How I Was Born

By Ella Cinders


Creators of New Comic Character: Bill Conselman (left) and Charlie Plumb (right) ready to give world first glimpse of their brain child, Ella Cinders

I was born in the city room of the Los Angeles Times one day last July when the typically unusual weather was unusually typical. Like all famous people, I was born of poor but honest parents, and while by nature I am as modest as the girl who wouldn’t take a bath in the daytime, nevertheless I must proudly point out that my aforementioned parents were members of the editorial and art staff of The Times.

Bill Conselman, then picture editor of the Southwest’s greatest newspaper and known as “Bulldog Bill, the Press Agents’ Friend,” leaped from his desk with a cry like a Wampas baying on the trail of a Schallert and dashed over to where Charles Plumb was brightening up a Pre-View layout.

“Charlie,” he said (Bill is very democratic,) “meet my brainchild, little Ella Cinders, the girl who’s going to make income-taxpayers of us!”

Right then and then the plans for my future were laid. You’d never believe the adventures Bill mapped out for me and the queer people Charlie wanted to draw me with. That is, you won’t believe it until you see it in The Times, starting tomorrow.

Yes, it’s true! And I’m as excited as a cub reporter at his first fire! The story of my life starts tomorrow in The Times, the paper where I was born, the paper from which Bill and Charlie used to draw salary (I won’t say worked,) the paper of my own home town! Isn’t life wonderful?

You can imagine how pleased Bill and Charlie are! Even though I will appear, starting tomorrow, in thirty-five of the best papers in the country, I overheard Bill say that he’d rather have me in The Times than any other paper in the country. That, you see, is because he’s of The Times and loves it, having spent more than two years in its city room in various editorial capacities. And Charlie’s just as tickled, because he, too, wants to see his comic heroes appearing in his home-town paper.

Seriously, though Maximilian Elser, Jr., and Earl J. Hadley of the Metropolitan Newspaper Service, who are guiding my destiny, predict a big national success for me, I wonder how it feels to be famous?

When you see me tomorrow and every day after that, don’t think of me as a comic-strip character, but as a real girl, whose adventures will interest you, amuse you and sometimes bring a lump to your throat, because I occasionally get some very tough breaks.

And both Bill and Charlie are anxious to know what you think of me, so if you’ll write them, care of The Times, and tell them, I know they’ll appreciate it.


This appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 31, 1925, the day before the Ella Cinders daily strip started. Location: [Part II-a] p. 3