Connie and Frank Godwin’s Gentle Realism

Frank Godwin’s 1927-1941 adventure strip Connie should have been among the standout strips of its day on a number of counts. While its launch as a Sunday light-hearted take on the modern working gal (a la Tillie the Toiler, Ella Cinders), its extension to a daily in 1929 turned the lithe and stylish Connie Kurridge (yes, “Kurridge”) into one of the first comic strip adventuress. While others consider her the pioneering female adventure character, it seems to me Harold Grey’s Little Orphan Anniehad already been working this genre since 1924. Still, Connie was the first woman in strips to take on the typical tropes of pulp drama – globe-hopping, eccentric villainy, world-shattering consequences. She employed a combination of savvy, courage, physical daring and comely attraction to both overcome and disarm her antagonists. And the scene-shifting was impressive. In the first years of the strip she moves from being an aviator to reporter to charity worker and eventually in the 1930s as a white defender against the “Yellow Combine” when she time travels to 2349 AD.

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