October 17, 2006
Hilda Terry, 1914-2006
Hilda Terry, the pioneering cartoonist known equally for her long run on the strip Teena
and becoming the first female member of the all-male National Cartoonists Society in 1950, passed away on October 13. She was 92.
Starting out as It's A Girl's Life
and focusing on girls' reaction to World War II, the feature that would eventually become Teena
was syndicated from 1941-1966, a healthy run that spanned the mid-20th Century heyday of teen comics. A former member of the Art Students' League of New York, Terry was early on a magazine cartoonist, and is said to have placed work in such high-profile outlets as Saturday Evening Post
and the New Yorker
. Terry's work on Teena
displays the clarity and precision of magazine-style cartooning, which must have helped it stand out, particularly in its initial years when a more decorative style was still on display in several features. Teena
was a King Features strip, and was licensed briefly to comic books (at Standard) as well.
Terry was a member of the Art Students League of New York, where she met her future husband Gregory D'Alessio
, who preceded Terry in death. In 1949 D'Allessio submitted his wife's name for membership in the then all-male National Cartoonists Society, putting her on the ballot with magazine cartoonist Barbara Shermund. She was admitted a year later after much debate, and immediately set about bringing more female cartoonists into the fold. She later became an award-winning animator and pioneering contributor to sports-stadium aninmations, and pursued a variety of personal interesting until her passing.
Terry's web site can be found here
, a professional site which it looks like she maintained or at least contributed to here
, and her Lambiek entry here
. Heidi MacDonald has a nice piece up
, and a lot of the information above was gleaned from the preceding and Rich Watson's charming 2001 profile
. RC Harvey's story of Terry's entry into the NCS may be behind a firewall here
cartoon, uh, "borrowed" from the OSU site
posted 3:01 am PST
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