Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, April 15, 2017


As some you may know, I am a little bit smitten with a lady named Kitty, and have been for 51 years.  Kitty's maiden name was Keane (pronounced "Kane," not "Keene," as some may think; of course if your are in the branch of the family that went to Australia instead of America, it's pronounced "Kine," because they talk funny).  During high school, there was always some wit who would call her "Kitty Keene, the Teen-Age Queen" as a not-too-bright play on the comic book character Katy Keene (who was originally billed as "America's Pin-Up Queen").  All of which explains my fondness for Katy Keene.  Katy Keene's looks have been described as a comic book version of Betty Page, without the adult trappings and experiences that the real Betty carried with her.  (For the record, my Kitty has always been, and always will be, way cuter than Betty Page.)

Katy Keene was the creation of Bill Woggin to fill a hole in Archie Comics' Wilbur Comics, starting with issue number 5 (Summer 1945).  Katy is (at least, at first) a model/actress/singer with an impish redheaded kid sister (known as "Sis, the Candy Kid") and a slew of boyfriends, most notably the muscle-bound K. O. Kelly and his rich rival Randy van Ronson.  Katy is about 21 years old and Sis is about 7; their parents did not seem to be around

Anyway, Katy bounced around various titles in the Archie Comics line until she got her own magazine in 1949.  The second issue (linked below) gave only a 1950 date.  The comic book lasted for a dozen years, with additional various specials.  Archie comics revived the character from 1983 to the early 90s, then, again, beginning in 2005.  Each revival tweaked the original premise a little.  From 1979 to 1983, there were 18 privately published issues of Katy Keene Fan Magazine, as well as several Katycons

One great appeal to the original comic book was a call to readers to submit dress designs for Katy to wear.  These designs. with credit to the submittors. made their way into the comic book stories.  In this particular issue over 70 (!) reader-submitted designs were used.  Many issues also featured Katy paper dolls and costumes.

Comic Buyer's Guide rate Katy #57 in the it's "100 Sexiest Women in Comic Books" listing.

The stories are typical Archie comic book humorous fare.  In this issue, Katy buys a hat, goes to a masquerade ball, and watches Sis open a lemonade stand -- all while looking fabulous, darhling...


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