Geraldine (Josephine in Holland) in Utrechts Nieuwsblad (24/1/1967), by Elizabeth Brozowska

Elisabeth Brozowska was a Polish comic artist and children's book author. Her pantomime comic strip 'Josephine' (1950s, 1960s) was syndicated in Europe through the Danish P.I.B. agency, and in the USA under the title 'Geraldine' by National Newspaper Syndicate. In the late 1960s she also wrote a couple of children's books, which she illustrated with her stylized drawings.

Early life
Elisabeth (or Elizabeth) Brozowska was born somewhere during the early 20th century in Poland. She took drawing lessons in Warsaw, but turned seriously ill after three months. For her recovery, her parents sent her to sunny Egypt, where her older sister lived with her husband, a Polish diplomat. Elisabeth recovered from her illness, but was unable to return home due to the outbreak of World War II. It took twenty years before she saw her home country again. Instead, she became a volunteer for the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and worked as a dishwasher and interpreter in a camp for Italian prisoners of war. A South African acquaintance noticed her drawing skills and offered here a job as an illustrator in Johannesburg, South Africa. The adventurous Brozowska travelled there and later met her future husband, the British photographer Kenneth Newman. Together, the pair undertook wild life photo safaris, while Elizabeth also launched what would become her signature comic strip in the local Sunday Times. Considering Brozowska's further professional associations, she presumably moved to Denmark somewhere in the 1950s.

'Josephine' in Utrechts Nieuwsblad (4 January 1967).

'Josephine' was a charming pantomime comic strip, starring a good-humoured and stylish girl. According to a 1962 article in the Dutch magazine Margriet, Brozowska modelled Josephine after herself. The character and her author not only shared their looks, but also their sense of humor, ingenuity, good taste and elegant wardrobe. Brozowska's comic strip was picked up by the P.I.B. agency in Copenhagen, which distributed it throughout Europe. In the Netherlands, her adventures were published under the title 'Doortje Dartel' in the women's weekly Margriet, and also under its original title in local newspapers like Utrechts Nieuwsblad (1963-1967). In Sweden, the strip was known as 'Tipsy', published in the children's magazine Bildjournalen.

The National Newspaper Syndicate bought the American rights, and syndicated it to a couple of US papers between 1961 and 1968. They however changed the title to 'Geraldine', to avoid confusion with another strip called 'Josephine', which was drawn by Robbie Robinson (1949-1962) and Charles Skiles (1962-1968).

'The Animals' Party'.

Children's books
Later in her career, Elizabeth Brozowska wrote and illustrated several children's books for the Danish publishers Carlsen and Illustrationsförlaget, such as 'Niklas och Lejonet' (1968, published in the US as 'Nicolas and the Lion') and 'Flodhästen Putte' (1968), which appeared in France as 'Isidore L'Hippopotame' (1969). In 1969 she also published three activity books for paper and scissors: 'Leg med Saks of Papir', 'Nips af Clips og Gamle Aviser' and 'Tril med Klip'. In the States, she was also the author of the children's books 'The Animals' Party' (1962) and 'The Boy Who Wouldn't Eat His Breakfast' (1963) for the Wonder Books collection. The latter is also known under the nowadays rather dubious title 'Dick Dick, what did you lick?'.

Despite being the creator of an internationally syndicated comic strip and several successful children's books, very little is known about the author herself. The only available information came from an article in Utrechts Nieuwsblad of 31 August 1961, and a profile in a 1962 issue of Dutch women's weekly Margriet.

Elizabeth Brozowska in Copenhagen (Margriet, 1962).

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