Friday, November 13, 2015
Number 1813: “The Pen is...” nearly as mighty as the policewoman
Sally is smart, Sally is beautiful, Sally is tenacious, Sally can handle a gun, Sally can handle men. Now that is a great character. According to the website, Public Domain Superheroes, Sally was created by Frank Kearn, Toni Blum, and Chuck Mazoujian.
Pen Miller is a successful cartoonist who lives in a penthouse with a man servant. As Don Markstein remarked on his Toonopedia web page, Pen was the “cartoonist’s ideal self-image.” Indeed. Since cartooning for a living is a full-time job, one would think Pen would not have time to do a successful comic strip and still solve murder mysteries. But that would be part of the “ideal,” or at least a stereotype among non-cartoonists that all cartoonists do is sit around, knock out a few funny pictures, then haul in the big bucks.
Pen also has a name that leads to my speculation that it may be a private dirty joke. The second caption of the story says “‘Pen’ is busy . . .” The letterer must be careful of letter-spacing in a sentence like that. The talented Klaus Nordling, who also did Lady Luck, is the artist.
These are their first stories, from National Comics #1 (1940).