Monday, September 27, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Sister Susie

Alice Harvey is celebrated as one of the New Yorker's great cartoonists, her demure sophisticated ladies with acid tongues a constant popular feature of the magazine's pages from its inception until the early 1940s. But she also took her turn in the newspapers with a delightful feature titled Sister Susie. This suburban comedy featuring real kids showing all their warts was unusually frank and unvarnished look at children for the Sunday papers of the time.

It is rare to find a mention of this beautifully drawn and well-crafted strip in references, and one of the few mentions is an unfairly tepid one from historian/cartoonist Trina Robbins in her book A Century of Women Cartoonists, in which she describes Sister Susie as a mere "cute girl strip." What a shame; she must not have been able to locate but the one example she showed there (a weaker effort, granted). I hope the examples above will dispel the notion that this was any mere trifle.

Sister Susie was a Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate product that found its way into very few papers other than Daily News itself. It began running there on January 26 1936 and the last episode is reported to be on August 30 1936. However, I have a tearsheet from an unidentified source newspaper  dated December 20th of that year with Sister Susie. Maybe it's a rerun, maybe it ran late, or maybe the series continued on longer than reported. Anyone have additional info?


Very interesting. I wonder if fans of Skippy were more appreciative of it?
Can you post the Dec 20 page?
So we can check if it's a rerun.
Hi Fortunato --
I added it as the fourth sample above. Streaky and Dopey Dildock, on the reverse, are both clearly dated December 20.

Accidenti! It isn't a rerun!
This page isn't among the 32 pages published from January 26 1936 to August 30 1936 on the Chicago Tribune.
I came across 4-Chicago Tribune Comic pages copyright 1936- Featuring "Sister Susie" by Alice Harvey. After reading your blog and researching Alice Harvey Awesome Female Cartoonist, Made me even more Curious to when exactly these were created. New to this website unfamiliar how to post pictures of the pages. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I would love to Share! Thanks in advance for any help, and Great Blog !
Hi Michael --
I think we've got enough of a sampling of Sister Susie here (we don't go in for mass reprinting), but thanks very much for the offer!

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