Shary Flenniken


Shary Flenniken
Born1950 (age 71–72)
Norfolk, Virginia[1]
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Editor
Notable works
Trots and Bonnie
AwardsInkpot Award (1980)[2]
Spouse(s)Bobby London (div.; m. c. 1972–1976)
Bruce Jay Paskow (1987–1995; his death)

Shary Flenniken (born 1950)[3] 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.

Flenniken is widely recognized as an influential figure in the integration of feminist concerns into underground comics. Her best-known creation is the comic strip Trots and Bonnie, a light-hearted satire of the adult world seen through the eyes of a precocious girl and her talking dog, illustrated in the vein of early comic strip artists like Clare Briggs and H. T. Webster.[4]


Shary Flenniken grew up in Alaska, Panama, and Seattle, where she studied at a commercial art school.

Air Pirates

In 1970, Flenniken was living in Seattle. In late summer that year she attended the Sky River Rock Festival, producing a daily Sky River newsletter on a mimeograph machine. She met Bobby London, Dan O'Neill, and Ted Richards at the media booth,[5] and before the festival was over the four of them produced a four-page tabloid comic, Sky River Funnies, mostly drawn by London. After the festival, Flenniken returned to Seattle where she did graphics for the Seattle Liberation Front's brief-lived underground newspaper, Sabot.

She moved to San Francisco in 1971, where she joined the Air Pirates collective. Flenniken was a marginal contributor to the Air Pirates, and the only member not to be sued for their Disney parodies.

National Lampoon

Flenniken and London were recruited by Michel Choquette, an editor of National Lampoon,[6] where Flenniken's Trots and Bonnie appeared 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 Goes to the Movies.

Other work

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.

Personal life

Flenniken and Air Pirates co-founder Bobby London were married in the early-to-mid 1970s.[7]

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.


  • Drought Chic (self-published, 1977)
  • Shary Flenniken's Sketch Book (self-published, 1977)
  • Sexe & Amour (éd. Spécial USA, 1989) — French edition
  • Trots and Bonnie (S.I. Comics, 1990) ISBN 9782876951327 — French edition
  • Seattle Laughs: Comic Stories about Seattle (Homestead Book Co., 1994)
  • Trots and Bonnie (New York Review Comics, 2021) ISBN 9781681374857

Illustrations in books by others:

  • Nice Guys Sleep Alone: Dating in the Difficult Eighties (Dell, 1986) — written by Bruce Feirstein
  • Eastside Eats: Including Bellevue, Kirkland, & Redmond (Homestead Book Co., 1988) — written by Kim & Sunny Baker
  • How to Live Without Electricity—and Like It (Breakout Productions, 1997) — written by Anita Evangelista
  • When a Man Loves a Walnut (Simon & Schuster, 1997) — written by Gavin Edwards
  • Blood-Lust Chickens and Renegade Sheep: A First Timer's Guide to Country Living (Loompanics Unlimited, 1999) — written by Nick & Anita Evangelista
  • Graphic Classics: O. Henry (Eureka Productions, 2005)
  • Graphic Classics: Mark Twain (Eureka Productions, 2007)


  1. ^ Boyd, Robert. "The Shary Flenniken Interview," The Comics Journal #146 (November 1991).
  2. ^ Inkpot Award
  3. ^ "Flemate" to "Flenniken" index, Comic Art Collection, Michigan State University Archived December 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Patrick Rosenkranz (2002). Rebel visions: the underground comix revolution, 1963-1975. Fantagraphics Books. ISBN 978-1-56097-464-2.
  5. ^ RINGGENBERG, S.C. "Bobby London and the Air Pirates Follies," Comix Art & Graffix Gallery (5-12-98).
  6. ^ "Biography," Shary Flenniken official website. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Boyd, Flenniken interview, The Comics Journal #146 (Nov. 1991): "We were up here from 1973 ’til ’76. We broke up and Bobby went back to New York."

External links

  • Official website
  • personal website (Shary Flenniken Is a Slave to Her Pets)
  • Shary Flenniken profile with Trots and Bonnie strips
  • Video Interview with Shary Flenniken – Crossroads Road
  • Flenniken's Rear Admiral father and growing up YouTube
  • Flenniken's "Trots and Bonnie" and the National Lampoon. YouTube
  • Flenniken's "Trots and Bonnie" French collection YouTube
  • Flenniken's current projects YouTube