Brenda Starr, Reporter To Retire From Newspaper Comic Strips

After 70 years of service, Brenda Starr follows fellow red-head Little Orphan Annie into retirement. The Chicago Tribune reports that the comic strip "Brenda Starr, Reporter" -- which at one point ran in 250 newspapers -- will end on January 2nd. "Starr's" long-time creative team, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and June Brigman, have decided to end their association with the adventures of the adventurous female reporter -- and rather than find replacements for them, the Tribune decided to end the strip.

"There's sadness about stopping, but no regret and no ambivalence," Schmich told the Tribune. "It came to me really clearly that I was done. … I don't think the character is dead. But the comic strip in this form is."

This leaves the question open: might Brenda Starr rise again in a medium other than newspaper strips? Could a comics publisher like Dynamite or IDW bring new life to the iconic character, turning her into a comic book "superheroine" of sorts?

"Brenda Starr" debuted in 1940, the creation of Dale Messick. Over the years Starr has become probably the most famous (and fashionable) female reporter in pop-culture (though Lois Lane might have a different opinion on that). In 1989 "Starr" was made into an ultimately unsuccessful major motion picture with Brooke Shields in the starring role.

Has Starr gotten her last scoop? Or is this a new beginning? Well, you can't keep a plucky reporter down for long.

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