Sunday, December 12, 2010

On Losing Brenda Starr


JAN: I just found out the Chicago Tribune Company has terminated the Brenda Starr comic strip, which will no longer be appearing in your Sunday funny pages.

Now Brenda Starr was a pretty awful comic strip, sexist and out of date, even thirty years ago when I tried to read it because my brother called me Brenda Starr. (Not because I had red hair, twinkly blue eyes and a voluptuous figure, but because I was in journalism school).

But Brenda Starr was a reporter, so I feel a very personal sense of loss, even though I never read her much and when I tried, was weirded out by the androgynous friend of hers with the hat (Was her/his name Hank?).

Nonetheless, her comic strip passing means an era is over. The twinkle is out of Brenda's eyes for good.

Anyone else care??

HALLIE: Me, me! I saw that in the paper yesterday and I hoped we'd get to talk about it. I didn't actually read it but I loved the idea of her. For me it was definitely the twinkles and curves.

JAN: Yes, that's exactly what it was the IDEA of her. As if a female newspaper reporter was glamorous. Love that idea.

RHYS: Newspaper reporter WAS glamorous! The trench coat and note pad--very sexy.
I'm afraid I've never found most comic strips funny. I rather think they were the pre-TV answer to sitcoms--little slices of life to entertain without too much effort needed.

JAN: I think you are right Rhys -- I don't find them that funny or that exciting, but think of how many feature length movies they've inspired!! (Did Brooke Shields play Brenda Starr? or am I imagining that?)


Anyone else out there going to mourn the loss of our glamour girl?

8 comments:

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, I'm so sad about Brenda. For a million reasons.

Lots of people call me Brenda Starr--my mom did, before I was even a reporter. She must have known something I didn't. Sometimes it's teasing, sometimes it's affectionate. But I always liked it.

Brenda also reminds me of Charlie McNAlly--or Charlie reminds me of Brenda, or it's all of a muchness.

I mean--it was a silly comic strip--who even understood Basil and the black orchid and weird Hank and I never know who was good or who was bad, but it still--was a thing. An institution of the glam reporter who was a real journalist who cared about peopleand her stories and her honor.

So, far as I'm concerned, no matter what the comic syndicate says, BRENDA LIVES.

That's the headline.

Jan Brogan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Brogan said...

Maybe we should both dye our hair red in support!!

The twinkle in the eye thing, I'm not sure about.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

You already have it, Jan! (The twinkle, I mean..) xo

Pat Marinelli said...

I will miss Brenda Starr. I was a fan. Still have a thing for black orchids and eye patches. Maybe that's why I like pirates.

I knew there was a reason I like Charlie McNally, Hank.

As for dying my red...Sorry, I'm blonde and staying that way. I did the red thing once in high school and hated it. I wonder if Brenda was the influence on that?

Jan Brogan said...

I"ve looked horrible with hair a lot less red than Brenda's. You need the twinkly blue eyes to pull it off (Brenda and Lucy had it down)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, thank you, Pat! That's wonderful...

Brenda B. said...

I was saddened to hear this news about my old pal Brenda. We share a name, and used to share a profession. And 20 or so years ago, I wrote for a Kennebunk Maine newspaper called the Star. So yup, there were lots of Brenda Starr jokes, pretty much every day, even though I'm hardly the glamour girl type.

I will miss her, and Basil, too.

Brenda B. in Maine