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Author Topic: JOSIE reprint collections - Contents Listings and Comparison  (Read 1759 times)

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DeCarlo Rules

JOSIE reprint collections - Contents Listings and Comparison
« on: September 02, 2017, 11:00:50 AM »
I know I said more than a week ago that I'd post the contents of the recent trade paperback, THE BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, but then the more I got into it, the more detailed information I started adding, and going back over the list of contents of all the previous Josie collections to see what had been reprinted in prior collections, and what hadn't.

For print editions, your choices are pretty narrow, so if it's a physical book that you want, then THE BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS is a no-brainer, and it'll probably be a long time before some superior, more complete, collection of stories is published.

But let's go back and start at the beginning first. The very first reprint collections came in 1993 (August, most likely... with a cover date of "Fall") and January ("Spring") 1994, in the form most popular at that time, the Archie 48-Page Giant comics. Two issues were released, combining reprinted stories with a couple of new ones. New material is indicated on the contents table below in RED:

   JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #1      (48-Page Giant)      source of 1st publication      Fall 1993      writer      penciller      inker      
   (Josie and the Pussycats on stage)            new cover illustration      Fall 1993            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Rock and Roll      8 pages      new      Fall 1993      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Decisions, Decisions      6 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Pussy Footing      5 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   What Kind of Ghoul Am I      14 pages      JOSIE #64      Sept. 1972      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Josie & the Pussycats in outer space (pull-out poster)      2 pages      new pull-out pin-up poster      Fall 1993            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Up, Up, and Away!!      12 pages      Josie #58      Oct. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
                                             
                                             
   JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2      (48-Page Giant)      source of 1st publication      Spring 1994      writer      penciller      inker      
   "Josie & the Pussycats LIVE - The Hottest Cats in Town!"            new cover illustration      Spring 1994            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Love & War      8 pages      new      Spring 1994      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Work of Art      6 pages      JOSIE #53      Feb. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   To Grandmother's House      8 pages      JOSIE #64      Sept. 1972      Frank Doyle      Stan Goldberg      Jon D'Agostino      
   Josie & the Pussycats skiing (pull-out poster)      2 pages      new pull-out pin-up poster      Spring 1994            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      
   Melody (1 page gag strip)      1 page      JOSIE #96      Oct. 1977      unknown      unknown      unknown      
   Brawn is Beautiful      5 pages      JOSIE #53      Feb. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   If the Spirit Moves You      6 pages      ARCHIE'S TV LAUGH-OUT #62      Nov. 1978      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Maxim Mix-Up      5 pages      new      Spring 1994      Hal Smith      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      

NOTES: The first Josie 48-Page Giant comic was published by ACP in the hopes of catching a wave of nostalgia (or younger readers newly discovering the Pussycats for the first time) as a result of Ted Turner's Cartoon Network cable station's acquisition of the Hanna-Barbera library of animated programming, and subsequently airing H-B's Josie and the Pussycats on a daily basis in 1993. There's no mistaking it because it says so right on the cover, and no less than THREE ad banners reminding readers to watch the show ran below the first or last pages of various stories. These are very nice to have, even though the paper is somewhat thin, it is white (not the lower-grade newsprint) and the colors on the reprints look pretty nice, unlike a lot of the older digests. They are worth having for those covers and pull-out posters alone, in addition to the three new stories. "Rock and Roll" is notable for a brief appearance of Alan M. after a long absence, and even more surprising, the return of Alexandra's magical powers of witchcraft, after almost a decade since their last mention. In "Rock and Roll" Mr. De has the Pcats sporting more skimpy, bikini-like costumes on stage. It's hard to believe, but in 1993 it had been years since ACP could spare the MVP talents of original creator, Dan D., to work on Josie, and the short 5- and 6-pagers appearing in TV LAUGH-OUT (and later LAUGH Vol. 2) had at that point been mostly assigned to Gladir and Goldberg for at least a half-dozen years. I don't think "Love & War" and "Maxim Mix-Up" had been reprinted until the recent BEST OF trade collection either.

Next post -- BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS TP (2001)

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 11:16:51 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

Vegan Jughead

Sort of off topic but I picked up Archie's Big Book Magic Music and Mischief yesterday.  I remember you saying you had gotten it, DCR.  I was surprised after the title billed Josie & the Pussycats to find so many pre-Pussycats Josie stories in it.  Not disappointed AT ALL.  I love the size of this book too; almost as big as the original comics. 

DeCarlo Rules

Continuing our review of various Josie collections (post #2 of 8*), both print and digital, we come to the first TRUE Josie trade paperback collection, from June of 2001. Once again, it took a media tie-in (in the form of a live-action movie) to motivate ACP to reprint a bunch of old Josie stories. Ah... it's ever the way with them. This happens to coincide with Josie & the Pussycats being promoted from a backup feature to taking the lead spot (and cover) of ARCHIE & FRIENDS, beginning with issue #47 (itself a reprint), but with #48-49, they got a 4-chapter, 22-page story by Dan Parent (w) and Rex Lindsey (a), broken into 2 chapters per issue ("Music For the Masses"). In the following issue, Holly Golightly stepped in to contribute the artwork, and she'd soon be writing the stories as well, for this too-short, but much-beloved (by me!) run of A&F. Suddenly Josie and her friends had a brief moment in the spotlight and a higher profile at Archie Comics than they'd had in almost two decades. This trade kicked off the celebration, with Rex Lindsey contributing a very nice cover (presumably Holly G was drafted as an afterthought, to replace Lindsey for some reason, but Rex had almost been drawing more covers for ACP at this point than even the prolific Stan Goldberg, so it's obvious that the editor was pretty happy with his work for the company. Perhaps his utility as a cover artist (not to mention as a Jughead artist) was just too valuable for him to be able to do a regular ongoing Josie strip as well.

*(I couldn't believe there were that many!! AND I'm even leaving out Tania Del Rio's Josie the Manga digital collection, and the recent New Riverdale J&tP trade!)



   BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS      100-page TP      source of 1st publication      June 2001      writer      penciller      inker      
   cover            new cover illustration by Rex W. Lindsay                  Rex W. Lindsay            
   Whoever Heard of Girls With Guitars?      2 pages      BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS      June 2001      Paul Castiglia                  
   A Gym Dandy      8 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   First Appearance of Alexandra Cabot      1 page (excerpted)      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   First Appearance of Alan M. Mayberry      1 page (excerpted)      JOSIE #42      Aug. 1969      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Evolution of Alexandra's Stripe and Sebastian the Cat      1 page (excerpted)      JOSIE #43      Sept. 1969      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Decisions, Decisions      6 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Pussy Footing      5 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Quiet on the Set      8 pages      JOSIE #50      Sept. 1970      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Josie and the Pussycats Come to TV      1 page      (ad originally appeared in multiple comics)      Aug. (?) 1970            Dan DeCarlo            
   Brawn Is Beautiful      5 pages      JOSIE #53      Feb. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Ban the Blonde      5 pages      JOSIE #55      June 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Early Worm Gets the Bird      5 pages      JOSIE #56      Aug. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Ghost of Dark Valley Manor      16 pages      JOSIE #57      Sept. 1971      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Up, Up, and Away!!      12 pages      Josie #58      Oct. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Pussycats Get A New Look!      1 page (excerpted)      ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #540      Aug. 1984      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Jim DeCarlo      
   Limo Rock      5 pages      ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #562      Aug. 1986      George Gladir      Dan DeCarlo      Jim DeCarlo      
   Cat at the Crossroads       11 pages      ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #584      Sept. 1988      Kathleen Webb      Stan Goldberg      Rudy Lapick      
   J&tP Skiing (pin-up)      1 page      JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2      Spring 1994            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      


NOTES: There's good and bad to be said about this collection. In contrast to my previous post, in this instance the listings in RED indicate a story which hasn't yet been included in any of the subsequent collections (print OR digital), and that's a fair number of stories, so this collection is far from obsolete, despite having many collections come afterwards. BUT it does also contain the superior and unusual "Cat at the Crossroads" by Kathleen Webb, where Josie experiences a life crisis about where she's heading with her future career.

It opens with a 2-page introduction by Paul Castiglia, "Whoever Heard of Girls With Guitars? ". Unfortunately, the editor here chose to include a number of "highlight" moments from stories, in the form of 1-page excerpts, as opposed to just printing the whole story. I could certainly have skipped the excerpt of Alan M's first appearance, plus the excerpt of the Pussycats as punk rockers, for just ONE of those stories complete (or even a single chapter of a 4-part longer story). The sorest point would be JOSIE #43 (as was standard practice, a booklength storyline comprised of four individual Chapters, or Acts) -- the one that explains how Alexandra discovers her ancestor, Sebastian Cabot (whose name was stolen from a notable television actor, who played "Mr. French" on Family Affair), was in fact suspected of "consorting with witches", and she realizes that his spirit may have been reincarnated in her pet cat Sebastian, who shares the same name -- thus, whenever Alexandra is in contact with her cat, she can perform black magic, and believing absolutely that it is so, she finds a book of sorcerous spells to study (self-fulfilling prophecy?). Thereafter, she will attempt to bedevil Josie with her newfound mystic skills, until someone (usually Melody) unwittingly snaps their fingers and breaks her spell. If this sounds familiar, it's because much later on, Sabrina's pet (familiar) cat Salem will also turn out to be a human trapped in a feline body. It hasn't happened yet, but I really want to see that entire issue (JOSIE #43) reprinted. It seems the Cabots have a family history of malicious, restless spirits who remain bound to the mortal plane and who have the ability to possess the bodies of the living (as both Alex and Alexandra will discover in JOSIE #70's "Vengeance From the Crypt").

Bottom line is, there are still quite a few stories here that are in no other collections, so buy it if you can find it at cover price or less. The 2-page pullout Dan DeCarlo pin-up poster of Josie and Valerie skiing (and Melody wiping out) from JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2 is reduced here to a single page image.

Next post --  the SHE'S JOSIE: BEFORE THE PUSSYCATS Digital Exclusive collection.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 04:48:19 PM by DeCarlo Rules »

Vegan Jughead

Continuing our review of various Josie collections (post #2 of 8*), both print and digital, we come to the first TRUE Josie trade paperback collection, from June of 2001. Once again, it took a media tie-in (in the form of a live-action movie) to motivate ACP to reprint a bunch of old Josie stories. Ah... it's ever the way with them. This happens to coincide with Josie & the Pussycats being promoted from a backup feature to taking the lead spot (and cover) of ARCHIE & FRIENDS, beginning with issue #47 (itself a reprint), but with #48-49, they got a 4-chapter, 22-page story by Dan Parent (w) and Rex Lindsey (a), broken into 2 chapters per issue ("Music For the Masses"). In the following issue, Holly Golightly stepped in to contribute the artwork, and she'd soon be writing the stories as well, for this too-short, but much-beloved (by me!) run of A&F. Suddenly Josie and her friends had a brief moment in the spotlight and a higher profile at Archie Comics than they'd had in almost two decades. This trade kicked off the celebration, with Rex Lindsey contributing a very nice cover (presumably Holly G was drafted as an afterthought, to replace Lindsey for some reason, but Rex had almost been drawing more covers for ACP at this point than even the prolific Stan Goldberg, so it's obvious that the editor was pretty happy with his work for the company. Perhaps his utility as a cover artist (not to mention as a Jughead artist) was just too valuable for him to be able to do a regular ongoing Josie strip as well.

*(I couldn't believe there were that many!! AND I'm even leaving out Tania Del Rio's Josie the Manga digital collection, and the recent New Riverdale J&tP trade!)



   BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS      100-page TP      source of 1st publication      June 2001      writer      penciller      inker      
   cover            new cover illustration by Rex W. Lindsay                  Rex W. Lindsay            
   Whoever Heard of Girls With Guitars?      2 pages      BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS      June 2001      Paul Castiglia                  
   A Gym Dandy      8 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   First Appearance of Alexandra Cabot      1 page (excerpted)      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   First Appearance of Alan M. Mayberry      1 page (excerpted)      JOSIE #42      Aug. 1969      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Evolution of Alexandra's Stripe and Sebastian the Cat      1 page (excerpted)      JOSIE #43      Sept. 1969      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Decisions, Decisions      6 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Pussy Footing      5 pages      JOSIE #45      Dec. 1969      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Quiet on the Set      8 pages      JOSIE #50      Sept. 1970      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Josie and the Pussycats Come to TV      1 page      (ad originally appeared in multiple comics)      Aug. (?) 1970            Dan DeCarlo            
   Brawn Is Beautiful      5 pages      JOSIE #53      Feb. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Ban the Blonde      5 pages      JOSIE #55      June 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Early Worm Gets the Bird      5 pages      JOSIE #56      Aug. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Ghost of Dark Valley Manor      16 pages      JOSIE #57      Sept. 1971      Dick Malmgren      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   Up, Up, and Away!!      12 pages      Josie #58      Oct. 1971      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Rudy Lapick      
   The Pussycats Get A New Look!      1 page (excerpted)      ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #540      Aug. 1984      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Jim DeCarlo      
   Limo Rock      5 pages      ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #562      Aug. 1986      George Gladir      Dan DeCarlo      Jim DeCarlo      
   Cat at the Crossroads       11 pages      ARCHIE GIANT SERIES #584      Sept. 1988      Kathleen Webb      Stan Goldberg      Rudy Lapick      
   J&tP Skiing (pin-up)      1 page      JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2      Spring 1994            Dan DeCarlo      Alison Flood      


NOTES: There's good and bad to be said about this collection. In contrast to my previous post, in this instance the listings in RED indicate a story which hasn't yet been included in any of the subsequent collections (print OR digital), and that's a fair number of stories, so this collection is far from obsolete, despite having many collections come afterwards. BUT it does also contain the superior and unusual "Cat at the Crossroads" by Kathleen Webb, where Josie experiences a life crisis about where she's heading with her future career.

It opens with a 2-page introduction by Paul Castiglia, "Whoever Heard of Girls With Guitars? ". Unfortunately, the editor here chose to include a number of "highlight" moments from stories, in the form of 1-page excerpts, as opposed to just printing the whole story. I could certainly have skipped the excerpt of Alan M's first appearance, plus the excerpt of the Pussycats as punk rockers, for just ONE of those stories complete (or even a single chapter of a 4-part longer story). The sorest point would be JOSIE #43 (as was standard practice, a booklength storyline comprised of four individual Chapters, or Acts) -- the one that explains how Alexandra discovers her ancestor, Sebastian Cabot (whose name was stolen from a notable television actor, who played "Mr. French" on Family Affair), was in fact suspected of "consorting with witches", and she realizes that his spirit may have been reincarnated in her pet cat Sebastian, who shares the same name -- thus, whenever Alexandra is in contact with her cat, she can perform black magic, and believing absolutely that it is so, she finds a book of sorcerous spells to study (self-fulfilling prophecy?). Thereafter, she will attempt to bedevil Josie with her newfound mystic skills, until someone (usually Melody) unwittingly snaps their fingers and breaks her spell. If this sounds familiar, it's because much later on, Sabrina's pet (familiar) cat Salem will also turn out to be a human trapped in a feline body. It hasn't happened yet, but I really want to see that entire issue (JOSIE #43) reprinted. It seems the Cabots have a family history of malicious, restless spirits who remain bound to the mortal plane and who have the ability to possess the bodies of the living (as both Alex and Alexandra will discover in JOSIE #70's "Vengeance From the Crypt").

Bottom line is, there are still quite a few stories here that are in no other collections, so buy it if you can find it at cover price or less. The 2-page pullout Dan DeCarlo pin-up poster of Josie and Valerie skiing (and Melody wiping out) from JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS (1993) #2 is reduced here to a single page image.

Next post --  the SHE'S JOSIE: BEFORE THE PUSSYCATS Digital Exclusive collection.


I love this book.  I got it a few years ago when Archie was blowing out their graphic novels.  They practically gave it away, like 2 bucks or something.  I know it will never happen but I would love to see a complete pre-Pussycats Josie done in a nice hardback. 

Very informative! Thanks!
You said there are 8 Josie collections?!!? I have the 3 books you reviewed already, plus the one that just came out. I can't imagine what the other 4 are.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 07:42:17 PM by Ronny G »

DeCarlo Rules

You said there are 8 Josie collections?!!? I have the 3 books you reviewed already, plus the one that just came out. I can't imagine what the other 4 are.

Here is a list of the Josie collections to date:

1.  1993-94 - Josie and the Pussycats (Vol. 2) #1 & 2 (48-page giant comics)

2.  Jun. 2001 - Best of Josie and the Pussycats TP

3.  Dec. 2013 - She's Josie: Before the Pussycats (digital exclusive collection)

4.  Dec. 2014 - Best of Josie and the Pussycats: Greatest Hits (digital exclusive collection)

5.  Oct. 2015 - Josie and the Scaredy Cats (digital exclusive collection)

6.  Mar. 2016 - Archie 75 Series #12: Josie and the Pussycats (digital exclusive collection)

7.  Aug. 2017 - Archie's Big Book: Magic, Music & Mischief TP

8.  Aug. 2017 - Best of Josie and the Pussycats TP (The Best of Archie Comics series)


In addition to the above-listed, there were Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Manga!, originally released in Nov. 2013 (digital exclusive collection, and later re-released as Pep Digital No. 170), collecting the complete backup series (67 pages) by Tania Del Rio and Chris Lie from Sabrina the Teenage Witch (2003) #68 & 72 and Archie & Friends #96-104; and Josie and the Pussycats Vol. 1 TP (2017) collecting the first 6 issues of the rebooted 2016 comic book by Marguerite Bennett, Cameron Diordio and Audrey Mok. Since those stories stand apart from the traditional version of Josie and there's little crossover in content with other collections, I didn't include them, but here are the covers of those collections, anyway.






DeCarlo Rules

I know it will never happen but I would love to see a complete pre-Pussycats Josie done in a nice hardback.

Never say never. Every single knowledgeable fan of Archie Comics (including Dan Parent) that I've communicated with has agreed that JOSIE, (as a whole, but in particular the pre-Pussycats Doyle/DeCarlo stories) is one of, if not THE, finest comic series that ACP ever published. Eventually, someday, someone is going to figure out that there are enough people willing to drop some serious cash for a quality hardcover complete chronological reprinting of that series -- either ACP itself, or Dark Horse Comics, IDW Comics/YoeBooks, or Fantagraphics Books.

I just hope I'm still around when it happens. Archie is having a difficult time transitioning from a publisher whose traditional audience is casual pre-teen readers (without a lot of money to spend on more expensive collections) to a much smaller audience of older nostalgic comic book connoisseurs, some of whom are seriously invested in amassing a library of archival hardcover comics. The recent Deluxe Edition hardcover re-release of The Best of Archie Comics Volume 1, plus things like the Sabrina the Teenage Witch Complete Collection v1 gives me hope that they'll eventually figure it out.

Even as you get older, you continue to discover an appreciation for things, to which you'd been ignorant when younger, and my relatively recent conversion (beginning about 3 years ago) into a rabid fan of classic cartooning-style teen humor/girl humor comics is proof that it does happen. Reviews from respected sources, whether on the internet comics websites or in collector-oriented magazines like those published by TwoMorrows (Back Issue, Comic Book Creator, The Jack Kirby Collector) go a long way. Who'd have thought, twenty or thirty years ago, that a company like Fantagraphics (traditionally a publisher of Mature Readers titles like The Complete Crumb and Love & Rockets) would ever have released a hardcover like Innocence and Seduction: The Art of Dan DeCarlo ?

Who'd have thought there would ever be a Criterion Collection DVD release of old monster movies like Gojira/Godzilla (1954) or Island of Lost Souls (1932)? Those were movies which had not traditionally been given any serious consideration for their artistic merit, unlike the films of directors like Akira Kurosawa, Francois Truffaut, or Orson Welles. You can bet that people who never gave a passing thought to those films all of a sudden viewed them in a different light when given the stamp of approval that came with the inclusion of a film under the Criterion Collection umbrella. An appreciation for things which seemed ephemeral and inconsequential in their own time needs enough time to pass, to be reexamined and reassessed, like the vintage of fine wine. People reading Charles Shultz' Peanuts in their Sunday newspaper comic sections 40 years ago would stand agape in slack-jawed disbelief if they could peer into the future and see that the entire run of the comic strip would be collected in a series of expensive hardcover volumes, beginning some 30 years later.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 02:08:40 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

The next JOSIE collection released was the first to be a digital exclusive (it was later re-released with an altered cover design as PEP DIGITAL No. 69). It contained stories from five complete issues of She's Josie (1963), only one issue of which (She's Josie #1) was completely reprinted in any of the later Josie collections. Unfortunately, the collection didn't reprint ALL of She's Josie chronologically from the beginning -- after issue #1, it skipped to reprinting the stories from issues #8, 9, 10 and 13. Subsequently, all of the stories from Josie #2 and 3 were included as reprints in Archie's Big Book: Magic, Music, & Mischief (the complete contents of which will be detailed in an upcoming post).

Most of the older pre-Pussycats issues of JOSIE were reprinted in older issues of World of Archie Double Digest (with the exceptions of JOSIE #12, 14, 17, 38, and 42-44), so we know ACP has usable copies of the majority of those stories -- the remaining missing art pages could be reconstructed digitally by scanning pristine copies of the printed comic books and using Photoshop to clean up the scans. Can a Complete JOSIE ARCHIVES hardcover reprint collection be more than a decade away in the future? Time will tell... but in the meantime, this collection is a must-have, even for those of us (like myself) who much prefer print comics over digital.

Try staring intently at the image of Josie and Albert for a minute...
    ... It takes on a psychedelic 3-D effect!!




   She's JOSIE: Before the Pussycats!       (124 pages)      source of 1st publication      Dec. 2013      writer      penciller      inker      
   A Gym Dandy - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Neat Workers - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Muscle Hustle - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Track Down - Chapter IV      6 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Unhappy Hero - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Saved By The Belle - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   And Away We Go - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Happy Ending - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   You're The Tops - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   A Run For Your Money - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Fair Play - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Cereal Story - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Team Spirit - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   No Help Wanted - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Sideline Stars - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Last Man - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Schemers - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Dreamers - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Now You See It - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Now You Don't - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      


Next post -- the BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS: GREATEST HITS digital exclusive collection from Dec. 2014.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 09:37:53 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

Try staring intently at the image of Josie and Albert for a minute...
    ... It takes on a psychedelic 3-D effect!!

And it occurs to me that some of you may look and say "Are you sure you're feeling all right, DCR?"... but the effect really is there.
It helps if you stare at it JUST the central image of the two figures on the cyan and magenta background, and it employs what is known as
the "anaglyphic" 3D effect -- the same as used in old 3D comic books and movies that use those glasses with red and blue (or green) lenses.
The parallax of slightly different views from both eyes and the high-contrast of the two-color background will appear to make the figures "float"
on a plane in front of the background lettering. Pretty clever use of two of the three primary ink colors used in the comic book printing process.


Vegan Jughead

The next JOSIE collection released was the first to be a digital exclusive (it was later re-released with a altered cover design as PEP DIGITAL No. 69). It contained stories from five complete issues of She's Josie (1963), only one issue of which (She's Josie #1) was later completely reprinted in any of the later Josie collections. Unfortunately, the collection didn't reprint ALL of She's Josie chronologically from the beginning -- after issue #1, it skipped to reprinting the stories from issues #8, 9, 10 and 13. Subsequently, all of the stories from Josie #2 and 3 were included as reprints in Archie's Big Book: Magic, Music, & Mischief (the complete contents of which will be detailed in an upcoming post).

Most of the older pre-Pussycats issues of JOSIE were reprinted in older issues of World of Archie Double Digest (with the exceptions of JOSIE #12, 14, 17, 38, and 42-44), so we know ACP has usable copies of the majority of those stories -- the remaining missing art pages could be reconstructed digitally by scanning pristine copies of the printed comic books and using Photoshop to clean up the scans. Can a Complete JOSIE ARCHIVES hardcover reprint collection be more than a decade away in the future? Time will tell... but in the meantime, this collection is a must-have, even for those of us (like myself) who much prefer print comics over digital.

Try staring intently at the image of Josie and Albert for a minute...
    ... It takes on a psychedelic 3-D effect!!




   She's JOSIE: Before the Pussycats!       (124 pages)      source of 1st publication      Dec. 2013      writer      penciller      inker      
   A Gym Dandy - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Neat Workers - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Muscle Hustle - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Track Down - Chapter IV      6 pages      JOSIE #1      Feb. 1963      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Unhappy Hero - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Saved By The Belle - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   And Away We Go - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Happy Ending - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #8      Sept. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   You're The Tops - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   A Run For Your Money - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Fair Play - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Cereal Story - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #9      Oct. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Team Spirit - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   No Help Wanted - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Sideline Stars - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Last Man - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #10      Dec. 1964      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Schemers - Chapter I      8 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   The Dreamers - Chapter II      6 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Now You See It - Chapter III      5 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      
   Now You Don't - Chapter IV      5 pages      JOSIE #13      Jun. 1965      Frank Doyle      Dan DeCarlo      Vincent DeCarlo      


Next post -- the BEST OF JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS: GREATEST HITS digital exclusive collection from Dec. 2014.


this is fantastic research, DCR.  Thanks so much!

DeCarlo Rules

And now a Preview of our Coming Distractions....

                 "Abra, Abra-Kadabra, I wanna reach out and grab ya...!"

Usually you have to read a Betty's Diary story if you want to look at pictures of young girls wearing skimpy nighties. But I guess it's not all that surprising that all kinds of creepy things seemed to want to take possession of Josie's body, whether they were Alexandra's relatives or not. Here we see Josie trapped in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? opening credits sequence (possibly the result of too many slices of anchovy pizza before bedtime?)

It reminds me that there was a time when Stan Goldberg, on a good day, could work a little good girl art magic almost as well as Dan DeCarlo, the master.

And how about those kooky kreeps? Altogether oooky! Whenever this type of subject matter turned up (which was seldom) in a Dan DeCarlo or Stan Goldberg nominally comical comic book story, the spooks and hobgoblins always seemed to look just about halfway between a typical Jack Kirby monster and something out of a Warren Kremer Casper the Friendly Ghost comic. Which makes a weird kind of sense, I suppose. I mean, you've got the shrouded dude at the foot of the bed, reaching out and looking fairly convincingly menacing, but then the goofy-looking blue ogre and the green ghostly-worm thingy behind him suitably defuses that by having that sort of "obviously a nightmare" quality about them.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 12:16:55 PM by DeCarlo Rules »


It reminds me that there was a time when Stan Goldberg, on a good day, could work a little good girl art magic almost as well as Dan DeCarlo, the master.


I would've sworn that was Dan DeCarlo's art! Surprised that its Goldbergs. I usually could tell the difference, but he was good in his own way....However, I've been seeing some of Goldberg's later art in the digests I've been subscribing where they actually credit the artists. I don't know what years active he was at Archie. I'm guessing some of his stories are from the nineties judging by the fashions. I wondered what happened to his work?? It looked like a rush job. B & V's faces weren't attractive at all. Big round jawlines, and the eyes seemed out of place. I was thinking it might be the fault of the inker, too.
I tried to upload some pics of what I'm talking about, but it won't let me.
 

DeCarlo Rules


It reminds me that there was a time when Stan Goldberg, on a good day, could work a little good girl art magic almost as well as Dan DeCarlo, the master.


I would've sworn that was Dan DeCarlo's art! Surprised that its Goldbergs. I usually could tell the difference, but he was good in his own way....However, I've been seeing some of Goldberg's later art in the digests I've been subscribing where they actually credit the artists. I don't know what years active he was at Archie. I'm guessing some of his stories are from the nineties judging by the fashions. I wondered what happened to his work?? It looked like a rush job. B & V's faces weren't attractive at all. Big round jawlines, and the eyes seemed out of place. I was thinking it might be the fault of the inker, too.
I tried to upload some pics of what I'm talking about, but it won't let me.

No, I know exactly what you mean. There's like a world of difference between the start of the 1990s and the end of the 1990s, and by the end of the decade, it seemed like he was drawing roughly 50% of the pages of new stories Archie Comics published.

I don't know what to tell you. Maybe he foresaw the way it was all going eventually and figured it was too late to reinvent himself somewhere else, so all he could do was focus on getting more and more pages out faster and faster, in the hopes that he could stash away a nest egg for when he wasn't going to have any work offered, or be even capable of doing it any more. It seems like it must be something like that. Slowly over the course of the last 20 years or so of his career it seemed like he stopped caring at all and was just operating on cruise control.  In the 1970s, 1980s, and even into the early 1990s his work just seemed more alive, but something must have happened that seemed to grind him down. Maybe it was the "dumbing down" of the sexiness of the girls. Sometime in the 1990s they all started wearing loose, baggy clothes so as not to be offensive to the mothers buying the digests for their daughters, I guess -- or maybe because that was easier for him to draw faster. DeCarlo seemed to resist that trend almost to the end, and they probably couldn't tell him he was wrong, because he was too valuable to the company. But somehow, Goldberg seemed capable of turning out the pages faster and faster, if with less feeling. Some pages he seemed to draw almost in his sleep, and perspective is skewed, eyelines are off-center, and all kinds of things, because you can tell he was trying to get it finished as fast as possible. But yeah, everything became round, round, round... because it's easier to draw a circular or oval line quickly -- wham, bam, on to the next page.

Don't get me wrong. I have total sympathy with him for whatever his motivations were. Comics is not an industry that is kind to most of its elder statesmen. You are a freelancer without a retirement pension, company-paid health plan, all the things most people take for granted, so I'm sure he had his reasons, and knew he wasn't going to be able to continue forever, so he had to make as much as he could before it wasn't an option any more.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 01:31:43 PM by DeCarlo Rules »

DeCarlo Rules

Okay, I gave some more thought to Stan Goldberg's situation, and I'll be honest with you. I'm not an expert on Stan's career, or Dan DeCarlo's either. I've read very few details about their life histories, or whatever personal situations, family situations, health situations, and the like they may have had to deal with. But I do have a fair grasp of the history of the comic book industry, so I can think of a few pertinent things that might help shed some light on a few things or give a little perspective. Mind you, apart from some confirmable facts I'm going to tell you, how it applied to Goldberg or how it affected how he felt about the work -- that's all just speculation on my part.

Dan DeCarlo, Al Hartley, and Stan Goldberg were all roughly of the same generation of comic book artists. All of them began their careers in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and by the mid-1950s each of them had settled at Martin Goodman's company, known now as Marvel, but at the time we're talking about, the 1950s, that's what's called "the Atlas era". Atlas because sometime in the early 1950s, Goodman decided he could make even more money if he self-distributed his own comic books and magazines. He had all kinds of magazines, movie fan magazines, puzzle books, whatever seemed to be popular at the time, and one of those things was "men's magazines", or "the sweat mags" as they were called. Just all very macho stuff, and as risque and sexy as they could be without risking being banned. Racy cartoon digest/joke books, with (non-nude) "girlie pin-up" photos, stuff like that.

So Goodman distributed as well as sold his own magazines and comics under the "Atlas Distribution" banner, and put a little globe with the word "Atlas" on the covers -- thus, collectors now refer to those as Atlas comics. Pre-Marvel, the big genres for Goodman were war, horror/mystery, westerns, romance, and humor. They were HUGE in the humor genre, and tried to put out enough different titles to crowd everyone else's off the newsstand, including Archie Comics, so when they got DeCarlo, Goldberg, and Hartley... that was their thing. "Girl humor" comics featuring Millie the Model, Patsy Walker, and dozens of others now mostly forgotten -- but Atlas was as big, or possibly bigger, than Archie Comics was at it, and UNlike Archie, it wasn't the ONLY genre they were doing. John Goldwater took notice of DeCarlo's work right away, and tried and tried to wheedle as much freelance work as he could out of him. Atlas had tons of titles, and all those artists had to do was walk into the office to drop off a completed story, and they'd be handed a new script (or several, depending on the number of pages) and then pick up their check for the story they just delivered on the way out the door. Then came the whole big scare with the nation putting horror and crime comics on trial, so those genres were dying on the vine -- but if you were a cartoony/humor guy, despite falling sales on everything else, it seemed like the one safe genre to be in. Everyone was a little nervous about the whole industry as sales continued to drop from all-time highs in the early 1950s, but if that's the work you were committed to, humor seemed to be the safest place to be. Not everyone could just switch back and forth from straight-adventure style art to funny stuff and back again, but Stan Goldberg (and to a lesser extent Al Hartley) could do that, so they seemed to be safe.

Dan DeCarlo didn't really like doing the straight stuff. He was the best at humor, and everyone knew it, including John Goldwater, who had been trying to win him away from Stan Lee at Atlas for years. But Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo had a pretty good working relationship, and Dan must have figured why mess with a good thing -- besides, Atlas paid better page rates than Goldwater did, so DeCarlo confined his Archie work to "moonlighting" jobs for Goldwater. He also didn't like being told to draw it in a "house style" imitative of Bob Montana's work on Archie. It seemed like more work for him to have to imitate someone else, rather that just follow his natural style. But something happened in 1958 that changed everything for DeCarlo, and that's when Goodman decided that he could actually get wider distribution through a deal with American News, the #1 distributor at the time. It was less hassle if he didn't need to run his own distribution operation, and the profits he made off that should easily be made up for by his titles' greater distribution reach and Goodman cutting his own overhead costs, so he decided to close down Atlas Distribution. Bad mistake. Shortly after scuttling his own company and making the deal with American, the big distributor came under federal investigation for alleged ties to organized crime, and a couple of months later, the government forced the distributor to disband. Goodman was in danger of watching his entire company go down the tubes, with no way to get his comics and magazine to the retailers. He was forced to crawl on bended knee to fellow publisher Jack Liebowitz of National (later DC Comics), to make a deal with him because National owned Independent News, who distributed both Nationals' comics and other publications. Liebowicz threw Goodman a bone, and said he was willing to help him out, at the usual percentage of the cover price for distribution... he told Goodman he'd be willing to handle as many as... oh, EIGHT comic titles per month of his. Yeah, one problem with that... under Atlas, Goodman had been publishing and distributing over FIFTY comics per month. Obviously he was going to have to tighten his belt to survive, so the next day he called Stan Lee into his office to tell him that whenever any of their freelancers showed up to deliver their last assignment, Lee would have to tell them that that was it. No new assignments for as long as it took for Lee to use up the inventory they'd already bought, and then 6 or 8 months later it would be just enough work left to keep 16 bi-monthly titles going. When DeCarlo heard, he knew what was what, and figured it was finally time to take up John Goldwater's offer. By 1958 the humor titles' sales had slipped a LOT from the highs of the mid-50s, and Atlas' few remaining humor titles were slowly shifted over to a more serious soap-opera romance style (this was the good thing about having all GIRL humor titles, because it wouldn't have worked for any outright Archie imitation that Goodman might have published). So Millie the Model and Patsy Walker and a couple of others survived as bi-monthly soap opera romances, because Stan Goldberg and Al Hartley were able to adjust their styles to go that route, even though they were just as capable as humor artists. What work Dan DeCarlo could still get at Atlas was with those "men's humor" mags, drawing sexy one-page gag panels (besides, it paid better than a regular comics page rate).

So Stan Goldberg lived through all that, but stayed loyal to Lee and Goodman (he had a job in the production department as the company's main colorist, so freelance work was all like overtime pay for him). Al Hartley continued to hang in there, drawing Patsy Walker (and Patsy and Hedy) until 1965, when Patsy and Hedy was finally cancelled. Millie the Model (once Dan DeCarlo's baby, back in the 1950s when it was still a humor title) was being done by Stan Goldberg. After Hartley went to work on Goodman's sexy men's magazine cartoons, he eventually had enough of it by 1968, decided he was a born-again Christian, and quit to go work for Archie Comics. Stan Goldberg hung in there at Marvel, getting freelance work on the side from ArchieCo (AND DC Comics) beginning around the same time as Hartley split, but kept drawing both Millie the Model and Millie's Rival Chili on the side while keeping his day job in the production department as a colorist. In fact, he hung right in there until the bitter end, when the last of the humor titles (converted back from soap opera romances around 1968 in an imitative response to Archie Comics' booming sales (as a result of an animation deal with Filmation), but too late for Al Hartley to take advantage of it. Stan G. continued to take on freelance jobs at Archie and DC, but finally, Stan Goldberg moved over to Archie full-time in the mid-1970s, after the production department at Marvel was reorganized in the wake of production manager Sol Brodsky's death.

So Stan G has been through some sh*t, and seen some sh*t, and knows how the industry works. He'd always been a loyal company man, which is why he was the very last of the humor artists to abandon Marvel. And when he went to Archie, he had to adapt. Dan DeCarlo had already been there full-time for a decade before Hartley and Goldberg even started getting work from Archie here and there. They sort of had to worm their way in by that time, because there were few humor comic books (except for the Gold Key and Harvey kiddie titles, and animated character books) being published by anyone by that time, and only a few at DC and Marvel, and you can bet that the guys who settled at Archie before Hartley and Goldberg came over from Marvel wanted to keep those assignments for themselves if they could. But they were lucky in a way, because Harry Shorten had just left to start his own company, Tower Comics, and he lured Samm Schwartz away from Archie with him. Plus, the TV adaptations were booming in the late 1960s, so Archie was starting new titles, and it looked like there were going to be plenty of freelance jobs for Al and Stan, despite them being late joiners.

Only thing was, by now Dan DeCarlo was like the #1 main man at Archie, and (sorry Harry Lucey) he got to draw all the covers (because Richard Goldwater said so), and because covers sold comic books, and oh, by the way, Stan... could you and Al try to draw the characters the same way Dan draws them on the covers? So ironically, Stan and Al faced the same problem that Dan first had with Archie Comics when he started freelancing a few jobs in the early '50s... could you draw it the Bob Montana way, Dan? Eventually, both artists learned to adapt, at least enough. Stan was more successful at looking like Dan's work.

Now, let's skip ahead to the end of the 1990s. Stan's an old hand now, and other than Dan DeCarlo, he's the last of the big-time old-timers (and I guess Bob Bolling, but Bob was Bob, and he couldn't be anything or anybody else, and I don't think he wanted to try either). BUT now all of a sudden a bunch of characters that Dan DeCarlo co-created with Frank Doyle are getting made into a "Major Motion Picture" (the quotation marks are for irony) and Dan the company man is thinking maybe he goofed, that instead of trying to stay loyal and crank out the most pages every week, he should have provided his family with some kind of legacy that would outlast whatever paycheck he was getting from Archie Comics every week, even if it was pretty good money compared to other freelancers that worked for ACP. I'll let you look into the outcome of that little confrontation, but I'll just say this. You can bet that Stan Goldberg was paying attention to everything that went on in that little legal dust-up, and what the fallout of it was and what happened to Dan DeCarlo as a result.

And -- it occurs to me that even while Stan was maybe shortcutting a little in order to be able to increase his piecework count -- and maybe he HAD to, because he wasn't getting a page rate equal to what guys 30 or 40 years younger than him were making at DC or Marvel, his work seemed to suffer artistically maybe... after Jack Kirby's death in the early 1990s, which ended (for Jack) years of protracted legal wranglings with Marvel? Stan Goldberg had known Jack personally in the 1960s when he worked for Marvel. And then this business around 2000 or so between Dan DeCarlo and Archie Comics, was a similar situation in some ways...  But I'm sure Stan Goldberg was observant of a lot of things about the comic book industry, and what happened to a lot of older guys on the downward parabola of their careers, and he certainly had plenty of connections with people from the old days, especially all the people who passed through Marvel Comics in the 25 years or so that Stan worked there.

So if he took a few shortcuts so that he could get more pages done, put away some funds for retirement or health care insurance, or pay off some mortgages, or whatever... I can't lay any blame on the man.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 03:50:25 PM by DeCarlo Rules »

Wow! You sure know your stuff.. and you're really good at expressing yourself and putting your thoughts down on paper. I mean that as a compliment. You must be a writer! It takes me forever to find the rights words I want to say sometimes.

 


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