Way back in 2000, Jay Kennedy, who was then Editor here at King Features, put together a showcase for the work of six talented female cartoonists: SIX CHIX. Twelve years later, the roster has changed someone, but these six funny ladies entertain us every week.
Since SIX CHIX doesn’t have a set cast of characters, each of the current “Chix” wrote a little bit about one of the various archetypes that appears frequently in their work.
Isabella Bannerman, “Monday”
“Puffy Coat Lady” has not appeared often because she is a seasonal character. But she is important because she illustrates the boundaries of suffering for beauty. She does not like to be cold, and if the temperature drops, comfort becomes paramount. As she rushes out the door, her husband’s work gloves, her child’s scarf suddenly become essential items. This disguise gives her secret superpowers, but that is a story for another time.
Margaret Shulock, “Tuesday”
I grew up on a small farm so there were always plenty of animals around, but I credit my Dad for my love of chickens. I have an ancient photograph of my father placing a baby chick in my tiny hand. I wasn’t yet two.
Chickens have a lot to offer beyond the eggs they provide. In a natural environment hens are clever, endearing and downright funny. The rooster [there should only be one or violence will break out] struts around the yard in a slow graceful march; his beady eyes trained on the frivolous hens that rarely acknowledge his existence. It’s “Big Love” with feathers!
Chickens are a lot like us. Which makes them the perfect subjects for our human foibles.
Rina Piccolo, “Wednesday”
The Old Lady. She can be obnoxious, crabby and mean. But what she says has a grain of honesty in it, and we all understand where she’s coming from.
Homely in her hat and overcoat, the Old Lady is probably someone you don’t want to stop and chat with in real life.
It’s a mystery what she’s carrying in that little purse of hers.
Anne Gibbons, “Thursday”
My bubble bursting character cannot resist telling the truth. She will rain on your parade, she just can’t help it. When something makes her crazy, she wants it to make you crazy too. Put your head in the sand? I wouldn’t if I were you. She’ll come along and kick you in the butt — for your own good, of course.
Benita Epstein, “Friday”
I drew my first cartoon at age ten. It was of a Los Angeles wrestler, The Destroyer. Years later this character evolved into Ms. Destroyer, a matronly lady who carried a big purse, had flat hair and wore flowery prints.
A variation of this character sometimes appears in my Friday Six Chix. Maybe you’ve seen her with her crystal ball, “knitting with the stars” or using coupons in heaven.
Stephanie Piro, “Saturday”
One of my recurring characters is what I call “the smart little girl.” I do a couple of different ones, but the one in the cartoon I’m referencing I call “Colette.” She’s good at getting what she wants, but she is also a commentator on life and the world. And, because this is cartooning, sometimes I draw her younger, sometimes a bit older. Girls are also fun to draw because they can behave and get away with things that my women characters can’t.