#4 Mia Glazel

| November 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

Mia Estelle Glazel (1898 – 1984) was a major figure in the early history of newspaper comic strips, best know for her comics Life in America and Politics of the Porcine.

She started her career as an assistant to Bud Fisher on the strip Mutt and Jeff, but was quickly hired away by Randolph Hearst as a slap in the face to Fisher after he moved his strip away from King Features. Hearst was quick to recognize Glazel’s enormous talent, and she soon had a strip of her own – Life in America (1923-1930). Hearst forced her to publish it under a male pseudonym (Montrose Mountebank) so that the work would be taken more seriously. It was a very popular strip among the intelligentsia of the time, as its story of two hobos and their experiences in the impoverished underbelly of affluent 1920’s America was not a viewpoint often explored at the time.

Eventually, she chafed under the anonymity of her male pseudonym, and broke from Hearst to form her own syndicate and publish her magnum opus – Politics of the Porcine (1931-1937). Porcine was a scathing re-telling of human history, only transported to a surreal, planet sized pig-sty and told through a cast of nameless, archetypal pig characters. It was a platform for Glazel’s wicked intelligence and monumental understanding of human nature.

It was a phenomenal success, but after 6 years Mia pulled the plug on the strip, suspecting that the public love-affair with her work had more to do with cute pigs than it did with the content of the strip. Shortly after, she left America for France, where she pursued her voracious appetites for both alcohol and younger men. Although she married 7 times in her life (four times to the same man), in 1984 Mia died alone in her Paris apartment. She herself had been quoted many times saying that the only love she ever gave unconditionally was to her own creations, and after that she had nothing left to give. One would also suspect that her towering intellect kept intimacy far away.


Category: Drama

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  1. Mike Gallagher says:

    beautifully drawn. nice layout. cool ideas

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