The Ominous Octopus

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Keen Brunette Named Katy Keene

Katy Keen- I think she's Keen!

Katy Keene

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Katy Keene
Archie character
Katy keene special.png
Katy Keene Special #2 (1984), art by John S. Lucas.
First appearanceWilbur Comics #5 (Summer 1945)
Created byBill Woggon
OccupationModel, actress, singer
Katy Keene, a character created by Bill Woggon, has appeared in several comic book series published by Archie Comics since 1945. She is a model/actress/singer known as America's Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions.
Her comics were interactive in that readers were encouraged to submit original drawings of outfits and accessories for her and her friends to wear, as well as designs for automobiles, homes, interiors, rocket ships, trailers and boats. These designs were used in the comics with credit given to published submissions. Many issues featured paper dolls of Katy in various costumes.[1] The character was ranked 57th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[2]


 Publication history

Katy Keene was introduced in Wilbur Comics #5 in the summer of 1945, and appeared in subsequent issues of Wilbur and various anthology comic series in the 1940s including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica and Ginger, eventually receiving her own title in 1949 which ran for 12 years. Specials such as Katy Keene Pin Up Parade and Katy Keene Fashion Book Magazine, Annuals and specials including Katy Keene Spectacular (1956), "Glamour" (1957) and Charm (1958), continued through the 1950s, but the character was not seen for about 20 years after the early 1960s.
In the book From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines by Trina Robbins Katy Keene is called a Bettie Page look-alike. "... but the resemblance ended there. Katy Keene was no bimbo and she had a good job (she was a movie star.)" [3]

 1980s revival

In 1979, with Archie's permission, Katy fan Craig Leavitt published the Katy Keene Fan Magazine, which ran 18 issues until 1983. Having been a lifelong fan of the character, John S. Lucas's art was instrumental in the revival, as his work was featured in the magazine along with other artists' and fans' work. Several "Katy-Kons" (conventions) were held in Santa Barbara, California, and then later in conjunction with the San Diego Comic-Con celebrating Woggon and Katy.
Archie Comics decided to revive the character themselves in 1983, giving the character her own title by using reprint art of Woggon's as well as new art by Don Sherwood, Vince Colletta, Hy Eisman and Dan DeCarlo.
After seeing Lucas's art in the Katy Keene Fan Magazine and receiving letters from fans encouraging them to do so, Archie contacted Lucas, asking him to do the art for the revived Katy Keene Fan Club, which included pens, lapel buttons, membership cards, notepads, T-shirts, and sweatshirts. Not long afterward, Archie brought Lucas on as regular Katy artist. During the 1980s, '90s and 2000s, Lucas carried on the Katy tradition with his comics, his annual Katy Keene Christmas Cards and Paper Dolls and paper doll books from Hobby House Press.
In the early 1990s, Katy once again went into retirement, except for a 1994 appearance in The Punisher Meets Archie.

 2005 reintroduction

Archie re-reintroduced Katy, now a high school student and aspiring model, in its 2005 Free Comic Book Day issue. She then appeared in Archie & Friends Comics #101–#110. These ten stories were then compiled in a trade paperback, Katy Keene Model Behavior, in 2008.

 Supporting cast

Katy has a redheaded, bespectacled younger sister. In the original Woggon 1950s series, Katy's sister was a mischievous child around seven years old and known only as "Sis, the Candy Kid". In the 1980s, she was drawn as a tween or a young teen and received the name Melissa, but was still almost always called "Sis". In the short-lived 2000s series, her given name was Mackenzie. No explanation for the name change was given, although it may be due to the 1980s name's obscurity. Regardless, her real name is almost never mentioned and to both readers and characters, she is always called "Sis".
Originally, the 1950s Katy was 21 years old and Sis was about seven years old. In subsequent series, Katy is roughly the same age, but Sis was reimagined as being around 15 and has been so ever since. By this point, Katy had already been discovered in college. After going to work as an aspiring Broadway star, she became very successful in her modeling and acting career, so she became her sister's legal guardian.
Katy has had many recurring boyfriends over the years, the most famous of which are the redheaded and muscular boxer K.O. Kelly and his rich blond rival Randy Van Ronson. They were not often seen regularly in the 1980s when Katy dated the Latino airline pilot and talented dancer Ramon Ramirez and the Arnold Schwarzenegger parody Arnold Horsenlegger. However, K.O. and Randy became her main love interests again in the 2000s.
Katy's rival in her career and love life is the wealthy and snobby blonde Gloria Grandbilt and her best friend is the superstitious redhead Lucki Lorelei. Both Gloria and Lucki are also successful models, with the level-headed brunette Katy rounding out the trio.


  1. ^ "Evanier, Mark. "News From Me," POV Online (March 7, 2003)". Povonline.com. http://www.povonline.com/2003/News030103.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  2. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 40. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
  3. ^ Robbins, Trina. (1999) From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines. Chapter 1. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.


 External links

I haven't read as many Katy Keen comics as some of the other ones, but I've got a thing for keen brunettes, so I decided to do a blog about her. Of course, I've got a thing for keen blondes and keen redheads, too.  I'll be getting around to them eventually.

This cover shows Katie Keen, Sis, and Gloria Granbilt, who all appear regularly in these comics.



There were a lot of science fiction stories in comics in this period.
Katy Keen Comic Book Price Guide Cover
Katie Keen Paper Doll
Sis Paper Doll
Readers could send in for this paper doll.

Katie Keen Christmas by Ramona Fradon
Another mermaid picture.
Lucki Lorelei in a Halloween costume.
Finally, we have another Spider Lady we somehow missed before. Gloria Granbilt is named after Gloria Vanderbilt, and in these comics is Katy Keen's rival, which is why she gets to be a Spider Lady.


Here is a Katie Keene story reblogged from http://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/




Katy Keen:

Katy Keen:

Katy Keen:

Katy Keen Send-Away Doll:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Spider Widow

The Spider Widow in the comics predated "The Scarlet Widow" of the Superman radio show.

Spider Widow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spider Widow
Spider Widow 1.jpg
From the front page of a Spider Widow story in Feature Comics #60
Publication information
PublisherQuality Comics
First appearanceFeature Comics #57
Created byFrank Borth
In-story information
Alter egoDianne Grayton
AbilitiesCan control black widow spiders
Spider Widow is a fictional superhero character that was published by Quality Comics during the Golden Age of Comic Books. The character was created by Frank Borth and debuted in Feature Comics #57, which bore a cover date of June, 1942. Borth continued to write and draw the Spider Widow feature until the end of its run in Feature Comics #72 (June, 1943).

 Publication history

Spider Widow is the secret identity of Dianne Grayton, a bored and wealthy athlete who decides to fight crime and foreign saboteurs after discovering she has the ability to control deadly black widow spiders. She disguises herself in a costume very similar to a stereotypical Hallowe'en witch, wearing a green-faced old crone mask, a floppy black hat, and a long black dress.
In Feature Comics #60, Nazi agents set a trap for Spider Widow by posting an advertisement in the newspaper that requests her assistance, and then knock her out when she shows up. She is rescued from a boat bound for Germany by the bird-costumed Raven on his first heroic outing, and the two reveal a hidden U-boat to the U.S. Navy. She becomes romantically involved with the Raven (who is later revealed to be Tony Grey); however, neither initially knows what the other looks like without their mask on because they shared their first kiss in the dark. The two later team up with Phantom Lady in a multi-part crossover that spanned between Feature Comics #69-71 and Police Comics #20-22. Though Spider Widow initially worries that Phantom Lady is a potential rival for the Raven's affections, they nevertheless became allies.

Current status

DC Comics is believed to have acquired the copyright to Spider Widow when it purchased Quality Comics' holdings, though that claim may be in doubt because most Quality properties lapsed into public domain prior to the purchase. To date, DC Comics has yet to use the character.

 Powers and abilities

Spider Widow has the ability to psychically control black widow spiders; the reason for her gaining this power is never explained. Spider Widow is also a trained athlete.

 External links

                                                *                   *               *

The comic book "Spider Widow" first appeared in 1942, while the "Scarlet Widow" of the Superman radio show did not appear until 1945. It is possible that any similarities could be coincidental. The Spider Widow was really a beautiful girl who only used a horrible disguise, while the Scarlet Widow really was horrible-looking.

The Spider Woman in the Carol Superman serial was really another version of "The Black Widow" she had played in the previous serial, rather than the radio character. Similar villianesses can also be seen in comic books from that period, such as the one who shot Bucky in CAPTAIN AMERICA #66.

The Phantom Lady could be seen as physically similar to The Spider Lady, but was one of the good guys. The crossover of comic book characters Phantom Lady, Spider Widow, and The Raven was less common at this time than it would be in modern comics.

As our story begins, Spider Widow appears without her disguise:

In this one, Spider Widow is in her witch disguise:

The story end with the former foes on the same side, a satisfying conclusion that might have helped the kiddies learn by example. The Spider Widow's own story ends in obscurity as few people are interested in that character today.

Phantom Lady:

Phantom Lady Club ( Lady of Quality ):

Phantom Lady vs. Spider Widow ( the same story ):

Scarlet Widow ( Radio Version ):

Revival Version:

Spider Widow ( Comic Vine ):

Spider Widow: ( Toonpedia ):

Spider Widow vs. Phantom Lady, and Prarie Witch:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carol Forman Filmography

Carol Forman was best known for playing "The Black Widow" and "The Spider Lady", so not suprisingly her second-to-last movie had her reprising this character as "Dangerous Dora". But her last movie had her being a newspaper woman, which makes it sound as if the Spider Lady was impersonating Lois Lane again.


Actress (24 titles)
Newspaper Woman (uncredited)
1960Surfside 6 (TV series)
Mrs. Jordan
Deadly Male(1960)… Mrs. Jordan
1953By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Dangerous Dora (uncredited)
1951Oh! Susanna
Blonde (uncredited)
1950-1951The Cisco Kid (TV series)
Pat Lacy / Pat Parker / Pat Tracy
Pancho Held Hostage (1951)… Pat Tracy
Confession for Money(1951)… Pat Lacy
Lynching Story(1950)… Pat Parker
1949Brothers in the Saddle
Flora Trigby
1948The Feathered Serpent
Sonia Cabot
1948The Mozart Story
Catherine Cavallieri (new scenes)
Spider Lady

1948Docks of New Orleans
Nita Aguirre
1947Brick Bradford
Queen Khana
1947The Black Widow
Sombra, The Black Widow
1947Under the Tonto Rim
Nurse (uncredited)
Mrs. Henry Roberts (uncredited)
1947Wife Tames Wolf (short)
1947Code of the West
Saloon girl Milly
1946San Quentin
1946The Falcon's Adventure
Helen Ray
Receptionist (uncredited)
1946Follow That Blonde (short)
1946From This Day Forward
Counselor in Unemployment Office (uncredited)
Archive Footage (2 titles)
1966Golden Hands of Kurigal (TV movie)
1966Sombra, the Spider Woman (TV movie)
Mme. Sombra
Carol Forman: