SKY GIRLMedium: Comic books
Published by: Fiction House Magazines
First Appeared: 1944
Creators: "Bill Gibson" (writer) and Alex Blum (artist)
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Aviation adventure was a popular genre in American fiction during the second quarter of the 20th century, starting in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight. In newspaper comics, representatives included Tailspin Tommy, Barney Baxter and
Scorchy Smith. In comic books, they included Hop Harrigan, Wing Turner and the entire population of Air Fighters Comics (Airboy, Bald Eagle etc.).
Very few of them were women. There were Flyin' Jenny in newspapers and The Black Angel in comic books, but that was about it — at least until the 1944 debut of Sky Girl from Fiction House Magazines (Tiger Girl, Firehair), a comics industry leader in the feminine aspects of heroism — not because they were particularly enlightened, but so they could show a lot of their protagonists' skin.
Sky Girl started in Jumbo Comics #68 (October, 1944), where Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was the cover feature. The series she replaced was The Creep with Inspector Dayton, detective stories that weren't intended to be taken entirely seriously.
Nor was Sky Girl, the nickname of leggy redhead Ginger ("Ginge") Maguire. No more "liberated" than the times she lived in, she was further hampered by the fact that she wasn't very bright. These handicaps combined to prevent early entry to the career she'd chosen, so she settled for a waitress job at an airport cafeteria. Some improbable sequence of events always managed to get her in the air, where she proved herself a reasonably capable pilot, except for a propensity to crash planes and cause other property damage. Despite this, she eventually managed to get a job ferrying military equipment around the Pacific.
Her first story was credited to a "Bill Gibson", apparently a house name. The artist is identifiable as Alex Blum (Kaanga, Samson). But the artist most closely associated with her was Matt Baker (Rulah, Phantom Lady). Baker was even better known for drawing extremely attractive women than were Wallace Wood (Sally Forth) and Dan DeCarlo (Jetta of the 21st Century).
Ginge never made it onto the Jumbo Comics cover, but she lasted several years in the back pages. Her last appearance was in #129 (November, 1949). She remained dormant for decades, but was eventually picked up by AC Comics (Femforce, Haunted Horseman), which reprinted her adventures in three issues of Sky Gal in 1993.