Jane was a comic strip created and drawn by Norman Pett The Daily Mirror from 5 December 1932 to 10 October 1959.
Originally entitled Jane's Journal, Or the Diary of a Bright Young Thing, the comic strip featured the misadventures of the title ingenue, Jane Gay, who had a habit of frequently (and most often inadvertently) losing her clothes. Her intimate confidant was a pet dachshund named Fritz.
The original model was Pett's wife Mary, but the comic strip became more successful when he began to use Chrystabel Leighton-Porter as the model. The strip became very popular during the Second World War and was considered morale-boosting, inspiring a similar American version, Milton Caniff's comic strip Male Call. Until 1943, Jane rarely stripped to more than her undergarments, but then she made a fully nude appearance when getting out of a bath and clumsily falling into the middle of a crowd of British soldiers.
Scripts were written by Don Freeman. Norman Pett's assistant Mike Hubbard continued, beginning in 1948, to develop the cartoon's original storyline until ending in 1959 – with charmer Georgie giving Jane a happy marriage and ending the series. The Mirror tried to revive the character on several occasions. One such comic strip was Jane, Daughter of Jane (1961-63), drawn by Alfred Mazure, who was apparently the original's grown-up offspring, but she lacked her mother's charm and innocence. Another attempt was made during from 1985 to 1989, drawn by John M. Burns.
The strip inspired an eponymous stage play during the 1940s, with Leighton-Porter playing the character of Jane. Chrystabel also featured in a 1949 movie, The Adventures of Jane, directed by Edward G. Whiting. A 1987 movie, Jane and the Lost City, was directed by Terry Marcel.
A TV series was made by the BBC between 1982 and 1984, featuring Glynis Barber in the title role. The first season was titled simply Jane, while the second was titled Jane in the Desert. Despite the early evening scheduling slot, the show was decidedly risqué with Jane continuously stripping down to her underwear, including stockings and suspenders. At the end of the second series' closing episode she appeared topless momentarily. Despite considerable publicity in the press at the time of its original screening, the show became somewhat obscure and has never had a commercial video or DVD release. The show was briefly revived during 1985 as a three-part sequence shown over a single morning on Breakfast Television but without Glynis Barber in the main role.