Famed comic strip character turns 80 years old;
Cartoonist of the daily comic strip, Guy Gilchrist, set to celebrate
Nashville, TN (January 2, 2018) – Nashville, Tennessee, resident Guy Gilchrist, the cartoonist who took over the famed comic strip “Nancy” in 1995, is celebrating the character’s 80th year in existence since first being introduced on January 2, 1933, as Fritzi’s niece, Nancy. Nancy, a slightly chubby and precocious eight-year-old, first appeared in the strip Fritzi Ritz about the airheaded flapper title character and continues in 2018 as an American daily and Sunday comic strip.
Nancy and her friends live in a warm, comical, nostalgic, carefree world of love and laughter which contributes to its appeal well over half a century later. The mythical town of “Three Rocks” is somewhere just down the road from there.
CHARACTERS OF NANCY:
• Nancy Ritz is a tomboy, an angel, and a brat! She is optimistic, moody, loud and loyal. She loves her Aunt, her friends, her rescued dog and cat, her goldfish, her teddy bear, ice cream, the fair, snow days, music and days with no homework! She is in 3rd grade at Three Rocks Elementary School.
• Aunt Fritzi (Fritzi Ritz) is an Entertainment writer for magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs. Fritzi is a dedicated single parent who makes her 8 year old adopted niece the center of her life. Fritzi is in her late fourties.
• Sluggo Smith is an orphan as is Nancy. Perhaps that is their natural bond. He is lazy, but dreams that impossible dreams are possible. But not if, you know, he has to actually work "too hard" to achieve them! He loves to nap, play the guitar, nap, fish, nap, sing, nap, meditate.....and nap.
• Rollo, the stereotypical but nonetheless friendly rich kid. In the early 1940s, the rich kid was known as Marmaduke. It is possible that the name was changed to avoid confusion with Marmaduke, an unrelated comic strip by Brad Anderson that debuted in 1954.
• Irma, Nancy's nondescript girlfriend.
• Spike (aka Butch), the town bully who frequently knocks out Sluggo. Sluggo occasionally gets one over on Spike, however. • Oona Goosepimple, the spooky looking child who lived in a haunted house down the road from Nancy's house. She only appeared in the comic book version of the strip, during John Stanley's tenure in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
• Marigold, Sluggo's tomboy cousin.
• Pee Wee, a neighborhood toddler.
• Poochie, Nancy's nondescript dog. In current strips, Nancy also has a cat named Rocky and a goldfish called Goldie.
On January 2, 1933, Ernie Bushmiller introduced Fritzi's niece, Nancy. Soon she dominated the daily strip, which was retitled Nancy in 1938. Comics historian Don Markstein detailed the evolution, as the readership of Fritzi Ritz increased. Bushmiller's bold, clear art style, combined with his ability to construct a type of gag that appealed to a very broad audience, brought the strip to new heights of popularity—and his introduction of Fritzi's niece, Nancy, in 1933, carried it higher yet. Two important developments occurred in 1938. Sluggo Smith, Nancy's friend from the "wrong side of the tracks", was introduced in January; and later that year, Aunt Fritzi's name was dropped from the title of the daily strip, which continued as Nancy.
At the same time, Bushmiller's Sunday page underwent a similar change. Formerly, half of it had been devoted to Fritzi and the other half to her boyfriend, Phil Fumble. Phil's half was taken over by Nancy. Years later, when newspaper space became tighter and cartoonists were no longer allowed whole pages to themselves, Fritzi's half disappeared, and the transformation was complete. Fritzi Ritz was a bit player where she had formerly been the star. Phil Fumble made a reappearance in the November 27, 2012 strip. At its peak in the 1970s, Nancy ran in more than 880 newspapers.
Al Plastino worked on Sunday episodes of Nancy in 1982-83 after Bushmiller died. During that period, David Letterman showed on TV a Nancy panel with Plastino's signature and made a joke about Plastino as a superhero name. (Letterman's writers were apparently unaware that Plastino was known for his superheroes.)
The strip has continued to the present day by different writers and artists. Mark Lasky briefly handled the strip in 1983 before handing the strip over to Jerry Scott (1984–94), who drew the strip in a much different, more modern style than other adaptations. In 1995, Guy and Brad Gilchrist assumed control of the strip, returning the artwork to its traditional forms. The strip has an international popularity, especially in Japan and South America. It runs as Periquita in several dozen Spanish-language newspapers.
About GUY GILCHRIST:
Guy Gilchrist, world-renowned cartoonist, has been writing and drawing the NANCY comic strip for almost 20 years. Guy’s history includes the endorsement and opportunity to draw and write for Jim Henson's Muppets, Muppet Babies, Fraggles, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Pink Panther, as well as twice receiving the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Category Award for "Best Book and Magazine Illustrator.” Guy also writes and illustrates the daily panel Today’s Dogg. Guy and everyone at “NancyNation” are also supportive and dedicated to causes that promote second chances at happiness and life for children of all ages and animals.
For information on Guy Gilchrist contact:
Webster & Associates Public Relations