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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


IDW has been doing a regular collection of these Archie artist 'Best Of' books, and the first and most popular of the series has been this Dan DeCarlo collection. They're a larger 11X9 sized Hardcover (they've since put out Softcover editions) with full glossy colored quality pages and crisp clear reproductions of the work.

Really well put together (IDW never shortchanges us on these kinds of collections - always top notch) and they have some great stories in them!

Dan DeCarlo first gained some success with Atlas (Marvel) Comics, where he'd worked for a decade with Stan Lee,  making Millie the Model a success. He also worked on My Friend Irma, and Sherry the Showgirl and a number of projects there that are still sought after by collectors today.

He also did some work for Men's Magazine's of the day, of which I will do a feature on that work later on down the line....

Dan started doing some freelance work for Archie Comics to make some extra money, but he still had a regular gig at Marvel Comics. Archie Comics was expanding with books for Betty and Veronica, Jughead, etc., and they needed artists to keep up.

They were doing somersaults over how good Dan's work was!

(from Betty and Veronica #38 - September 1958)

Archie Comics offered Dan a chance to draw in the style he wanted (and not have to copy Bob Montana) and pretty soon Dan was the main artist on Betty and Veronica where he worked for years.

Atlas (Marvel) was going through some turmoil at the time and lost out on Dan completely!

(from Betty and Veronica #63 - March 1961)

I'm not completely sure if Dan DeCarlo was the FIRST Archie artist to bring the gang into times with the fashion, I think Harry Lucey was probably the first, but DeCarlo DID bring them roaring into the sixties for sure.

And this collection features plenty of outfits from the day, that Dan would research (from magazine's) so that characters could look more contemporary. 

(from Betty and Veronica #69 - September 1961)

Not just fashion, but even home decor as well. 

(from Betty and Veronica #69 - September 1961)

For all seasons!

(from Betty and Veronica #106 - October 1964)

Of course, some things are still the same... gotta love Betty....

(from Betty and Veronica #83 - November 1962)

And sometimes her actions even paid off for her!

(from Betty and Veronica #86 - February 1963)

Though, I'm not always sure Archie was 100% on board with these ideas...

(from Betty and Veronica #86 - February 1963)

Of course, Dan's artwork featured many of the great things we expect from an Archie Comic, like physical comedy...

(from Betty and Veronica #106 - October 1964)

and more physical comedy...

(from Archie Giant Series #23 - September 1963)

And Veronica getting mad at Archie!

(from Betty and Veronica #112 - April 1965)

Sexual innuendo...

(from Betty and Veronica #117 - September 1965)

And more sexual innuendo....Watch those hands!

(from Betty and Veronica #130 - October 1966)

If you've never experienced the fun of Dan DeCarlo's work, this is a great place to start. The stories are short, fun, and entertaining. The books themselves are quality, and it's all Archie and the gang.
For those of us familiar with Dan DeCarlo, this book will make you a fan of his work...
(from Betty and Veronica #63 - March 1961)

The Hardcover is still out there used, but it usually runs $35 to $40... you can find the Softcover for less than $10 though! See below:

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