Monday, March 2, 2009
Josie and the Pussycats Cartoons
Josie and the Pussycats (also known as She's Josie and Josie) is a teenage humor comic book about a fictitious rock band, created by Dan DeCarlo and published by Archie Comics. It was published from 1963 until 1982; since then, a number of one-shot special issues have appeared without regularity. It was adapted into a Saturday morning cartoon by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1970 and a live-action motion picture by Universal Studios and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 2001. Two albums were recorded under the name Josie and the Pussycats: one as the soundtrack for the 1970 cartoon series and the other as the soundtrack for the 2001 motion picture.
Josie was created in 1958 by comic book artist Dan DeCarlo, who based her on his wife (also named Josie). After spending a number of years attempting to sell Josie as a syndicated comic strip, he instead sold it to his main employer, Archie Comics, so that he could develop it into a bi-monthly comic book series. After being introduced in Archie's Gals 'n' Pals #23, the first issue of She's Josie appeared in February 1963, featuring level-headed, sweet-natured Josie (whose last name was given as either Jones or James), her blonde bombshell friend Melody, and the bookwormish brunette Pepper. These early years also featured the characters of Josie and Pepper's boyfriends Albert and Sock (real name "Socrates"), Albert's rival Alexander Cabot III, and Alex's twin sister Alexandra. Occasionally Josie and her friends would appear in "crossover" issues with the Archie characters. She's Josie was eventually shorted to just Josie, and was mildly successful during the rest of the 1960s. Josie and her gang also made irregular appearances in Pep Comics and Laugh Comics during the 1960s.
On March 2005, Archie announced that a Manga version of the title will be published under its helm, with the art of Tania del Rio, who was also responsible for the manga makeover of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. del Rio and company will first tackle Josie and the Pussycats with an introductory story, “Opening Act” in Tales from Riverdale Digest #3 on June 8. The band appeared in its manga form earlier in issue #68 of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.
In Archie & Friends #96, the origin of the Pussycats was somewhat retconned. Josie Jones was cut from the school choir for singing in her own style. She met Valerie Smith, and the two decided to form a rock group called “Josie and the Pussycats.” In need of a drummer, they recruited Melody. It was Melody’s idea to wear cat-like outfits. They weren’t doing so well at first, but Alex really liked the group (though Alexandra could tell that what really interested him was Josie). Alex’s father agreed to let him be the manager, as long as he didn’t use his wealth to make them stars (they have to do it the hard way).
Then in Sabrina the Teenage Witch #72, a stranger named Alan gave them a helping hand carrying equipment. Josie, who was attracted to Alan already, grew jealous because she thought there was an attraction between Alan and Melody (though she may have been incorrect). Alex hired him as their stagehand (apparently, he wasn’t aware that Josie had a crush on Alan.) The manga focuses on the group's attempt to reach fame, rather than on their career after they have already achieved it. In the manga, Alan has a younger sister named Alison who has not been seen in other comics. Also in the manga, Alexandra tried to manage a rival rock trio called the Vixens. However, though glamorous, the three girls she chose for the group had no talent.
However, the manga version was not popular among Archie Comics readers who preferred the traditional style. It was removed from Archie & Friends after 9 issues (#96-#104). A Katy Keene revival replaced it (both were featured alongside each other in the latter part of the manga's run), though it too did not last long. Reprints of Josie and the Pussycats stories continue to appear in digest comics.(wikipedia)