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Shary Flenniken

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Shary Flenniken
Shary Flenniken
Born: 1950
Country: United States
Area(s): Cartoonist, Editor
Notable Work: Trots & Bonnie
Web Presence
Official Site

Shary Flenniken (born 1950) is an American editor-writer-illustrator and underground cartoonist. After joining the burgeoning underground comics movement in the early 1970s, she became a prominent contributor to National Lampoon and was one of the editors of the magazine for two years. Her best-known creation is Trots and Bonnie, a light-hearted satire of the adult world through the eyes of a precocious girl and her talking dog.

Life and CareerEdit

Flenniken's father was a Rear Admiral in the United State Navy, and as a result she lived all around the continent growing up, including Alaska, Panama and Seattle, where she studied at a commercial art school. After meeting underground cartoonists Bobby London and Ted Richards at the Sky River Rock Festival, she began working on small-press comics in Seattle, such as Sky River Funnies. In 1971, she moved to San Francisco, where she joined London and Richards in the Air Pirates collective, who made it their mission to challenge Disney's corporatism. She was a marginal contributor to the Air Pirates, as she enjoyed the camraderie of the group more than she was concerned with its ideological mission, and the only member not to be sued for their Disney parodies. She was later widely recognized as an influential figure in the integration of feminist concerns into underground comics. Flenniken was married to London for several years.

Flenniken and London were recruited by National Lampoon for regular comics features; Trots and Bonnie appeared there from 1972 to 1990. Flenniken was an editor of National Lampoon from 1979 to 1981, recruited many of the magazine's best-known cartoonists during that time, and co-wrote the screenplay of National Lampoon's Movie Madness. Her second marriage was with the late Bruce Jay Paskow of the band Washington Squares. After the couple wed in 1987, they moved two years later from Manhattan to Seattle, where they were together for six years until Paskow's death in 1995.

Flenniken edited Seattle Laughs: Comic Stories about Seattle (Homestead, 1994), and she continues to freelance from Seattle. In addition to contributions to DC Comics' Paradox Press anthologies, her work has appeared in Mad, Premiere, Details, The American Lawyer and other magazines. In recent years she contributed to the Graphic Classics series, praised by School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly for its adaptations of Mark Twain, O. Henry and other authors. She has also worked as an administrative assistant at Compassion and Choices, an advocacy organization for terminally ill people.


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