Friday, October 28, 2005
Obscurity of the Day : Modish Mitzi
What do you get when you combine a fashion column with a comic strip? You get one really boring comic strip, that's what. Modish Mitzi was the first of the genre that married the two forms. As you can see from the sample (which is believed to be the very first strip, appearing on 11/19/1923), there is a polite nod to the convention of telling a story, but the strip is actually just a vehicle for discussing dress fashions. The orchestrator was one Jay V. Jay, presumably feeling safe from critics hiding behind a nom de plume. It is a pseudonym, I presume...
Believe it or not, someone must have actually liked this idea, because, incredibly, Modish Mitzi ran for over 15 years. On top of that it even spawned imitators. A few other titles of this genre are The Stylefinder Family, noteworthy for expanding its horizons to fashions for the whole family, and The Connoisseur, singled out for discussing etiquette and high society in addition to the fashion basics. But easily the most bizarre of the lot is Comrade Kitty, which discussed proletariat fashions in the socialist newpaper The Daily Worker.
An article in the August 13, 1926 Oakland Tribune (pg 21) identifies the creators as Laura Johnston (artist) and the writers as Virginia Vincent and Jeanette Kienkiveld. All associated with the fashion industry.