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Comic Strip / Brenda Starr

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Brenda Starr (full title: Brenda Starr, Reporter) is a comic strip created in 1940 by Dale Messick for the Chicago Tribune. Set in Chicago, it is about the titular glamorous, adventurous reporter.

Initially appearing as a comic book supplement that was included with the Sunday Chicago Tribune, the strip soon appeared in the Sunday paper itself and a daily strip was added in 1945. Following Messick's retirement as Brenda Starr's artist in 1980, she continued scripting it for two more years with a separate illustrator, after which it was continued by different female writer and illustrator teams before the final strip was published on January 2, 2011.

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There have been several live-action adaptations of the strip, included a 1945 film serial and a film released in 1989 with Brooke Shields as Brenda.


Brenda Starr features examples of:

  • Bishie Sparkle: The title character is always drawn with a very subdued version of this effect, even when not in the foreground. It manifests as between one and four six-pointed stars, and is subdued since the stars appear on the character's face and hair rather than in the air around her.
  • Bold Inflation: The strip is a major offender. Take a look.
  • Fiery Redhead: Brenda Starr is an intrepid, redheaded reporter.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The much-sought-after Brenda Starr is a redhead.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Brenda Starr is an adventurous reporter.
  • Living Prop: Most of the scenes in the newsroom featured a lot of anonymous characters in the background while Brenda was the center of attention. For several years, Dale Messick included in background panels a female staffer with a distinctive topknot and glasses, but this character was unnamed and had no dialogue. Abruptly, Messick wrote a continuity in which this character — suddenly identified as Lucy Fixture — won a fortune in the sweepstakes and had an adventure of her own before vanishing from the strip.
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