Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Bill Woggon picked up a mail correspondence cartooning course that his brother, Elmer, had lying around the house. Like a lot of little bros, he was following his brother around. So, Bill strts copyign the course lessons and started to cartoon.
The two Toledo, Ohio Woggon brothers would go on to careers in comics. Elmer, along with writer Allen Saunders, co-created BIG CHIEF WAHOO (later renamed STEVE ROPER AND MIKE NOMAD), and Bill would create the KATY KEENE comic book.
KATY KEENE had a big fan following. She was a wholesome, nice model whose stories were pretty much showcases for how many fashions she could put on in an issue. Fans would mail in designs, some of which would make it into these stories, with the kid designer credited, right there, in the story.
But I want to talk about something else. A lesser-known Woggon creation, during the "monster craze" of the early sixties.
MILLIE THE LOVABLE MONSTER was a short-lived Dell Comic from the 1960s. It was a silly, sweet comic that had an odd trio living together in an old house (Millie and an owl and a ghost). Despite of how different they were, they were all good friends who helped each other.
There were, as far as I know, no fashions in the book. Oh -- and Millie did not talk. She wrote little pictograms and her friends happily deciphered them.
There was a time when there were all sorts of oddball kids' comics like this, with not-so-well-known characters like Timmy the Ghost, Melvin the Monster, O.G. Whiz, and so on. Sure, us comics nerds know them, but everyone forgets that for every Casper or Little Lulu, there were a few of these lesser-known books out there as well.
Here's the first story from MELVIN THE MONSTER #3 by Bill Woggon. It's "Hootenanny How-Dee Dude-Dee" and it's copyright 1964 by Dell Publishing, Inc. It's still a perfect story for a little kid.
Bill Woggon's autobiography from the National Cartoonists Society:
Posted by Mike Lynch at 9:45 AM