The Oklahoman

‘Strawberry Shortcake’ creator set for Pryor comic con

- Word Balloons

PRYOR — From a friendly moose to caring bears to dessert-inspired friends, artist Muriel Fahrion was involved in some popular properties for 1980s kids.

The Tulsa-based artist will appear at this weekend’s Pryor Creek Comic Convention, scheduled for Oct. 23 at the Mayes County Event Center on the fairground­s in Pryor.

Fahrion created the characters behind the Strawberry Shortcake line of toys and TV specials, and also created the first concept art for the Care Bears and The Get Along Gang. The Care Bears are a multicolor­ed group of teddy bear-like characters who feature a badge on their bellies reflecting their personalit­ies. The Get Along Gang were a group of anthropomo­rphized animal buddies, including Montgomery Moose, Bingo Beaver and Dotty Dog, who had to learn to get along, in a series of cartoons loosely inspired by the “Our Gang” film shorts.

“We are really excited that our guest list includes Muriel Fahrion, creator of Strawberry Shortcake, the Care Bears and the Get Along Gang,” said convention organizer Jimmie Tramel. “She is a relative newcomer to the convention circuit and her popularity is blossoming now that people are being made aware of her place in pop culture history. She is picky about the convention invitation­s she accepts, but she had a positive experience at the Pryor Creek Comic Convention in 2020 and was willing to come back.”

Fahrion will meet fans at the convention and have items for sale at her booth.

“Muriel hits a sweet spot with a certain generation — and people from that generation pass down the love of her characters to their family members,” Tramel said.

Tramel reminds fans new and old that Fahrion’s properties have comic-book ties, in addition to animation and toys.

“Comics diehards may know this, but probably most people are unaware that Marvel Comics published comics featuring Strawberry Shortcake, the Care Bears and the Get Along Gang back in the 1980s,” Tramel said. “Other properties from that era have already boomed — nostalgia? — and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fahrion’s creations are next.”

Also on hand for the show will be author John Wooley, who wrote the “Twilight Avenger” comics and more recently completed a history of Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa along with Brett Bingham.

Historical­ly, the convention has been held in January, but after a year off for COVID-19, the Pryor Area Arts and Humanities Council moved the event to the weekend before Halloween this year.

“Maybe people will unveil their Halloween costumes a week early for our cash-prize cosplay contest,” Tramel said.

The costume contest is set to have three divisions — under 12, 13-17 and 18over — with cash prizes in the top two divisions. Participan­ts should register at the judges table for more informatio­n.

The Pryor Creek Comic Convention is a fifth-year show; admission will be $5. Kids 12-under are free. Masks will be required for safety reasons. The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 23. For more informatio­n and show updates, go to the Pryor Creek Comic Convention Facebook page.

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewLpr­, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

Muriel Fahrion, creator of “Strawberry Shortcake” and friends, will be on hand at the Pryor Creek Comic Convention.

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