200812080305Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik send out a heartfelt plea!

Perhaps you can help us!

Paul Karasik & I are currently expanding our 1988 essay HOW TO READ NANCY into a book-length treatment. Our essay originally appeared in Brian Walker’s THE BEST OF ERNIE BUSHMILLER’S NANCY and is currently being used in comics lit curriculums all over the country.

As you may (or may not) recall one particular NANCY strip (enclosed) is deconstructed in great detail. We are trying to determine exactly when this strip was originally printed.

Our source was the 1961 NANCY Pocket Book which obliterated the original publication date & © info on these strips. From studying a fair amount of period syndicate proofsheets it seems most likely that this strip appeared sometime between 1958-1960 as many of the other strips reproduced in this book did.

Unfortunately many of the likely sources (UFS, Walker, Kitchen, Ohio State) do not have complete runs of the strip for this period and neither do we.

We are circulating this request among NANCY lovers and comic strip collectors confidant that someone has the info we seek.

Additionally we are hopeful that someone has high quality reproduction material for this strip (either a proof or the original) and would be willing to contribute a high rez scan.

Even if you don’t have any of this (but perhaps can point us in the direction of someone who did) your name would surely be enshrined in the golden role of the Secret Bushmiller Society for all eternity!

Write to Mark if you can help.

(Aside: We definitely need more NANCY! It took us a good FIVE MINUTES to find a suitable image to accompany this entry.)


  1. Paul Karasik gave a brief lecture on that strip at last year’s SPLAT conference. Quite remarkable!

    Is the strip they refer to the “Draw, you varmint” gag?

    If one is dedicated, old newspaper microfilm can be skimmed by hand. (Best technique: Scan forward to the front page of each day. Check the index on the front page or directly inside. Scan forward to comics page. Ignore all other wonderful and distracting comics. Find Nancy. Read strip. Chuckle. Scan forward to next front page.)

    The original essay can be found here: