Ella Cinders is one of those Jazz Era waifs, a classic flapper with big eyes, a bob hair-do, and moxie to spare! She'll need that moxie to surmount the obstacles in her path, from wicked stepsisters (you got the wordplay of the title, right?) to the leering leches of Hollywood, as she makes her way from destitution to stardom.
This journey took place not only on the comics page, but in real life, as well. Only a year after her 1925 comic debut, Ella Cinders was adapted into a successful silent film (sadly out of print), starring the appropriately delectable Colleen Moore. The film and the strip were both hits, and Ella remained in the funnies until 1961, while Colleen Moore continued to enjoy fame in the silents.
It's easy to see why Ella is so beloved, she's cute as a bug and her speech patterns are a treat to read! Every line of dialog from her mouth is packed with vintage vernacular and sassy similes. The art is as great as the writing, with character designs that just pop off the page, especially as the strip gets into high gear and Ella journeys to Hollywood. I'm often reminded of Will Elder's contorted faces and distended postures as I peruse these strips, and that's high praise from this Mad Mag Maniac!
By Bill Conselman and Charlie Plumb