I found out cartoonist/scholar/herstorian Trina Robbins was going to be in Victoria in relation to a documentary film she participated in (Wonder Women), so despite some currently taxing health issues I went downtown to see her. We talked old cartoonists for awhile and I gave her a CD with my cartoon cover. I learned a mutual friend of ours (Barb Rausch), had died though, that's the risk in catching up.
In regard to Brinkley there are two books I can highly recommend; Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the Early 20th Century, McFarland 2001, and the lavish The Brinkley Girls, The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons From 1913-1940, Fantagraphics 2009, both authored by Trina. For Rose O'Neill I can point to Linda Brewster's Rose O'Neill The Girl Who Loved To Draw, Boxing Day Books 2009 while wishing for an even thicker revamp in the future. So nice just to finally see photos of these pioneering women! Sadly I don't know of any equally good books for Ethel Hayes or Gladys Parker, and very sorely wanted they are.
Legends shop at which Trina was signing books had a display of often very lavish reprint books like the Tarpe Mills & Miss Fury, IDW Publishing 2011 one I bought for Trina to autograph. I could easily go into the red on just the old Felix the Cat collections and Eric Shanower Oz adaptations I saw. It's not quite a normal comic shop though, the glowering bizarrely muscled modern superheros were not nearly so prominently displayed as were local cartoonists works and vintage bagged funny books! There is a shop in Seattle over by a Dick's Drive-In that also struck me as more inviting to the general populace, but many are more foreboding and cultish much to the detriment of the form that is losing mass media status. In any case, I left feeling somewhat renewed and optimistic about the 'comic book world'. More Owly please, and less 'Owlman becomes a heroin addict and blows Smirky-villain up with frag grenade', or more Beanworld and less steroid-and-helium-boob-world!
Postscript: I once had an early Marvel comic (1949, shown) titled simply Cindy Comics (shown right) and it was filled with some of the most skilled and expressive cartooning I had seen but by an unsigned and possibly still unknown artist (I can rule out Al Jaffee, Dan DeCarlo, Mike Sekowski, and Ken Bald). Trina suggested it could have been Syd Shores, and going buy some of the more realistic art he did at that time I have seen I can almost completely rule him out on this, but other possibilities are Morris Weiss, Earl James or none of these fellows. Trouble is it is very hard to find representative cartoon work by all three. It's possible whoever the mystery artist was they had a connection to Harvey Kurtzman going by the proto Annie Fanny cover art. Again, I sure regret not keeping all my old funny books! I did see the same artist with single also unsigned stories in Patsy Walker comics of the time. I think of them as 'the good Cindy artist'. Patsy Walker is remembered where many other teenage characters are forgotten only because Marvel later made her into a Miss Fury style superheroine (wonder why Millie The Model wasn't similarly recycled). On the slim chance anyone has any examples of teenage strip art by the named cartoonists, or just solid Archie style cartooning from 1945-53 Marvel/Atlas comics, please consider me a fanatic for it.