Comic Strip / Comics

What Was the First Comic Strip Written by a Woman?

Comics have always been a great way to express oneself and tell a story. However, for a long time, the comic industry was dominated by men, which made it difficult for women to break into this world. But did you know that the first comic strip written by a woman was published over a century ago?

The First Comic Strip Written by a Woman

The first comic strip written by a woman was called “Patty Cake,” and it made its debut in 1905. It was created by Rose O’Neill, who was an American artist, writer, and Illustrator.

Who Was Rose O’Neill?

Rose O’Neill was born in 1874 in Nebraska, USA. She started drawing at an early age and went on to become one of the most successful female Illustrators of her time. She is best known for creating the Kewpie character, which became wildly popular in the early 1900s.

What Was Patty Cake About?

Patty Cake was a comic strip that featured two little girls named Patty and Sammy. The comic followed their daily adventures as they played together and got into mischief. The characters were drawn with big heads and chubby bodies, which became O’Neill’s signature style.

The comic strip was first published in the New York Herald Tribune’s Sunday edition on May 14th, 1905. It quickly gained popularity among readers and became syndicated in over 50 newspapers across America.

Why Was Patty Cake So Important?

“Patty Cake” wasn’t just the first comic strip written by a woman; it also challenged gender stereotypes of its time. The comic featured two girls who were independent and adventurous instead of portraying them as passive or domesticated characters.

O’Neill’s success with “Patty Cake” opened doors for other women to enter the male-dominated world of comics. She paved the way for future female comic creators, including Lynn Johnston, who created the popular comic strip “For Better or For Worse.”


In conclusion, Rose O’Neill’s “Patty Cake” was a groundbreaking comic strip that not only entertained readers but also paved the way for women in the comic industry. It challenged gender stereotypes and showed that women could create successful and engaging comics. Today, we celebrate Rose O’Neill’s legacy and her contributions to the world of comics.