Tuesday, September 27, 2011
She's Josie #9
In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Archie brand exploded. Archie's buddy Jughead got his own magazine, as did his girlfriends Betty and Veronica. The character proved so popular that they even started publishing Little Archie, the adventures of our hero as a tyke.
But at the same time, the publisher wanted to diversify. In 1959, Jack Kirby was between his short-term gig at DC Comics (where he created Challengers of the Unknown) and his famed period at Marvel. Archie Comics commissioned Joe Simon and him to create a new superhero, initially known as The Fly (later redubbed Flyman). For the next several years Archie Comics labored to create a superhero universe with The Jaguar, a resurrected Shield, Steel Sterling and other superheroes, collectively known as the Mighty Crusaders.
Ironically, nothing worked except a female version of Archie named Josie. Josie had pretty much the standard backup cast for a teen comic. There's Josie's ditzy blonde friend Melody, her (initially beatnik) boyfriend Albert, wealthy Alexander, and brainy (but plain-looking) Pepper. The comic does not appear to have been a big success at first; I don't remember ever seeing these in the spinner rack in my hometown. But it got lucky. In 1968-1969, a Saturday Morning show featuring Archie in the inevitable rock band was picked up by CBS. It was a huge success, and the group who recorded under the name The Archies came up with a smash hit in the song Sugar, Sugar. Josie quickly became a rock star too, her comic was renamed Josie and the Pussycats, and their Saturday morning cartoon debuted in 1970.
All that was far in the future at the time this issue came out. As you can probably guess, this issue featured Josie and her pals going to the New York World's Fair of 1964-65. Comics often did tie-ins to major events like this, although I confess this is one of the only ones that I can remember for that World's Fair. Which is remarkable, because Marvel's characters were all set in the New York metropolitan area at that time. The story starts out with Josie announcing that she and her pals are going to enter a contest:
Melody eventually turns up with the kid in tow; he's apparently been following her. Unfortunately, he gave the wallet to his mom, and now he's lost. They suggest putting him on the TV at the fair, but:
Posted by Pat at 3:11 PM