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Sunday, September 11, 2016

(On Newsstands in March 1951)

The final cover of this classic Bob Montana run would prove to be his most iconic. Betty's pose and provacative statement exemplified the fantasies of a generation of Post War America where dreams can come true!
Or... it was... ya know... kinda hot! 
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Bob Montana)

On the inside though, the change coming to Archie Comics was evident, as we again get a story disguising a public service announcement, again involving public safety. This was a pre-Rock n Roll generation, but I suppose the interest in coming of age and getting your first car was already quite the thing. And since, the information age was still a long ways off, Archie Comics was doing it's part to remind young drivers to BE SAFE.
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Samm Schwartz?)

The other Archie trend of social commentary in the their stories continued as well (many erroneously believe that started in the mid-60's), as here they lament the pay of good School Teachers vs employment as a Secretary - something that could still be lamented even today!
This is also another story speculated to be drawn by Dan DeCarlo, pre-B&V #4, the issue traditionally thought to be his first Archie Comics work. 
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Dan DeCarlo?)

Addressing the DeCarlo speculation - it IS early in his career, but you can see in this cover he did for Atlas/Marvel a few months earlier, that the DeCarlo style was already there, and he would begin his Yardbirds work in G.I. Joe soon after this. That's not to say he wasn't trying to alter his style to fit what Archie Comics asked for, or what he believed they were looking for, but, personally, if I had to put money on it, I don't think its his work.
I certainly could be wrong, but the Dark Horse Archie Archives Series is getting close to these issues and have access to the original files, so another year and maybe we'll know for sure!
AND it was fun to post the earliest (100% sure) DeCarlo Atlas cover of the tough to find Georgie #30!
(from Geogie #30 - December 1950, artwork by Dan DeCarlo)

Maybe one of the more frightening panels ever posted in one of Archie's comics, as the Andrews and Lodge's dress down for relaxation and Mommy Andrews is showing a little more than we need to see. Is this revenge for Betty on the cover???
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Samm Schwartz?)

Some things never change though, and Reggie continues to have some of the snarlier comebacks!
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Dan DeCarlo?)

Not only are the stories disguised as psa announcements, but the psa ad's are disguised as stories!
One day I might do a post featuring JUST psa spots in Archie Comics!
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by ?

Though we have here two real ads, one a Bazooka Joe Dubble Bubble Gum Ad (memories!) and a clever ad for Jughead Comics!
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Samm Schwartz?)

And though it certainly didn't seem like it at the time, we can still find some interesting colorful descriptions that probably wouldn't make it in today's Archie Comics....
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by ?)

The subtle sexuality of some of the interior stories has started to go away, but using my Dr. Frederic Wertham decoder device to read the issue, I can still find some provocative things they try and sneak in...
(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by ?)

The highlight of the issue, is a Samm Scwartz Jughead story, where Juggy FALLS IN LOVE! Granted, it's a girl with Six Pounds of Hamburger, but it's still funny to watch him go through the type of body contortions that Archie usually does over females. Samm is one of the most UNDER rated of all the Archie greats!

(from Archie Comics #50 - March 1951, artwork by Samm Schwartz)