Tentacle Tuesday: Splashing With the Octopus

It’s boiling hot in this part of the world, so I’d like to concentrate on soothingly cool covers for this Tentacle Tuesday. If we end up taking a dip in refreshing waters in our quest for relief from balmy temperatures, so much the better. Today’s roster brings us fashionable dames and their splashy encounters with octopuses!

Here’s the Queen of Fashions (and right now, queen of tentacles), and for once the cover doesn’t focus on her outfit – I understand it’s hard to wriggle out of a swimsuit while an octopus is holding your leg.

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Katy Keene was created by Bill Woggon, and introduced in Wilbur Comics no. 5 (1945). She was “America’s Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions”, and readers were encouraged to submit drawings of outfits and other tralala such as designs for automobiles, boats, and whatever other method of transport Katy could glitter in. This is Katy Keene no. 60, July 1961, cover by Bill Woggon.

Mockery aside, I have nothing against Bill Woggon-era Katy – I like Woggon’s art, and the gentle humour of the stories is hard to dislike. After Katy Keene’s demise in 1961, she was eventually revived by Archie Comics in 1983. They should have let the dead rest in peace! Though several people were considered for the role of regular artist, that position went to John Lucas, whose style I abhor, recoil from and spit upon. I first saw his take on KK in those huge Archie digests you can get for pennies that reprint a bit of everything, giving readers a total pêle-mêle of different decades and different artists. I didn’t know who drew what at the time, but I quickly developed a preference for certain styles while finding others repellent… and John Lucas’ puerile art was top of my hated list, along with the half-arsed, anatomically asinine line-work of Al Hartley.

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Next, we have another beauty queen, although this time the stuff is quite a bit more risqué. It’s not for nothing that cataloguing websites classify Torchy as “adult” material. As for the octopus, it has impeccable taste, having determined that there’s no need to decide between blonde or brunette when you can have both.

ModernComics97-Torchy
But Torchy, why are you wearing high-heel sandals in water? Modern Comics no. 97 (Quality Comics, May 1950). This is a page from « The Mermaid Gig », with scripted and art by Gill Fox. Fox took over from Bill Ward (Torchy Todd’s creator and writer) five years after her introduction, starting with Modern Comics #89 (1949). As far as replacement of Bill Ward, Fox did a truly excellent job, managing to preserve the mood and style of Ward’s stories. Read the mermaid tale (no more tentacles, sadly) here.

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Sometimes octopuses catch little girls, but occasionally a feisty little girl captures an octopus. Little Dot is going to be a handful when she grows up… but of course she never will.

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This polka-dotted octopus is a perfect catch for Little Dot in this soothingly green sea. Too bad the cephalopod fellow looks so disgruntled. He was probably in the middle of lunch or something. Little Dot no. 105 (June 1966); cover by Warren Kremer.

Those of you also inhabiting parts of the world where the weather has gone bananas (because it’s certainly hot enough for growing them in here), stay cool!

~ ds

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