DALE MESSICK Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Dale Messick                                                                 
Born: April 11, 1906                                                               
Died: April 5, 2005                                                               
Dale Messick (April 11, 1906 - April 5, 2005) was the first woman syndicated       
comic strip artist in the United States. She was best known as the creator of     
Brenda Starr, which at its peak in the 1950s ran in 250 newspapers.               
She was born Dalia Messick in South Bend, Indiana to a seamstress and commercial   
artist. She had an interest in writing and drawing since childhood. She studied   
briefly at the Ray Commercial Art School in Chicago but left to begin a career     
as a professional artist.                                                         
She began working for a Chicago greeting card company and was successful but       
quit when her boss lowered her pay during the Great Depression. She moved to New   
York City and found work at another greeting card company at a higher salary,     
and began assembling a portfolio of comic strips after work.                       
Messick was not the first female comic strip creator; Nel Brinkley, Gladys         
Parker, and Edwina Dumm had all achieved success in the field. But there was       
still a bias against women and Messick decided to change her first name to Dale   
to help get her work seen by editors. She produced a number of ideas for strips   
with titles such as Weegee, Mimi the Mermaid, Peg and Pudy, the Struglettes, and   
Streamline Babies, none of which were picked up for publication.