Tuesday, June 23, 2015


BRENDA STARR, REPORTER: THE COLLECTED DAILIES 1940-1946 (Hermes Press, 2012; Hardcover)

Collects Brenda Starr, Reporter strips from June 30, 1940- April 20, 1941; September 10, 1944- January 14, 1945; and October 22, 1945- February 24, 1946

Writer and Artist: Dale Messick

Historically significant due to the fact that it was one of the first strips written and drawn by a woman, Brenda Starr, Reporter is also a fascinating read because it is the tale of a working woman from a time when many women could not get important jobs like newspaper reporters. Messick's writing and artwork has a certain charm to it but this was not the best strip of it's day by any stretch.

The story arcs are complete but the scattershot nature of the collection made this less enjoyable to me. I cannot enjoy books that are not complete runs. Factor in that one of these arcs was re-purposed and reprinted and can be found in Brenda Starr: The Complete Pre-Code Comic Books Vol. 1 and my disappointment mounted. I have decided to abandon this line of these books. Mary Perkins has ruined me for all other good girl newspaper strips. I ended up trading this with my friend for a Phantom strips book.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- This book is presented in landscape format.
Linework and Color restoration: The restoration is odd, a mix of full blown color restoration and using raw scans, benday dots and all. It appears that certain colors are recolored as solids while other things are left as is. Off register printing is corrected some of the time. It is hit or miss but is not bad. One section of the book is shot off of the original art and is presented here in black and white, and it shows beyond the shadow of a doubt to naysayers who claim that artists intended their work to look as it eventually appeared on pulp paper in four color printing presses. So much detail was lost.
Paper stock: Semi-glossy coated stock.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding, lays completely flat.
Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: Dustjacket has a thin coating but is easily scuffed. Casewrap has the same matte look and feel and can also be easily scuffed.

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