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The Adventures of Patsy, by Mel Graff

Strip run:  1935 - 1956[?]

AP Newsfeatures had a boy's adventure strip called Dickie Dare, but in 1934 desired a story strip with a girl as its counterpart.  Mel Graff was approached to dream up a strip as well as its cast, and thus The Adventures of Patsy was borne, making its debut as a daily strip on March 11, 1935.

The strip originally started out with a fantasy theme, with goblins, witches, giants, and the like in the land of Odds Bodkins.  Often Patsy had to be rescued from her many predicaments by the Phantom Magician, complete with cape and mask, and considered by some to be the first costumed superhero in comics.  However, this theme did not go over very well, and thus Graff relocated the story to Hollywood in December of 1936, where Patsy was to embark on a movie career.  Much like in Odds Bodkins, various perils and predicaments followed Patsy to Tinsel Town but this time instead of goblins and witches there were kidnappers and corrupt members of the film industry (I guess maybe the switch wasn't that far-fetched after all).

In May of 1940 Graff was hired by King Features Syndicate, Inc. to take over their strip Secret Agent X-9.  Charles Raab was brought in as his replacement who, with the help of Noel Sickles, did a great job taking over the dailies.  There's conflicting information as to what ended Raab's tenure (one source says Raab was called to military duty, while another says he left in 1943 to start the strip Foreign Correspondent).  In either case, Raab's departure resulted in a revolving door of replacements, including George Storm from 1943 through 1944, Al McClean in 1944, and Richard Hall from 1945-1946.  During this period a Sunday page was added, being first called Patsy in Hollywood and later shortened to just Patsy, which ended up being the name of the daily as well.  In 1946 Bill Dyer took over both the Sundays and dailies, and carried it till the end of the strip about ten years later.  The exact date of the last strip is not clear as the syndicate destroyed all of its archives in the early 1960s, but it appears to have ended sometime late 1955 or early 1956.

 

Example of The Adventures of Patsy daily by Charles Raab, July 3, 1940.  Copyright AP Features.  This daily features Patsy and her Hollywood agent, Skidd Higgins.

 

For some additional information on The Adventures of Patsy, visit the entry for the strip at Don Markstein's Toonopedia.

 

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