Thursday, June 24, 2010

Perfectly Frank (And Dan)

I'll have more to say about IDW's Best of Dan DeCarlo: Volume 1 collection later, but for now I'll note that -- as first pointed out by Sean Gaffney, and confirmed when I got the book -- the table of contents includes credits for every story. They're in very small print, but they're there.

Because all the stories in the book are Betty and Veronica stories from the period of 1958 through 1969, nearly all the "written by" credits are, of course, for Frank Doyle. There's one story by George Gladir, one by Sy Reit, and one ("The Original") where the credit is "Writer Unknown," though it sure reads like a Doyle script to me. There are one or two stories where I'm not completely sure that the writing credit is right, and a couple of others where the inking credit is hard to figure -- Rudy Lapick is credited for most of them, but I thought there was a period in the '60s where DeCarlo replaced Lapick with his brother, Vince (who usually did DeCarlo's letters until his untimely death in the late '60s). Still, most of the credits look right at a glance.

I wouldn't say that every story here represents the best of DeCarlo or Doyle from this era, though some of them do, and anyway I would assume that the choice of stories was dictated to an extent by what original art was available. Anyway, more on that later.

Update: Here are the stories selected for this book.

All scripts are by Frank Doyle unless otherwise noted:

1. “Birth of a Notion” (Betty and Veronica # 37, July 1958) – The boys toss around a doll and fool the girls into thinking they’re tossing around a baby. (Script: Sy Reit)

2. “Flip Flopped” (Betty and Veronica # 38, September 1958) – Veronica signs up for the cheerleading squad.

3. “Sheep Skinned” (Betty and Veronica # 44, August 1959) – The boys accuse the girls of being “sheep” for following the latest, unattractive-looking fashions.

4. “A Choice Choice” (Betty and Veronica Annual # 8, 1960) – Archie has to break his date with Veronica to take his mother out on her birthday.

5. “Something to Remember” (Betty and Veronica # 63, March 1961) – Veronica is peeved because Archie can never remember what she wears.

6. “The Reader Knows Best” (Betty and Veronica # 63) – Archie tries to do the same task for both Betty and Veronica, while assuring the reader that he knows what he’s doing.

7. “The Bluest Angel” (Betty and Veronica # 63) – Betty feels guilty about exploiting a misunderstanding between Archie and Veronica.

8. “Gambler’s Luck” (Betty and Veronica # 65, May 1961) – The girls toss a coin to see who gets Archie.

9. “Snob Sister” (Betty and Veronica # 69, September 1961) – After Betty berates her for being a snob, Veronica argues that everyone is a snob about something or other.

10. “Switchcraft” (Betty and Veronica # 69) – When Betty has a date with Archie, Veronica thanks her for taking the dull boy off her hands.

11. “The Original” (Betty and Veronica # 77, May 1962) – Veronica explains that she doesn’t wear real jewels in public, just copies of them. (Credit reads “Writer unknown,” though it might also be Doyle)

12. “Commercial Caper” (Betty and Veronica # 83, November 1962) – Betty blows up “Archie Loves Betty” balloons and sends them floating all over town.

13. “Glad To Help” (Betty and Veronica # 86, February 1963) – Archie tries to use Betty to make Veronica jealous, and she’s only too happy to be used.

14. “Dear Diary” (Archie Giant Series # 23, September 1963) – Betty writes her version of the day’s events in her diary, while we see what actually happened.

15. “Sugar Doll” (Betty and Veronica # 103, July 1964) – Veronica tries to make candy, and both she and Betty get tangled up in the sticky goo.

16. “Heat Wave” (Betty and Veronica # 106, October 1964) – Archie, Betty and Veronica spend a hot day squirting each other with hoses.

17. “Bully Girl” (Betty and Veronica # 106) – Veronica shows off her new martial arts skills by beating up everyone in sight.

18. “The Midas Mess” (Betty and Veronica # 112, April 1965) – Everything and everyone Betty touches turns to gold.

19. “Prize Package” (Betty and Veronica # 112) – Betty tells Archie he’s won a “most popular boy” contest.

20. “Message Center” (Betty and Veronica # 116, August 1965) – Betty has to break her date with Archie when she sees a message on the bulletin board saying Miss Grundy wants to see her after school.

21. “The Phenomenon” (Betty and Veronica # 117, September 1965) – Betty and Archie discover that when Veronica stands on her head, her speech balloons are upside down.

22. “Rhyme Time” (Betty and Veronica # 119, November 1965) – The narrator re-introduces us to the Archie gang, in rhyme.

23. “Do No Evil” (reprinted in Archie Giant Series # 137, January 1966 — but from the look of it it’s clearly an earlier story, probably from 1960 or so) – After the girls accuse them of being slobs, Archie and Reggie try to avenge themselves by ruining the girls’ clothes.

24. “Feed Deed” (Betty and Veronica # 130, October 1966) – At the beach, Veronica tries to outdo Betty’s cooking. (Script: George Gladir)

25. “Wing It” (Betty and Veronica # 155, November 1968) – Betty impresses the boys with her great throwing arm, but Veronica gets more results by throwing badly.

26. “Drive To Distraction” (Betty and Veronica # 167, November 1969) – Archie uses a beach umbrella to give Veronica some shade in his car.

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