Sunday, May 22, 2022

Katy Keene Gets S'Mad

Another silly highlight from the golden era of fashion girl comics could be found in Katy Keene Pin-Up Parade #5 from 1959, where we find Archie artist, Bill Woggon tackle the popularity of current cartoon illustrative satire by turning Katy and her pals S'Mad! It's always fun seeing another artist interpret the Mad-cap, distinctive styles of Wolverton, Martin, Severin, Wood, and even Elder, while also poking a bit of fun at themselves (and their famously frisky glamour puss) in the process!


Brian Barnes said...

Not bad mimicry! The Don Martin stuff is like uncanny valley Don Martin, like a ghost ride Freddy painting!

Mr. Cavin said...

This is really surreal. I mean, it's a comic in which the characters read mail to me. And it's regularly punctuated by a racially coded Alfred E. Neuman popping-up to say the same thing every few panels--eventually this starts to feel like the literary equivalent of a morning DJ's sound effects: "Ho HO! We're getting a call from my dog Skippy! Arf Arf BOINGG!!"

It a great idea to target a satire mag by pretending to be them targeting you. So is using you "reader submissions" format to create an ongoing theme or plot. It's an impressive strategy here, and I'm sure they may have done all sorts of other things with it besides just this. I feel like they either didn't have the strength of their convictions or were worried their audience wouldn't grasp the shtick, though; there was probably a little too much over-explaining going on. Still seems pretty revolutionary to me, though.

Mr. Karswell said...

Dang, a Mad themed dark ride should be a thing!

I would imagine that since Katy Keene comics were geared more towards girls, then yes, they probably had to sell this a bit more with the over explaining... seems s'maddening now, but at the same time logical for 50's audiences when all of this Mad stuff was still relatively new.