Millie the Model

Millie the Model was Marvel Comics' longest-running humor title, first published by the company's 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, and continuing through its 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics, to 1970s Marvel.

Millie the Model
MillieTheModel40
Millie the Model #40 (Spring 1953).
Cover art by Dan DeCarlo
Publication information
PublisherTimely Comics; Atlas Comics; Marvel Comics
FormatOngoing series
No. of issuesIssue #1–207 (Winter 1945 – Dec. 1973)
Main character(s)Millie Collins, Chili Storm, Toni Turner
Creative team
Written byStan Lee, others
Artist(s)Ruth Atkinson, Mike Sekowsky, Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg

Publication history

The series ran 207 issues (cover-dated Winter 1945 to Dec. 1973),[1] a 28-year span that included one of the first Marvel Comics annuals (in 1962),[2] and spin-offs including A Date with Millie,[3] Life with Millie,[4] Mad About Millie[5] and Modeling with Millie.[6] At first a funny career-gal book about New York City model Millie Collins, it very quickly changed into a wider, more slapstick comedy– though for a time becoming a romantic adventure series with all the same characters (#113–153, March 1963 – Aug. 1967) before returning to humor.[1] Both the trademarked cover title and the copyrighted title as per its postal indicia are Millie the Model Comics through issue #94; the cover title then becomes simply Millie the Model, although the copyrighted title did not change to match until issue #144.[1]

The character was created by writer-artist Ruth Atkinson, one of the pioneering women cartoonists in comic books.[7] Following this first issue, subsequent early stories were drawn mostly by Timely staffer Mike Sekowsky.[1]

MillieTheModel151
Millie the Model #151 (July 1967), during the humor series' four-year romance-comic iteration. Cover art by Ogden Whitney.

The character's essential look, however, was the work of future Archie Comics great Dan DeCarlo, who would later create Josie and the Pussycats and other Archie icons. DeCarlo's 10-year run on the series, from #18–93 (June 1949 – Nov. 1959), was succeeded by the team of writer Stan Lee and artist Stan Goldberg, a.k.a. "Stan G.", the main Atlas/Marvel colorist at the time. Goldberg mimicked the house style DeCarlo set, and later went on to work with him at Archie, as did occasional Millie artist Henry Scarpelli. Al Hartley and Ogden Whitney provided an occasional cover.[1]

The occasional backup feature included a four-page "Powerhouse Pepper" story by cartoonist Basil Wolverton in #9, and work by humorist Harvey Kurtzman in #8, 10–11, 13–14, & 16. Lee and Goldberg had Marvel artist and major industry figure Jack Kirby guest-star in a story in #107 (March 1962), though the image itself did not look like Kirby.[1]

Millie became part of the Marvel Universe with Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965), which chronicled the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm. Fellow humor-comic stars Patsy Walker and Hedy Wolfe, among the sidewalk crowd outside, talk about wanting to catch a glimpse of celebrity Millie, whom they've heard is on the guest list. Alex Ross depicted her at the ceremony when he revisited the wedding in the 1990s miniseries Marvels.

She reappeared in the 1980s as an older character running her own modeling agency and minding her niece, the titular star of writer-artist Trina Robbins' Misty (Dec. 1985 – May 1986), from Marvel's children's-oriented Star Comics imprint. Millie has also appeared in the superhero comics The Defenders #65 (Nov. 1978); Dazzler #34 (Oct. 1985); The Sensational She-Hulk #60 (Feb. 1994); and in the kitschy flashback series The Age of the Sentry #3 (Jan. 2009).

Millie starred alongside Patsy Walker and Mary Jane Watson in a 23-page story "Un-enchanted Evening", by writer Paul Tobin and artist Colleen Coover, in King-Size Spider-Man Summer Special #1 (Oct. 2008). Millie stars in the four-issue miniseries Models, Inc. (Oct. 2009 – Jan. 2010).

Fictional character biography

Aspiring model Millie Collins of Sleepy Gap, Kansas moves to New York. She meets photographer Clicker (originally Flicker) Holbrook who arranges an introduction at the Hanover Modelling Agency. She is hired as a model by the agency. At the start of the series her best friend was regular character Toni Turner; later on Toni became a recurring character, and her role as best friend and confidant was Daisy, the agency's wardrobe assistant. She becomes romantically involved with Clicker Holbrook. At one point, she shares an apartment on the East Side of New York with Toni Turner. Near the end of the series, Millie and Daisy shared an apartment.

Throughout the series, redheaded model Chili Storm was Millie's friendly nemesis. (Millie: "Sorry I'm late! I just got back from the salon!" Chili: "Too bad they didn't have time to take you!" Millie [ringing phone drawn in foreground]: "Oh, there's the phone." Chili: "Wow! I'll bet you can also identify doorbells and auto horns!"). When Millie wasn't around, however, Chili would sometimes speak up for her colleague. Chili starred in her own 1969–1973 spin-off series.[8]

In addition to regular appearances by Millie, Chili, Clicker and Daisy, there were occasional appearances by Howard Hanover, Toni Turner, Marvin, Agnes Ames (in charge of Wardrobe at the modeling agency) and a colleague who helped with agency sets and maintenance, Chili's wealthy boyfriend Reginald Goldmine, and Miss Scrubbley. Very late in the series, Mr. Hanover had a daffy platinum-blonde assistant, Dolly. Millie's parents are Nancy and Henry Collins. She has one younger brother, Henry Collins Jr.

Awards

The series won an Alley Award for "Best Romance Comic" at the 1968 New York Comic Art Convention. The Millie character was ranked 90th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[9]

In other media

A 1986 Off-Broadway musical, Dial "M" For Model by John Epperson, inspired by Millie but not a direct adaptation, was staged at LaMaMa E.T.C. It featured the female impersonator Lypsinka as Mannequin St. Claire, a character based on Chili.[10]

15 Love

In 2003, Marvel's then-president, Bill Jemas, told the press there were plans to reimagine Millie as a 15-year-old tennis player for a comic-book series called 15 Love, to be targeted at teenaged girls. The possibility of a Millie movie was also mentioned at that time.[11] 15 Love was eventually published in 2011. Written by Andi Watson, it featured Millie Collins' niece, Millie 'Mill' Collins, the lowest-ranking student at the Wayde Tennis Academy, who is about to lose her scholarship and must convince her aunt and others not to give up on her. It ran for three issues, with each as a double-sized 56-page story.[12]

Spin-offs and annuals

  • A Date with Millie #1–7 (Oct. 1956 – Aug. 1957)
  • A Date with Millie vol. 2, #1–7 (Oct. 1959 – Oct. 1960), continues as
    • Life With Millie #8–20 (Dec. 1960 – Dec. 1962), continues as
    • Modelling with Millie #21–54 (Feb. 1963 – June 1967)
  • Mad about Millie #1–17 (April 1969 – Dec. 1970)
    • Mad about Millie Annual #1 (1971)
  • Chili, Millie's Rival #1–26 (May 1969 – Dec. 1973)
    • Chili, Millie's Rival Special #1 (1971)
  • Millie the Model Annual #1–10 (1962–1971), continues as
    • Queen-Size Millie the Model #11-12 (1974–1975)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Millie the Model Comics and Millie the Model (same series; numbering consistent following title change) at the Grand Comics Database.
  2. ^ Millie the Model Annual at the Grand Comics Database.
  3. ^ A Date with Millie (Marvel, 1956 Series) and A Date with Millie (Marvel, 1956 Series) at the Grand Comics Database.
  4. ^ Life with Millie at the Grand Comics Database.
  5. ^ Mad About Millie and Mad About Millie Annual at the Grand Comics Database.
  6. ^ Modeling with Millie at the Grand Comics Database.
  7. ^ Dowsett, Elizabeth, ed. (2008). "Millie the Model debuts". Marvel Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 31. ISBN 978-0756641238. Millie the Model was created by cartoonist Ruth Atkinson, who drew the stories in the first issue. Mike Sekowsky ... took over as principal Millie the Model artist after the first issue)
  8. ^ Chili at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 56. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
  10. ^ "My Favorite Things!". Lypsinka official site. WebCitation. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011.
  11. ^ Archive of MacDonald, Heidi. "Millie the Model Turns to Tennis?", Comicon.com, March 4, 2003.
  12. ^ "Marvel Comics Exclusive Preview: 15 Love #1"". MTV.com. June 3, 2011. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011.

External links

1965 in comics

See also:

1964 in comics,

1966 in comics,

1960s in comics and the

list of years in comics

Publications: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

1997 in comics

Notable events of 1997 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Angel Love

Angel Love was a comic book series created by Barbara Slate, published by DC Comics in the 1980s, as well as the lead character of this series. The first issue was dated August 1986. Despite its cartoony style, and some superficial stylistic resemblance to "girl humor" comic books of an earlier era such as Millie the Model, Patsy Walker, and Katy Keene, it was not intended as a children's comic; it covered "adult" issues such as drug use, pregnancy, and sexual abuse, and did not bear the Comics Code Authority seal. The 1987 Angel Love Special which wrapped up the series bore a "For Mature Readers" advisory on its cover. Nevertheless, its letter column sometimes featured letters from children.

Angel Love is a young woman who has moved from her native Scranton, Pennsylvania to New York City in hopes of finding a career as an artist. So far, however, the only career she has found is as a roller-skating waitress at a restaurant. Her adventures are portrayed sometimes with realism, but sometimes with fantasy elements such as talking cockroaches and a "guardian angel" she has drawn which comes to life to attempt to grant her wishes.

This comic book's unusual combination of style and subject matter made it difficult to market successfully. The "special" issue published soon afterward wrapped up the storyline, featuring Angel's attempt to convince her long-lost sister (now running for United States Congress and worrying about the political ramifications of revealing her long-suppressed family history) to supply her bone marrow to possibly save their mother from cancer.

Angel Love only made one appearance in the normal continuity of the DC Universe. She appeared in Animal Man #24, alongside almost every other character that did not exist in the proper continuity anymore, and was seen reading a copy of her own comic book.

Blonde Phantom

The Blonde Phantom (Louise Grant Mason) is a fictional masked crime fighter appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created for Marvel predecessor Timely Comics, she first appeared in All Select Comics #11 (cover-dated Fall 1946), during the 1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books.

Dan DeCarlo

Daniel S. DeCarlo (December 12, 1919 – December 18, 2001) was an American cartoonist best known for having developed the look of Archie Comics in the late 1950s and early 1960s, modernizing the characters to their contemporary appearance and establishing the publisher's house style up until his death. As well, he is the generally recognized co-creator of the characters Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats (the title character of which was named for his wife), and Cheryl Blossom.

List of romance comics

Starting in the late 1940s, several American comic book publishers sought out older audiences by creating a new genre: romance comics. Although the genre had waned in popularity by the 1970s, romance comics continue to be produced in the 2000s.

Millicent

Millicent or Milicent is a female given name that has been in use since the Middle Ages. The English form Millicent derives from the Old French Melisende, from the Germanic amal "work" and swinth "strength".

Ogden Whitney

Ogden Whitney (born 1918; died early 1970s) was an American comic-book artist and sometime writer active from the 1930s-1940s Golden Age of comics through the 1960s Silver Age. He is best known as co-creator of the aviator hero the Skyman and of the superpowered novelty character Herbie Popnecker and his alter ego, the satiric superhero the Fat Fury. Whitney as well had long runs on characters as diverse as the Western masked crime-fighter the Two-Gun Kid, and the career-girl character Millie the Model.

In 2007, Whitney was one of two comics creators inducted into the comic-book industry's Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, as a "Judges Choice".

Patsy Walker

Hellcat (Patricia "Patsy" Walker) is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She premiered as the star of a teen romantic-comedy series and was later integrated into Marvel superhero franchises such as the Avengers and the Defenders.

Created by Stuart Little and Ruth Atkinson, Patsy Walker first appeared in Miss America Magazine #2 (Nov. 1944), published by Marvel precursor Timely Comics, and became Hellcat in The Avengers #144 (Feb. 1976).

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a version of the character is portrayed by Rachael Taylor in Jessica Jones as a main character and in The Defenders as a recurring character.

Ruth Atkinson

Ruth Atkinson Ford, née Ruth Atkinson and a.k.a. R. Atkinson (June 2, 1918 – June 1, 1997), was an American cartoonist and pioneering female comic book writer-artist who created the long-running Marvel Comics character Millie the Model and co-created Patsy Walker.

Sol Brodsky

Soloman Brodsky (April 22, 1923 – June 4, 1984) was an American comic book artist who, as Marvel Comics' Silver Age production manager, was one of the key architects of the small company's expansion to a major pop culture conglomerate. He later rose to vice president, operations and vice president, special projects. "Sol was really my right-hand man for years", described Marvel editor and company patriarch Stan Lee.Brodsky worked primarily behind the scenes, uncredited. His accomplishments include co-creating, with letterer Artie Simek, the long-familiar logo of The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as other Marvel logos still in use in the mid-2000s. He was belatedly credited after decades as the inker of Jack Kirby's pencil art for The Fantastic Four #3-4 (March–May 1962) and many other landmark comics.

Lee described Brodsky as "my assistant for years and the company's production head. He could write, he could draw, he could ink — he could do everything."

Stan Goldberg

Stan Goldberg (May 5, 1932 – August 31, 2014) was an American comic book artist, best known for his work with Archie Comics and as a Marvel Comics colorist who in the 1960s helped design the original color schemes of Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and other major characters. He was inducted into the National Cartoonists Society Hall of Fame in 2011.

Star Comics

Star Comics was an imprint of Marvel Comics that began in 1984 and featured titles that were aimed at child readers and were often adaptations of children's television series, animated series or toys. The last comic published under the imprint featured a May 1988 cover date, although the Star Comics Magazine continued through December 1988. Some of the titles continued after that, being published directly by Marvel. Several of the original titles consciously emulated the house writing and visual style of then-recently defunct Harvey Comics titles such as Richie Rich.

The imprint's signature titles were Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham and Heathcliff, its longest running title. The imprint was also known for its Star Wars titles, Droids and Ewoks (based on the animated television series). Artists working on the line include Warren Kremer and Howard Post.

Ted Atkinson

Theodore Frederick Atkinson (June 17, 1916 – May 5, 2005) was a Canadian-born American thoroughbred horse racing jockey, inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1957.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Ted Atkinson as a child emigrated with his family across the border to upstate New York. He began his career in thoroughbred horse racing in 1938 and first gained national recognition in 1941, when he rode War Relic to an upset win in the Narragansett Special over the 1941 U.S. Triple Crown winner Whirlaway. For 12 of his 21 years in the sport, Atkinson was contract rider for the wealthy New York City Whitney family's Greentree Stable. In 1944, he was North America's leading jockey in both number of wins and money earned. He repeated the feat in 1946, when he became the first rider to achieve purse earnings of more the $1 million in a single season.

Riding Greentree's colt Capot, Atkinson just missed winning the U.S. triple Crown in 1949 when he finished second in the Kentucky Derby then won both the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Capot shared Horse of the Year honors with Coaltown, after beating the older horse in the Pimlico Special. Atkinson was also the jockey for all of Hall of Famer Tom Fool's races, guiding the colt to a perfect season of 10 wins in 10 starts, including the New York Handicap Triple and winning the Horse of the Year honors in 1953.

In 1957, Ted Atkinson was voted the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and that same year became the first active jockey elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was then invited to appear on the CBS television's The Ed Sullivan Show. In an article on jockey Eddie Arcaro, TIME magazine wrote that: "He [Arcaro] also gives a large share of credit to gentlemanly Jockey Ted Atkinson, who helped raise the standard of sportsmanship on New York tracks." [1]

Following his retirement in 1959 as a result of a back injury, Atkinson became a racing official and served as State Steward in Illinois from 1961 until 1976.

Atkinson, who had been fighting a lengthy cancer-related illness, died at his home near Beaverdam, Virginia after several strokes, a few weeks short of his 89th birthday. He was survived by his wife, Martha; children Cathie, John and Mark; and three grandchildren, Johanna, William and television personality and racing analyst Caton Bredar. His late sister, Ruth Atkinson Ford, was a pioneering woman comic book artist who helped create the long-running characters Millie the Model and Patsy Walker.

Teen humor comics

Teen humor comics is a genre of comics that humorously depicts contemporary American teenagers. When teen culture and buying power emerged in the early 1940s, comics publishers were quick to glut the newsstands with light-hearted, innocuous comic books about funny teens, cars, dating, high school, and parents. Teen humor comics appealed especially to young teen girls and tweens of both sexes because the books gave them a glimpse of what awaited them in high school.

The genre's formulaic plots anticipated the radio and television suburban family sitcoms such as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and though many titles ceased publication as adult audiences turned to comics tinged with extreme violence and sex in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Archie, Buzzy, Patsy Walker and other titles had relatively long publication lives.

Timely Comics

Timely Comics is the common name for the group of corporations that was the earliest comic book arm of American publisher Martin Goodman, and the entity that would evolve by the 1960s to become Marvel Comics.Founded in 1939, during the era called the Golden Age of comic books, "Timely" was the umbrella name for the comics division of pulp magazine publisher Goodman, whose business strategy involved having a multitude of corporate entities all producing the same product. The company first publication in 1939 used Timely Publications, based at his existing company in the McGraw-Hill Building at 330 West 42nd Street in New York City. In 1942, it moved to the 14th floor of the Empire State Building, where it remained until 1951. In 2016, Marvel announced that Timely Comics would be the name of a new imprint of low-priced reprint comics.

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