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RIP Martha Arguello

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The SF Chronicle reports that cartoonist Martha Arguello – better known as Marty Links — died on Sunday at age 90. As Links, Arguello was the creator of Bobby Sox, which ran for 35 years, although it later changed its name to Emmy Lou. The panel inspired a short-lived TV show, but more than that was a looking glass for society, capturing the moods and fashions of teen-aged girls through the 40s and 50s. Arguello raised three children while working on the strip and turned to making greeting cards and ceramics when she retired.

Like some other successful women cartoonists of the day, used a male name, Don Markstein writes:

By the way, if you happen to be confused by the the given name of the cartoonist, you’re not alone. So, apparently, was The National Cartoonists’ Society, of which she was one of the first female members. Correspondence from the Society was addressed to “Mr. Marty Links” even after she’d given birth to her first child. She offered to send them her bust size.


Arguello is survived by two daughters. There will be a reception in her honor at the Cartoon Art Museum 655 Mission St., San Francisco, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The family suggests donations in her name to Canine Companions for Independence, 2965 Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

  1. Heidi, you can read more information on Marty in my book, The Great Women Cartoonists, which is where Don Marktsein got the information he sent you. Marty didn’t use a “male name” because she feared that editors wouldn’t accept a woman; Marty was simply her nickname for Martha. BTW, like Hilda Terry and Dale Messick, Marty had been very influenced by Nell Brinkley as a girl. I’m currently putting together a large full color collection of Brinkley’s gorgous art for Fantagraphics, and had planned to present a copy to Marty when the book came out in 09. I’m sorry now that this won’t be possible.

  2. Trina and Heidi,

    The Arguello family would like to thank you for your thoughts on Marty. We would also like to extend a personal invitation to you both to attend the reception Saturday night, if you are in the area.

    Sincerely,
    Ginny Arguello

  3. Ginny, I would like to give you my deepest simpathy for your loss. I hope it provides some comfort to you and your sister to know that I named my daughter Emmy Lou, thanks to your mom. I don’t know if anyone else did this, but now you know that at least one “real” person has the name your mother created. I would have liked to tell this to your mom, but after they stopped publishing the comic strip, I did not know how to get in touch with her.

    My Emmy Lou, was born on May 9, 1974. When she was old enough to understand, I told her how her name came about. She never quite believed me, so I tried to obtain a copy of the Emmy Lou comic strip, but I was never successful. If you happen to have any drawing around, I would appreciate getting a copy. Thank you and God bless!

    Guillermo Munoz

    PS: My best friend is Guillermo Arguello, brother of Alexis Arguello. You guys may be related!

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