose big-city newsroom assignments usually led to adventure and romance. Through the years, Brenda Starr has gained an intense following, and has often been credited with inspiring many young women to seek independence and follow bold career paths. Messick retired in 1980, and is currently succeeded by the all-female team of June Brigman and Mary Schmich.