Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Career Girl's Art of Diving

Patsy Walker first appeared in 1944 in comics published by Timely (later Atlas and then Marvel). Redheaded Patsy appeared in various teen-humour titles with her friendly rival Hedy Wolfe, before being granted her own eponymous book. This was followed by a spin-off called Patsy and Hedy. Although the early sixties saw the explosion of Marvel superheroes, they still published the Patsy Walker and Millie the Model books but they were re-invented as romance titles. Patsy and Hedy had "Career Girls" added to the title and the girls became roving reporters for a time. (Click on the images to see larger scans).


Millie the Model survived until the early seventies, eventually reverting to humour, but Patsy Walker was cancelled in 1965 with Patsy and Hedy lasting a further year before ending with issue 110. In issue 108, written by Denny O'Neill and drawn by Al Hartley, the girls were sent to interview their editor's nephew who was captain of his own boat. After his crew deserts him Patsy and Hedy accompany Mickey on his search for some sunken  treasure. We join the story as Mickey prepares to dive...








Al Hartley was born in new Jersey in 1921. He'd begun working as a cartoonist when the war came along and he flew 20 missions as a B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber pilot over Europe. After the war he began working in comics with his first credited work appearing in 1946 on the character Rodger Dodger (not the be confused with the Beano's Roger the Dodger). In 1949 he was hired by Stan Lee at Timely and worked across a range of titles. As Timely became Atlas he began a run on the Patsy Walker books that would last over ten years.

In 1967 Hartley, now a born-again Christian, began writing and drawing for Archie Comics. He later helped found the Spire Christian Comics line for which he licensed the use of the Archie characters. He died in 2003 aged 81.

 

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