Joan Crosby Tibbetts – RIP

Joan Crosby Tibbetts, daughter of Percy Crosby, has passed away.

Joan Crosby Tibbetts
September 21, 1932 – October 26, 2019


From Joan’s Linkedin page:

 Owner,  Skippy, Inc.,  Feb 1968 – Present 51 years 11 months
primary job as court-appointed administrator of Percy Crosby Estate (my father), involving licensing of his famous SKIPPY character; policing and enforcing trademark/copyright infringements; years of litigation, publications about Skippy peanut butter fraud, spent years studying law, and as whistleblower re fraud, corruption of government

Joan is the reason I eat Jif peanut butter.

For decades Joan had fought a never-ending battle over the trademark use of the name of the comic strip character created by her father, acclaimed cartoonist Percy L. Crosby. Percy Crosby, most famously, created the comic character Skippy for Life magazine in the 1920s. It went on to become a most excellent comic strip character in the syndicated years beyond Life.

Elsewhere …
Joseph Rosefield patented a process for partially hydrogenated peanut butter and licensed it out to other companies. In 1932 Rosefield decided to produce his own brand of peanut butter.

That’s when the trouble began for the Crosby family:

In 1933, the Rosefeld(sic) peanut butter company began bringing out s Skippy brand without sending a cheque to the Hearst Syndicate. When Rosefeld attempted to register Skippy as a trademark, Crosby sued them and won. But Rosefeld ignored the court’s decision and continued to produce Skippy peanut butter.

Then a series of unfortunate events complicated things.

Joan gained control of the Skippy comic property upon Percy’s death. That began a lifelong trademark battle with various Skippy peanut butter corporations, extended by appeals and changes in trademark laws.

Joan occasionally produced small victories over the corporations:

The dispute submerged for over a decade until the internet came along to get it going again.  During the domain name gold rush of the 1990’s, a vigilant Crosby Tibbets somehow beat CPC to the punch and registered in 1997.

We salute Joan whose crusade could only be ended by Death himself.

The brilliant Skippy comic strip is available  through books
or reruns can be read on a daily basis at GoComics (seven years of daily archives).

below: my 1978 introduction to Skippy