Obscurity of the Day: The Captain And Mandy

The Captain And Mandy by Steve Kell, from Universal Press Syndicate, ran 8/20/1978 – 2/25/1979 (dates from Dave Strickler’s LA Times index). This strip presented us with the novelty of a female airline pilot, a rarity still today, and tried valiantly to be feminist. Being that the cartoonist was male, sometimes the attempts at feminism ring hollow, and sometimes Kell would switch camps and make jokes of the male chauvinist variety. This slightly schizophrenic writing style probably had something to do with the strip’s early demise.

Kell’s cartooning ability, pretty rough at the start of the strip, was improving markedly by the time the strip got the ax. Kell probably could have had better luck on a second strip, especially if he found a writer to partner up with, but instead he shifted his focus away from newspaper comics on to greeting card work and painting. Some of his later work can be seen at his web site.

4 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: The Captain And Mandy

  1. Allan,
    Just sent you a scan showing that in
    The San Francisco Chronicle the Sunday
    version of this strip ran at least
    until April 8, 1979.


  2. Hi DD –
    Thanks for the info on the later date. Now that I know we don’t have the right end dates, I’ve emailed Steve Kell to see if he can supply definitive end dates. I’ll let you know if he responds.

    By the way, I would ask that you have mercy on my poor dial-up internet account – the attachments you sent were over 10 MBs and took about two hours to download. You can significantly reduce the resolution at which you scan, and the resulting images will still be just fine, especially for viewing on screen – try 100 dpi for color images, 150 for black and white.

    Best, Allan

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