ONE: This last name would be one of many for poor Josie as they would “reveal” a new one every so often. In a cover story
on the Josie movie in TV Guide, they announced her name as “James”. Another round of confusion was raised when Archie
Comics website listed Josie’ hometown as ‘Midvale’ and the movie has her in ‘Riverdale’. The movie producers did provide
their side of this matter. They admitted that they took “literary license” and figured that Riverdale was like ‘New York’ and
‘Midvale’ was its ‘Staten Island’. Despite this generous explanation, this loose attitude is attributed to Archie’s serious lack of
continuity in their comic universe. Read further on Alan M.’s name!
TWO: Dante would later produce Barry Manilow and Kim would have his own solo hit ‘Rock Me Gently’ in 1974. Each would
earn his own spot in pop music...for better or worse.
THREE: One of the biggest mysteries of ‘Josie’ is what the ‘M’ stood for. Until very recently, Archie only offered the answer
through their website....and at the same time created another set of annoying questions. His full name was announced as ‘Alan
M. Mayberry’. Now, what’s left is what the HELL DOES THIS MIDDLE ‘M’ STAND FOR?!?!?!?!?! THANKS, MORONS,
FOR COMPLICATING THIS STUPID CR** UP!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, folks, this one is more of a rant than a footnote. Please continue.
FOUR: After her heavenly departure from ‘Charles’ Angels’, Cheryl Ladd tried to restart her singing career by releasing two
solo albums on Capitol (yup, that same one as the Pussycats) and a couple more in Japan. She also appeared in various Vegas
engagements, and several TV specials. Despite the all-out effort and high ratings, the albums and singles didn’t make a dent in
the US charts; only her first single, ‘Think It Over’ made it to #38.
FIVE: This whole episode of the comics investigation is considered a dark period for comics which, even to this very day, is
still being felt and was a bit of a rusty nail in the side of Archie Comics. During this time, Gaines turned his satirical comic book,
MAD, into a magazine format in order to keep it’s editor, Harvey Kurtzman, from taking an outside job offer. This inadvertently
helped save Gains’ business, putting MAD out of range of the CCA codes and allowed him and his “gang of idiots” to make
serious fun of Archie and all that he stood for from a safe harbor, MUCH to the anger (and a few unsuccessful legal threats) of
“Mr.” Goldwater. In fact, in a 1984 interview, Gaines put his relationship with Goldwater in very blunt terms: “We hated each
other’s guts.” One of the sharpest attacks was ‘Starchie!’ written by MAD editor Harvey Kurtzman and drawn by Will Edler.
(Archie would later have their revenge on these two authors when they forced them to hand over the original artwork and rights
to one of the team’s ‘Goodman Beaver’ strips, the ‘Goodman Goes Playboy’.)
Even though the CCA and Archie are separately entities, they are operated by the same person. Up until 2008, Michael J.
Silberkleit was not only the Chairman and Co-Publisher of Archie but also the head of CCA, as was “Mr.” Goldwater himself.
Considering all this in the companies’ background (now counting DeCarlo’s lawsuit), Archie has reluctantly earned itself a
reputation in the comic industry as being devious and is not taken seriously at all. Mr. Silberkleit’s embarrassing public demands
for an apology from Ms. Hart for appearing in Maxim Magazine and, at the same time, ignoring the fact that Archie Comics
offers similar visuals of the female form (with only slightly more clothing) were an example of the hypocrisies that many feel
these two organizations have long supported and strongly maintained.
SIX: An obscure Firesign Theatre reference. Sorry about that.
SEVEN: On an old page of Archie’s web site, Silberkleit offered a rather desperate explanation to “the younger audience of our
loyal comic audience” of the movie’s rating of PG-13. To add a surreal touch, whenever Silberkeit got to a plot point or scene
were he thought the movie got the “13” rating, the head of a Pussycat would pop in and tell him not to reveal it. He then would
respond (“Oops, you are right, Josie, sorry--but I think everybody gets the idea - pretty mild stuff”). It got even more weird as
Alan M., in a separate announcement, rebuked MPAA for the rating. “Not my girls!”, he proclaimed as he compared MPAA’s
ratings with the one offered by American On Line, Inc (circa the 2001 version).
EIGHT: In 2010, Josie and the Pussycats In Outer Space made its digital DVD premiere. Unlike the original series set, it had
no bonus material and had 4 DVD discs; the original series had only 2 discs with the second disc being double sided, while the
Outer Space was originally produced as a simple ‘print as ordered’ title and didn’t have the luxury of any double sided DVD
technology, thus more discs means the higher price tag.
NINE: The writer of this series, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, was first brought to the attention to Archies through one of their
many ‘cease and desist orders’ of yore in 2003 thanks to one of Aguirre-Sacasa’s plays at the time, Archie’s Weird Fantasy.
The play itself was about the residents of Riverdale all coming out of the closet and moving to New York City. Despite this
scuffle, Aguirre-Sacasa was made Chief Creative Officer for Archies in 2014.
This seemed to be an odd way of the old management doing business as when they went after the pop girl group ‘Veronica’ for
copyright infringement in 2005 and soon after a settlement, published a cross over issue with the group.
TEN: It should be noted that a few months after the closure of the CCA, Comic Book League Defense Fund, a non-for profit
organization that provides legal help in cases of first amendments rights to the comic industry and creators, had claimed
ownership of the famous CCA seal and their plans to use it for fundraising. In fact, in one of the CBLDF fundraising comics
since published contained a Kevin Kellner story provided by Archie.
|This little history lesson was first written in 1993/94 with only the barest of available sources and ditto again in 2001.
Now in 2017, this final version is made possible thanks to recent developments and opportunities through the
internet, with fans, friends and comic book news resources supplying more accurate information and useful
technology for this web site. The following is a list of material I used while researching for this monster:
First off, the lengthy Dan DeCarlo interview in The Comics Journal (#229/Dec. 2000) by Mike Curtis (Kudos to
Mike for a great job!!)
Another worthy publication is Bill Morrison’s 2006 book ‘Innocence & Seduction: The Art Of Dan DeCarlo’
(Fantagraphic Books, Inc.). As mentioned in the main piece, it’s a large table book crammed with rare DeCarlo art
and personal pictures from his childhood, through his pin-ups and Archie material (many taken from the original art)
and his follow-up work up to 2001. The biography information was incredible and I only skimmed the surface of this
book for research.
Various internet sources like Brad Nelson’s old ‘Josie’ page (R. I. P.), Ain’t It Cool News, www.fandom.com, American
Mule, Comic Book Resource, International Movie Database.
‘Goodman Beaver’ book (Kitchen Sink-1984).
‘Dan DeCarlo’ by Mary Smith (self-published-1992).
Liner notes from Josie & The Pussycats: Stop Look & Listen: The Capitol Recordings’ CD (Rhino Handmade RHM2
Various ‘She’s Josie’ and ‘Josie & The Pussycats’ comics (1962-2017).
‘Encyclopedia of Television: Series, Pilots and Specials’ by Vincent Terrace (1985).
Various issues of ‘Comic Buyers Guide’, ‘L. A. Times, New Times and Hollywood Reporter .
SPECIAL NOTE: Another round of acknowledgments should go to CBG reporter Patrick Daniel O’Neil for his
detailed description of the legal actions between DeCarlo and Archies. These details got to the point where I had to
directly borrow more than a few lines from O’Neil’s columns. My thanks and apologies to him.