Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Obscurity of the Day: Diary of a Good Girl

Sometimes I'll buy a stack of old newspapers, if the price is right, just on the off-chance that I'll find something that I haven't seen before. That was the case when I bought a stack of 1930s Pittsburgh papers on eBay recently. Since I have done some microfilm research in Pittsburgh, I didn't hold out a lot of hope of seeing something new, but there was something about the pictures of the stack that just set off my spidey-sense. Oh, and they were really cheap, too.

I'm happy to report that the spidey-sense (and frugality) didn't steer me wrong. While the vast majority of the musty old pile was consigned to the recycle bin, I did find something quite rare. Above you see the fruits of my all-but-blind purchase, two samples of a feature that previously resided on the Stripper's Guide Mystery Strip list.

Diary of a Good Girl is the type of feature that you just know has to have an interesting story behind it. I'm not going to say that the art is bad -- let's just call it naive shall we -- but why King Features,  the biggest syndicate in the world, inundated daily with proposals for new features, would choose out of all those options to take on  Diary of a Good Girl for syndication -- well, there's got to be a story.

Today I wish this were a fiction blog. I could tell you one wild and crazy narrative that would be far more entertaining than the reality that I simply have no idea why King Features tried to syndicate the daily panel Diary of a Good Girl in 1937. My goodness, there would be kidnappings, steamy sex scenes, daredevil chases across the roofs of New York City, international espionage, oh it would be glorious. And the whole story would culminate in the offices of the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph. After hours of inhuman torture, the editor, weeping like a baby as the battery electrodes are attached to yet another tender part of his anatomy, finally succumbs and signs the contract to run Diary of a Good Girl. The King Features syndicate salesman smirks as he puts the signed contract in his briefcase. "Bub, you are pathetic. Over at the Post-Gazette your competition took my little visit like a real man. His whole body was a smoking mass of scorch marks, and he wouldn't give in. The sight and smell of him made me so ill I couldn't go on, so I let him off easy. He took Big Sister instead."

[I have to report that Alex Jay, always quick to spoil my fun, has dug up a lot of info on the mysterious Melisse. Watch out for an Ink-Slinger Profile tomorrow]


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