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For Monday, February 11, 2008: Exactly How Odd is MISS AMERICA MAGAZINE Vol. 7, No. 35 (No. 68)?
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Archie's Mad House No. 22

   


E-Mail | Introduction | Archives | Message Board
April, 1, 2007

Issue #1153 of 1197





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the provocatively sexy Sabrina






her furry little pal, Salem






Sabrina's shown to be literally invulnerable






Della, the sultry and sophisticated "head witch"






the final panel






page-of-contents






a HOT ROD STARCHIE comic book






a "trophy girlfriend"






"It's lugging this big dummy onto the stage!"






the Venusian "Lobsquirrel"






Mugamboo, a modern young witch-doctor






Chubby (but chilly) Snowboy



Title: Archie's Mad House
Issue: No. 22
Date: October, 1962
Publisher: Archie Comic Purlications, Inc.
Cover Artist(s): Bill Vigoda

Celebrating ODDBALL COMICS' first anniversary at its very own website, here's an issue of ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE that not only features robots, monsters, aliens, mermaids, witch doctors and an icy teen called "Snowboy", it also features the very first appearance of George Gladir and Dan DeCarlo's "Sabrina The Teen-Age Witch"! But be warned, this early version of Sabrina is sooo sexy, it reminds us of something that Matt (THE SIMPSONS) Groening once remarked: "When I was a kid, Dan DeCarlo's artwork is what made me realize I was heterosexual!"


The suffix "-teen" is merely an altered version of the word for the number ten, as in "thirteen, fourteen, fifteen". In the 17th Century, people began to use "teen" as a noun, as in the phrases "in the teens" or "in one's teens". But although it was used in print as early as 1921, the term "teen-ager" or "teenager" didn't come into common English usage until around the late 1930s to early 1940s. Not coincidentally, cartoonist Bob Montana's teenage creation, "Archie Andrews", first appeared in the pages of PEP COMICS No. 22 (December, 1941)!

In the tradition of I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) and BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1958) -- but not the BEWITCHED TV sitcom (ABC, 1964 ‚– 1972), which came two years later -- "Sabrina, the Teenage (originally "Teen-Age") Witch" was the creation of writer George Gladir and cartoonist Dan DeCarlo, first appearing as the lead story of this issue of ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE. According to George, "I think we both envisioned it as a one-shot and were surprised when fans asked for more. We continued to do Sabrina stories off and on in MAD HOUSE until 1969 when we were flabbergasted to hear it was to become an animated feature. When it came to naming Sabrina I decided to name her after a woman I recalled from my junior high school days (middle school) who was very active in school affairs, and who assigned a number of us to interview prominent people in the media. In addition, the woman's name had a New England ring to it. Some years later I recalled the woman's name was not Sabrina, but actually Sabra Holbrook... sorry, Sabra." It's eventually revealed that Sabrina's last name is "Spellman" and that she is the result of a "mixed marriage" between a warlock and a mortal woman, making Sabrina, technically speaking, a "half-witch". Sabrina lives with her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda (both wacky witches) and her "familiar", a black-and-white cat (and former warlock) named Salem. Sabrina attends high school in Greendale, a neighboring town that's geographically near Archie Andrews' Riverdale. Sabrina also has a boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle, who's unaware of her witchy nature. After a number of short stories appearing in ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE, as well as being a supporting character in ARCHIE'S TV LAUGHOUT (a wordplay on NBC's TV series ROWAN AND MARTIN'S LAUGH- IN) in 1969. Finally, the first issue of SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH appeared on the newsstands, cover-dated April, 1971; the series lasted until its 77th issue, cover-dated January, 1983. Meanwhile, Sabrina had already appeared on Filmation Studio's THE ARCHIE SHOW (1968 ‚– 1969) on CBS, and on September 12, 1970, the network began airing episodes of the studio's animated SatAM series, SABRINA AND THE GROOVIE GOOLIES (1970). She must have been popular with the kids in the audience, because on September 11, 1971, the show was shortened to a half hour and re-named SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, airing through 1974. Her comic book series cancelled, Sabrina continued to hang around the fringes of the "Archie Universe" ‚– and starred in a 1996 one-shot that updated her "origin" -- until 1996, when Sabrina The Teenage Witch underwent a dramatic makeover, in this case, a live-action, typically-scripted prime-time ABC sitcom (1996 ‚– 2003) of the same name, starring Melissa Joan Hart in the title role! (This show was also adapted into a series of "Sabrina" paperback text-novels intended for young readers.) This was followed by a DIC cartoon show, SABRINA: THE ANIMATED SERIES (1999 ‚– 2001) ‚– with Melissa's little sister, Emily Hart -- adhering to the sitcom version rather than its original comic book incarnation. Oddly, these led to a new comic book series, one that adapted the premise and look of the live-action TV series, then the cartoon show. And in the 58th issue of "Volume 2" of this series, cover-dated August, 2004, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH underwent the most unexpected (and Oddball) makeover yet ‚– reinventing SABRINA as a faux Japanese manga, written and drawn by 24-year-old cartoonist Tania Del Rio!

Its first issue cover-dated Oct. ‚– Nov., 1952, EC's TALES CALCULATED TO DRIVE YOU MAD (soon to be known simply as MAD) was a humor/satire comic book series that became incredibly influential within a year or so of its initial appearance. In fact, it spawned dozens of four-color imitations published by most of the comic book companies in existence at the time. Although not especially quick to jump on the MAD bandwagon, Archie Comics eventually responded to the trend, launching ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE -- also published under the title MADHOUSE MA-AD -- in September, 1959. (Ajax/Farrell had already published a satirical comic titled MADHOUSE in 1954 and 1957.) Please notice how the cover-logo separates "MADHOUSE" into two words, probably to further promote the concept that this comic is somehow connected with the "real" MAD, although this isn't done with any consistency within the interior pages of this comic itself.. Although the early issues of ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE featured the typical antics of Archie and his Riverdale pals 'n' gals, the comic began to resemble MAD magazine, full of articles and gag-strips that only occasionally featured Archie's gang. (Please note that Archie and his friends are shoehorned into this issue as "presenters" of most of the articles therein, somewhat like wholesome versions of such "horror hosts" as EC's Old Witch, the Vault-Keeper and the Crypt-Keeper.). ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE provided the perfect vehicle to present short (and intentionally juvenile) parodies of whatever fads and crazes were currently popular with teen-agers: monster movies, science fiction, westerns, rock 'n' roll groups, television series, superheroes, spies, TV commercials, hippies, beatniks, etc. Of course, all of these were rendered with the squeaky-clean veneer associated that was typical of Archie's line of titles. Allowing ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE to skew much younger than MAD's teenage and adult audience.

The first issue of ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE (or "MAD HOUSE", depending on the issue) was cover-dated September, 1959 and the final issue was No 66, cover-dated February, 1969. Following that, the series changed its title to MADHOUSE MA-AD JOKES from issue No. 67 (April, 1969) through No. 70, then MADHOUSE MA-AD FREAK OUT from issue No. 71 through 72 (January, 1970). After that, the title became MADHOUSE GLADS from Issue No. 73 (May, 1970) through No. 94 (August. 1974) ‚– but skipping No. 78 through No. 92! Finally, the title shifted to MAD HOUSE and the genre to horror with its 95th issue (September, 1974). The final issue of MAD HOUSE was No. 130, cover-dated October, 1982. There were also eleven different annuals published under the umbrella of Archie's "Madhouse" titles, as well as a single digest reprint collection.

At age nine, George Gladir won a Mickey Mouse sweater in a contest in MICKEY MOUSE MAGAZINE. A few years later, he had the winning entry in a "Buffalo Bob" cartoon contest that appeared in TIP TOP COMICS. Winning a dollar was nice, but even more significant to George was seeing his drawing and name in print in a comic book. In 1943, at the age of seventeen, while attending Cooper Union Institute in the evening, George landed an apprentice-type job at Eisner and Iger; Will Eisner was away in the service at the time. But within a few months, he enlisted in the Army and served as a combat infantryman in France and Germany during which time George was a POW for sixteen days. George didn't get back to the comic book field for many years. Following his discharge from the Army, he went to NYU on the GI Bill of Rights, majoring in History and English. After graduation there was another stint in the Army, this time as a Psychological Warfare Officer in Germany. While in the service he could still feel the lure of cartooning tugging at him. George sold a number a gag cartoons to various publications-including several cartoon ideas to the NEW YORKER. Upon his second discharge he took a job at a bank and enrolled in a night course at New York's Cartoonists and Illustrator's School (changed later to the School of Visual Arts). Two of George's classmates were Bob Weber, later to create the hilarious MOOSE strip for King Features, and Orlando Busino, who became a top-selling gag cartoonist for major magazines like THE SATURDAY EVENING POST. Years later, George and Orlando would co-create the classic Oddball monster parody comic, TALES CALCULATED TO DRIVE YOU BATS! (1961). After leaving C&I, George submitted gag cartoons to various magazines for several years. In1959, a cartoonist friend of George's told him that Archie Comics was looking for a writer. He started submitting one-page gags for ARCHIE'S JOKE BOOK, and George quickly found his niche at Archie and has been writing for the publisher ever since, for forty-seven years and counting. In 1961, George also started working for CRACKED magazine a humor magazine in the tradition of MAD.. George wrote over 2,000 pages for the magazine, collaborating with such talented cartoonists as John Severin and Don Orehek. Always exploring new creative possibilities, in 1991, George sold a series ‚– drawn by cartoonist Tetsuya Ohyama -- with the title "Is That True?" ("Honto Ko Na?"), a humorous feature on an American's misconceptions about life in Japan, to Kodansha, a major Japanese publisher. This feature ran for 69 episodes over four years. George's experiences in Japan also inspired a new fantasy-adventure series for Rorschach Entertainment, CINDY AND HER OBASAN, co-created with the great Stan Goldberg; the first issue was published in October, 2006.. Still quite busy, concocting new characters and stories, George lives in Carlsbad, California with his wife Mary.

Daniel S. DeCarlo (12/12/1919 ‚– 12/19/2001) -- shown here with cartoonists Trina Robbins ad Anne Timmons -- was born in New Rochelle, New York. After graduating from New Rochelle High School and attending the Manhattan Art Student League from 1938 to 1941, Dan was drafted into the U.S. Army and shipped overseas. Stationed in England, Dan drew a weekly comic strip for a military newspaper and painted mascots on the noses of US airplanes while working in the base motor pool and as a draftsman. . After the Battle Of The Bulge, Dan met his future wife, the lovely Gosette "Josie" Dumont, a French citizen living in Belgium. After World War II, Dan and Josie ‚– now Mrs. DeCarlo -- moved back to New Rochelle, where Dan freelanced for Atlas/Marvel, drawing a ten-year-long run (No. 18, June, 1949 through No. 93, November, 1959) of MILLIE THE MODEL -- as well as SHERRY THE SHOWGIRL, SHOWGIRLS and HOMER THE HAPPY GHOST, among others -- with writer/editor Stan Lee. He also drew many "cheesecake" gag cartoons for Atlas/Marvel publisher Martin Goodman's HUMORAMA, as well as for somewhat classier publications such as THE SATURDAY EVENING POST and ARGOSY. Dan also drew THE BRAIN! for Magazine Enterprises, a humorous series about an eccentric boy inventor. In 1959, Dan DeCarlo began to freelance for Archie Comics; it was soon obvious that their comics, when featuring covers drawn by Dan, were among the publisher's best sellers. This led to Dan re-establishing a "house style" for Archie, an appealing "look" also modernized Archie's core cast of characters. Dan not only co-created Sabrina The Teen-Age Witch with George Gladir and red-haired "Cheryl Blossom", he also created JOSIE ‚– later titled JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS ‚– with its title character based on his wife Josie. "We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a [cat] costume for the cruise, and that's the way it started," says Josie DeCarlo. The DeCarlos had two sons, Dan Jr. and James, who also went on to work for Archie Comics. In 1974, Dan was awarded the Shazam Award for Best Penciller (Humor Division) and in 2000, he received the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award in the Comic Book Division. In 2001, MCA/Universal released a JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS feature film, prompting the property's creator, Dan DeCarlo to finally approach his bosses at Archie Comics regarding a piece of the action. Dan had seriously considered such an action before, but was counseled by his lawyer that the owners of Archie might react with extreme prejudice against Dan ‚– and the lawyer, unfortunately, was right. After over forty years, Dan's freelance relationship with Archie was terminated by the publisher. However, Dan was immediately offered work by his fan and friend, cartoonist Bill Morrison, editor of Bongo Comics' SIMPSONS COMICS, BART SIMPSON COMICS and RADIOACTIVE MAN. Dan also drew a story for Paul Dini's JINGLE BELLE. "It was tragic that when he was at an age when many cartoonists are revered as treasures by more beneficent publishers, Dan felt spurned and slighted by the owners of properties that prospered greatly from his contributions. Still, he was esteemed by fans and professionals the world over, and he often told me he was very grateful for the support he received from them over the past few years", said Dini. Tragically, Dan lost his lawsuit case against Archie, and he passed away in 2002. Fortunately, even in death, Dan DeCarlo's distinctive and appealing drawing style is still among the most recognizable comic book imagery with the American public.

This issue's 5-page lead story is "Presenting -- Sabrina The Teen-Age Witch", written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo. This story opens with the provocatively sexy Sabrina lounging in front of the television (showing Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper on its screen!), surrounded by records, comic books, fan magazines, snacks and of course, her pet black-and-white cat Salem:

SABRINA:
Hi! My name is Sabrina! I hope I haven't disappointed you! I mean…I hope you didn't expect to find me living on some dreary mountain top…wearing some grubby old rags, and making some nasty old brew.

Sabrina goes on to explain how witches exist in the world of 1962:

SABRINA:
No, we modern witches believe life should be a ball! …Besides, soft, gracious living doesn't reduce out powers one iota!

Then she introduces us to her furry little pal, Salem:

SABRINA:
However we modern witches still have our familiars! A "familiar" is an impish animals that helps perform small malicious errands! Meet Salem, my familiar! Yesterday Salem got a gold star for tearing up the neighbor's petunias!

Sabrina lists a variety of unusual traits that are specific to witches: they can't cry, they can't sink in water and they can make others fall in love ‚– but they're not permitted to fall in love themselves. (Sabrina's shown to be literally invulnerable when it comes to Cupid's arrows!) Then she introduces us to Della, the sultry and sophisticated "head witch" who's the inventor of that back-and-hip-torturing early '60s dance-craze, the Twist! Then we're given a look at Sabrina's high school life. As a cheerleader, she uses her powers of sorcery to affect the outcome of her school's football and basketball games…just to break up the monotony. Sabrina also works part-time as a waitress at the local soda shoppe, serving frozen treats that have been spiked with "Love Potion No. 9" to cause unlikely trysts among the teenage diners. And, although there's a constant stream of boys who are interested in the comely teenage witch, Sabrina can't allow herself to respond to their attention:

SABRINA:
Everywhere I go the boys are simply wild over me! But you'll never catch me falling in love…that would mean I would lose my powers and become human…and that would be bad!

But in the final panel of this introduction to Sabrina ‚– in a clever but subtle touch that demonstrates Gladir and DeCarlo's mastery of comic book storytelling -- the platinum-blonde sorceress' expression suddenly softens, dropping its sexy allure and revealing Sabrina to be, at heart, a typical teenager:

SABRINA:
…I think!

Also included in this issue of ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE are these stories, features and advertisements:

A black-and-white, inside-front- cover page-of-contents, illustrated by Dan DeCarlo.

  • "Les 'N' Chet" in "Name Game", a one-page gag-strip written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, wherein sunglasses-wearing Lester Cool and cube-headed Chester Square attempt to get a table at a fancy restaurant.
  • "Les 'N' Chet" in "Big Rig", a one-page gag-strip written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, wherein sunglasses-wearing Lester Cool and cube-headed Chester Square visit a haunted house and find a very unusual mouse trap.
  • "Monsters ‚– Scare Your Fellow Monsters", a phony two-page spread advertisement, written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, peddling such non-existent items as: "Teen-Age Masks", a fake "Teen-Ager's Hand", a phony "Teen-Ager's Foot", false "Teen-Ager's Teeth", a "Robin Disguise" for Transylvanian bats, a HOT ROD STARCHIE comic book, an LP record of "Wierd (sp.) Teen-Age Sounds" and "a complete collection of frightening teen-age movies" such as "The Teen-Ager From The Swimming Pool" and "The Date Of Dopey Gilliz" .
  • "A Funny Thing About Monsters…", a one-page text-article, accompanied by an unsigned illustration of actor Glenn Strange as the Frankenstein monster.
  • "Dig This Crazy Offer!", a one-page house-ad for subscriptions to ARCHIE'S PALS 'N' GALS.
  • "The Romance Of Marcia The Mermaid", written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo. ‚– Teenage Marcia's love life is very frustrating; her current deep-sea-diving boyfriend is forced to break off their underwater relationship because it's giving him the bends! But when toothy Mark the shark tries to get Marcia to give him "a little smooch", she calls him "fish face" and tells the killer fish to "beat it". Her father, King Neptune, advises Marcia that she can find some handsome boys at the beach, and before you know it, she meets the man of her life there, Max the life guard. Unfortunately, Max only wants her as a prize "catch" to show off at his Fisherman's Club. (Talk about having a "trophy girlfriend"-- literally!) But just when Marcia's about to give up, she meets Scuba Dooba, a teenage skin-diver…and it's love at first sight. Soon, they're married and within a few years, they have a pair of twins. The last panel of this story shows Mr. and Mrs. Dooba and their teenage twins "living happily ever after" in their "sub-suburban home" ‚– a giant fish bowl!
  • "The Act", written by George Gladir and drawn by Orlando Busino. ‚– Harry Thompson is a reporter from the EVENING HERALD, assigned to cover a story about a popular ventriloquism stage act, "Gregory and Andy". Interviewing them, Harry learns that they find voice projection to be no problem, and that controlling lip movement is easy. The only hard part of their act? "It's lugging this big dummy onto the stage!"
  • "Your Money Buys More When You Buy ARCHIE GIANT SERIES MAGAZINES ‚– Order Yours Now!", a one-page house-ad for ARCHIE ANNUAL #14, BETTY AND VERONICA SUMMER FUN #18, THE WORLD OF JUGHEAD #19, ARCHIE'S PALS 'N' GALS #22, ARCHIE'S JOKES #17, LITTLE ARCHIE #23, BETTY & VERONICA SPECTACULAR #16, ARCHIE'S CHRISTMAS STOCKING #20 and ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE ANNUAL #1.
  • "Hexy Pin-Ups", a one-page gag-strip, written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo wherein housemates Hilda and Ava -- two old witches --.use voodoo dolls with which to argue.
  • "Bombs Away", a one-page gag-strip, written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, wherein tiny, peaceful aliens are driven away by an earthly menace of falling walnuts.
  • "Animals From Outer Space", an article written by George Gladir and drawn by Bill Vigoda, including such alien critters as the Venusian "Lobsquirrel" (half lobster and half squirrel), the Neptunian "Cowgaroo" (half cow and half kangaroo), the Martian "Girahorse" (half giraffe and half horse), Jupiter's "Hyenaparrot" (half hyena and half parrot), the moon's "Octodeer" (half octopus and half reindeer), the Saturnian "Birdog" (half bird and half dog), the Plutonian "Leopasheep" (half leopard and half sheep) and "Zebrasheep" (half zebra and half sheep) and Mercurian "Skunkephant" (half skunk and half elephant).
  • "Space Sports", a one-page, pantomime gag-strip, written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, wherein two green-skinned kids from outer space are refused admittance to THE SAUCER INVASION, a science-fiction movie.
  • "Go Modern Young Man", a one-page gag-strip written by George Gladir and drawn by Bill Vigoda, wherein Mugamboo, a modern young witch-doctor, pays a visit to his father, a traditional African witch-doctor.
  • "Snowboy", written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo. ‚– Chubby (but chilly) Snowboy is quite an unusual teenager; this kid's body is made of living snow! He's so cold that anyone in proximity to him has to wear warm clothing ‚– even on the hottest day of the year. After receiving the advice of "the wise old snowman" Abe Ominable, Snowboy enrolls in high school ‚– he plans to major in "refrigeration" -- but a chilly reception seems inevitable, until he reveals he has a great sense of humor. Before long, Snowboy becomes the most popular teen in town. Then, on a blind date, he meets his true love, Dagmar. Eventually, the warmth of their romance thaws out Snowboy, until he's transformed into a "normal" teenager…but unfortunately, his frozen exterior is somehow transferred to poor Dagmar, who gets turned into a living snowgirl!
  • "Happy Endings", a black-and-white-, inside-back-cover article, written by George Gladir and drawn by Dan DeCarlo, depicting four different "happy endings" (no, not that kind!) for young lovers.
  • "He'll KILL You! He'll STEAL Your Heart! He Has A RECORD! (For Getting Laughs!) This Is His World!", a back-cover house-ad for THE WORLD OF JUGHEAD #19.

ODDBALL Factoid ‚– ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE writer George Gladir -- co-creator of "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" -- cites cartoonist Al (LI'L ABNER) Capp's strip-within-a-strip parody of Chester Gould's classic comic strip DICK TRACY, "Fearless Fosdick", as the primary influence on his career in comic books!

Bonus ODDBALL Factoid ‚– ARCHIE'S MAD HOUSE's other long-running featured character ‚– co-created by George Gladir and Joe Edwards ‚– was "Captain Sprocket", a parody of superheroes!

Double-Bonus ODDBALL Factoid ‚– Sabrina The Teenage Witch was also the lovely "horror hostess" of Archie's classic Oddball Comic, CHILLING ADVENTURES IN SORCERY AS TOLD BY SABRINA (1972)!

Triple-Bonus ODDBALL Factoid ‚– In all of her original animated cartoons, the voice of Sabrina The Teenage Witch was provided by Jane Webb, who also portrayed "Batgirl" and "Catwoman" in THE BATMAN/SUPERMAN HOUR (CBS, 1968 ‚– 1970)!

Quadruple-Bonus ODDBALL Factoid ‚– The amazing artwork of cartoonist Orlando Busino -- who drew this issue's "The Act" -- was a major influence on the cartooning style of ODDBALL COMICS' curator Scott Shaw!

Next Week ‚– ODDBALL COMIC #1,168: MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2007 ‚– Here's an ODDBALL issue of mighty Marvel's AMAZING ADULT FANTASY, one that cover-features "The Terror Of Tim Boo Ba"! No wonder they call it "The Magazine That Respects Your Intelligence"! Plus, this funnybook anthology includes the shock-ending stories "The Man Who Captured Death", "I Come From The Black Void", "The Genie Lives" and "The Spirit Of Swami River" (!) ‚– all written by Smilin' Stan Lee and drawn by Sturdy Steve Ditko!



For more from Scott Shaw!, visit his Web site at http://www.shawcartoons.com/.

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