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First and Last – Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

Most comics historians, in writing about Jackie Ormes, note her Torchy Brown comic strip for which she is justly famous. But Ormes’ biographer Nancy Goldstein notes that  “it is Patty-Jo that the readers of the Courier whom I talked to seem to remember most vividly.”

Goldstein continues:

That a girl child expressed wisdom, exposed folly, and could say what was on many people’s minds and get away with it must have struck a chord with readers.

As for the member of the cartoon team (Goldstein again):

Ginger’s acceptability in a family newspaper in spite of her attention-getting poses was partly due to her chaste persona…desirable but never provocative, a charmer but not a seductress.

The panel first appeared September 1, 1945 in the Pittsburgh Courier.
World War II had ended with V-E Day in August, leaving it still a major topic.

The popular panel was soon being syndicated to other Black newspapers; running for 11 years.
Finally ending on September 22, 1956.

There doesn’t seem to be any real collection of Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger cartoons on the internet, but Goldstein’s book collects 88 (of 500+) panels with her commentary about the politics and fashions (Ginger and Patty-Jo both had extensive wardrobes) of the day running along side those cartoons.

Below: two of the 44 pages of Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger cartoons in the Jackie Ormes book.


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