Female cartoonists were having an impossible time getting work when Dalia "Dale" Messick broke through in 1940 with her wildly successful "Brenda Starr, Reporter" comic strip. The glamourous globetrotter, of the Hepburn sass-and-brass class, morphed through the times and fashions for 71 years, the first 40 of them by Messick and the rest by female creators like Ramona Fradon. (She was paralleled by Jackie Ormes' "Torchy" strip, carried by African-American newspaper syndication in the '50s.)
But her fleet feet hit a stumble when it came to film. The 1986 adaption, starring Brooke Shields and Timothy Dalton in a '40s adventure comedy, was unceremoniously shelved. After Dalton's subsequent breakout as the new James Bond, it was released for mere moments in France in 1989, and the US in 1992. With zero support and bad timing, it disappeared into limbo and whispers.