Thursday, September 04, 2014

Paper Doll Month, Day 4: Mopsy!

Hey, it's Mopsy! (Not pictured: Flopsy, Cottontail, Peter.)

"Mopsy Modes" from Mopsy #19 (St. John, September 1953), pencils and inks by Gladys Parker

Mopsy! She's the sexy-sweet heartthrob of a generation! But sadly, this current generation has mostly forgotten all about her.

Cover of Mopsy #19 (St. John, September 1953), pencils and inks by Gladys Parker

A glamour-girl pin-up style humor cartoon (in the vein of, say, the much more well-known Fritzi Ritz, before her brillo-haired niece took over the strip), Mopsy was created by one of the important (albeit few) female cartoonists of the Golden Age, Gladys Parker, who based the character on herself when Rube Goldberg once told her that her hair looked like a mop. Note the resemblance:

National Cartoonist Society bio of Gladys Parker, with art by Gladys Parker

Mopsy began as a single-panel comic and Sunday color gag strip in 1939, and made the leap to comic books when several of the strips were reprinted in St. John's Pageant of Comics #1 (September 1947). She eventually eventually graduated to her own comic book in 1947 featuring reprints and new stories, plus features, jokes, and paper dolls reprinted from the Sunday strip. Some of these stories were later reprinted in Charlton's 1950s series TV Teens, but they're still difficult to find!

Strip from Mopsy #19 (St. John, September 1953), pencils and inks by Gladys Parker

Classy and never crude, Mopsy nevertheless skimmed the edge of sexy good-girl art with her frequent moments in bathing suits and lingerie, but the female-drawn strip never crossed the line into pure cheesecake.

Mopsy was always sexy and elegant. Her fashions were — shall we say — to die for. It's no wonder — Parker was an accomplished prolific fashion designer as well:

Even when it titillated and teased, the Mopsy strip was all in good fun, and always beautifully drawn.

Sadly mostly forgotten today, Gladys Parker's Mopsy is a delight, and it oughta be collected in a trade paperback somewhere. I'm looking at you, Fantagraphics, Drawn + Quarterly, or Yoe! Books. Get together a lovely remastered collection, get Trina Robbins (whose artwork is noticeably influence by Parker) to edit or do an introduction, and reintroduce the world to Mopsy. I'll be first in line to buy it.

Mopsy mass-market paperback collection (Berkley Books, 1955), pencils and inks by Gladys Parker

More About Mopsy:


Unknown said... I want the Mopsy paperback, and I can't find it *anywhere*. Ebay, Amazon, Bookfinder...nothin'.


Blam said...

Wow… Great stuff, Bully. Thanks for sharing!