Monday, January 21, 2013

 

Obscurity of the Day: Girls will be Girls




Fay King was never much more than a barely serviceable cartoonist, and I imagine she would have been the first to admit that, but she did seem to know how to endear herself to the newspaper-reading public. King's personal life had some rather interesting episodes that were gleefully covered in the press (Alex Jay will discuss them tomorrow in an Ink-Slinger Profile) and she produced a popular illustrated column for the Denver Post, then Hearst's New York American and New York Mirror that ran for decades.

Strangely enough, though, Fay only tried one actual comic strip series -- it was a daily called Girls will be Girls, and it was a half-baked soap opera concerned a group of attractive flapper-types. It was an unfortunate choice to opt for melodrama as King's cartooning was really suited best to humor, and I find myself waiting for a punchline that never comes in each of these samples.

Despite Fay King's popularity, Girls will be Girls seems to have been an utter failure in selling to newspapers. It has only been found (so far) in it's home paper, the New York Mirror, where it ran from June 24 1924 to March 19 1925. A breathless endorsement from the cartoonist herself in Hearst's Circulation magazine doesn't seem to have impressed any editors into buying it.

Fay King's strip is one of only two I've ever seen carrying Hearst's Public Press syndicate copyright.I'm afraid I know nothing about the circumstances, business model, or principals involved in this very obscure Hearst syndicate.

One thing I do know is that in my book you'll find another strip by Fay King, that one called Mazie. Well, you can get out your Sharpies and put an 'X' through it. Mazie was listed in my book on the strength of a sample and write-up appearing in Robbins and Yronwode's Women and the Comics. However, I realized in looking at these newly acquired samples above, the Robbins/Yronwode sample shown in the book, and re-reading Fay King's article about the strip, that Mazie and Girls will be Girls are the same strip. Mazie was just the name of the lead flapper in the strip.

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Comments:
This strip also appeared in the Uniontown (Penna.) Morning Herald.
 
Thanks for the info Mark. Just goes to show that there's an editor out there for every feature I guess. Any words of wisdom about Hearst's Public Press syndicate?

Thanks, Allan
 
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