Fifteen years ago, on January 3, 2000, a sextet of female cartoonists started a revolution in the largely male dominated comic strip world with the launch of Six Chix, a syndicated daily comic strip featuring their collective artistry and humor. The goal was to spotlight the talents of six different women creators every day of the week, and to attract more women readers to newspaper comics. Since, the Six Chix have been the reigning queens of the comic strip world, entertaining fans from around the world with their surreal and “keeping it real” spin on things.
Six Chix includes the work of award-winning cartoonists Isabella Bannerman on Mondays, Margaret Shulock on Tuesdays, Rina Piccolo on Wednesdays, Anne Gibbons on Thursdays, Benita Epstein on Fridays and Stephanie Piro on Saturdays. The cartoonists then take turns drawing a full-color, multi-paneled comic strip for release on Sundays.
by Isabella Bannerman
Each cartoonist writes and draws with her own style, while offering her own offbeat and satirical look at the world. On any given week, you might find gags about the economy, technology, zombies, pirates or health care, but the common thread throughout is that the main characters are always female and always funny. Is this WYSKy or what?
Today, Six Chix is syndicated by King Features Syndicate to over 60 newspapers and websites around the world, including the Houston Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Arizona Republic, San Diego Union-Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle, to name a few. But fans can also read Six Chix every day at ComicsKingdom.
While the women continue to work on independent projects under their own personal portfolios, the impact they have made as the Six Chix collective is far reaching.
left to right: Isabella Bannerman, Margaret Shulock, Rina Piccolo, Anne Gibbons, Benita Epstein, Stephanie Piro
Isabella Bannerman (Mondays)
Isabella spent her formative cartooning years in New York City, working in animation. In addition to Six Chix, her cartoons have appeared nationwide in alternative news-weeklies and in various magazines. A book of her cartoons, “Pacifists in Bomber Jackets,” was published in 1998, and another collection “Cartoons for Caregivers” was printed in 2013. In 2014, she won a Silver Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society for Best Newspaper Comic Strip for her work on Six Chix. In 2014, she also won a Front Page award for Editorial Cartooning from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for a four-page story called “Palliative Care,” that was published in the magazine “World War 3 Illustrated.”
Margaret Shulock (Tuesdays):
As a kid, when she wasn’t drawing, Margaret was usually hanging out in the barn, wondering what the chickens were really talking about. Now she lives in the wilds of New York State, still drawing and still wondering about her neighbors and waxing poetic about such mysteries as “How do porcupines pass the time on those long winter nights?” In 2006, Margaret officially became the writer on “Apartment 3-G,” the contemporary “soap opera” comic strip that speaks directly to the new generation of women who juggle careers, men and friendship.
Rina Piccolo (Wednesdays)
Rina’s cartoons have appeared in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, Glamour, Reader’s Digest, Parade magazine and more. Her daily comic strip “Tina’s Groove,” is syndicated in newspapers and websites worldwide.
Anne Gibbons (Thursdays):
According to Anne, the truth is funnier than fiction. Her sense of humor is firmly rooted in reality, where she digs down deep to get to the heart of the matter. Her cartoons and illustrations have been featured in magazines including: Reader’s Digest, Glamour and Redbook, as well as in books, newspapers and on websites. Her greeting cards have been published by industry leaders for more than 20 years. The National Cartoonists Society honored Gibbons with the prestigious Reuben Award for Greeting Cards in 2000. She has recently added graphic recording to her repertoire. Follow her work on her website.
Benita Epstein (Fridays)
Benita’s award-winning cartoons have appeared in hundreds of publications, including The New Yorker, Barron’s, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Reader’s Digest, as well as in books, on greeting cards, websites and merchandise.
Stephanie Piro (Saturdays)
Besides her work for Six Chix, Stephanie also draws and writes “Fair Game,” a single panel that appears on her website and in newspapers. Her cartoons have been published in magazines, books, many cartoon anthologies, greeting cards and calendars. She is the author of “My Cat Loves Me Naked,” “Men! Ha!” and “Caffeinated Cartoons.” Stephanie has also illustrated several books. She has won numerous design and cartoon awards and has been nominated for the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award in the Single Panel category.
Stephanie also designs gift items for her company, Strip T’s, and her CafePress Shop, which includes a line of T-shirts and other fun things for women, book lovers, musicians and cat lovers. You can see more of her work on her website and in her Etsy shop.