Other subtle changes were also taking place at this time. Josie’s hair style was trimmed to the now-familiar short dutch-bob style
and her name changed from Josie Jones to Josie McCoy (1) and Alex and Alexandra were getting more on each other (and
everybody else’s) nerves. However, the most UNsettling change was in wardrobe. Archie Comics tried to play catch-up with their
youthful market by having their main characters dress “hip”. This meant use of the fluorescent color wheel to decorate the clothing,
bell bottom everything, “funky” sunglasses (Alex would be the casualty in this accident), fringe and rhinestones dangling from
everywhere, glow in the dark earrings, etc., etc,.... Ouch!
Greater changes were coming about in #36 (Sept. ‘68), in the form of Clyde Didit (who had comicdom’s first blonde afro). Soon after
his arrival, Clyde began to hit on Josie, but Pepper smelled a rat (possibly because he doesn’t bathe that often, but I digress) and
kept him away from her friend. This was a good move because every time Clyde sang a tune from his endless catalogue of self-
pinned blues songs, he would get clobbered by either a tree, brick or a plane, depending upon what the song was about. With Clyde’
s unique luck, the rhythm and slapstick was quicker than before.
While one character was added, two were about to be subtracted. First went Pepper. While DeCarlo was starting to make plans to
have her carry protest signs and so on, “Mr.” John Goldwater took Pepper out because, as quoted by DeCarlo, “You don’t have a girl
like that in Riverdale. At Riverdale, everybody respects authority, respects everyone.” This struck DeCarlo as odd seeing that he didn’
t even know Josie lived in Riverdale, it was Midvale in the first place. Second to quietly go was Albert as his position of residential folk
singer was replaced by Clyde..... but even more was to come.
Despite “Mr.” Goldwater’s demanding changes on Josie, DeCarlo’s distinctive style was already felt throughout Archie’s other titles.
When DeCarlo started his work for Archie, the house style was strictly patterned after original Archie artist and co-creator, Bob
Montana. After awhile, Dan complained to the editor how he couldn’t handle Montana’s style, so the editor allowed him to take a shot
with his own. Slowly but surely, sales of comics with Dan’s art (primarily ‘Betty & Veronica’) began to sell out more than usual and, in
the process, replaced Montana as the NEW house style.
Clyde makes his entrance....all over the place