Dale Messick, 98, Cartoonist of Brenda Starr died Tuesday. Silly as this may seem Brenda Starr was the cherished ideal of my youth. She was everything I aspired to....... tall, buxom, self-possessed, a redhead with a razor sharp mind, a taste for adventure, and a limitless budget for couture. Brenda Starr was a subversive inspiration. As the architect of my limitless inner life, I adored her.
Not exactly your typical mentor. I did grow up and go into the newspaper business, was razor sharp, Miss Adventure, and adore couture (still do).
[The Sun]Messick developed and drew the strip for 40 years, during which time her heroine filed her stories from around the world, jumped from airplanes, escaped from any number of villains' clutches, and had whirlwind romances. Her body was drawn from Rita Hayworth's, and her name was taken from a famed debutante. When Starr finally married her longtime beau in 1977, the mysterious eye-patch wearing Basil St. John, President Ford sent congratulations.
She was, for me, EARLY girl power in a male dominated medium. And unlike the feminists of my young years i.e. Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan etc. Brenda was happy (!), sexy, funny and she loved men.
So do I.
So indulge me my moment to salute Dale Messick and thank her for my spectacular dreams and those hours of vicariously living Brenda's wild and wonderful life.
Dale Messick will be mourned by the legions of American women that devoured her escapades and said "yeah, yeah, I am going to that............let's shop after we save the day". ooo ha