It’s pretty safe to say I was raised on comic books. I grew up with only brothers and my father was, and still is, an avid collector of everything comic-related so during my childhood I developed an equal fondness for Barbie as well as Professor Charles Xavier. These days I still get [cautiously] excited for the many comic-based movies that are released, am convinced that Oona Goosepimple [of Nancy and Sluggo] is a big reason why I gravitate towards all things strange and spooky, and believe that picking up a Betty and Veronica Double Digest can make you feel a whole lot better after a truly shitty day.
Among my stacks of Excaliburs and Archies, you could also find the dog-eared, yellowing pages of a comic book called Katy Keene, which featured the adventures of a raven-haired pinup model from the fifties and sixties. The thing about Katy Keene comics was that since she was a glamorous model, she would always be dressed in fabulous clothing. She was definitely a major inspiration behind my love of both dressing up and the fashion from those eras. Katy, along with other friends like rich bitch Gloria Grandbilt, sibling “Sis the Candy Kid” and even her boyfriends [yes, plural] would have their own paper dolls!
Bill Woggon, the creator of Katy Keene, would ask fans to submit wardrobe illustrations, so many of her outfits were designed by the readers themselves! In the eighties, the comic was revived so I had many of the newer ones as well. I also read a lot of Vicki Valentine, another pinup comic character of Bill Woggon’s. It was interesting going through these old comics and seeing how certain elements that were on Katy’s and Vicki’s clothes are the exact kind of details I now use for my own fashion style. I remember being six years old and looking at those panels over and over. Surely all those heart-patterned dresses and big bows must have gotten stuck in my subconscious!
A couple of years ago, Archie comics had another Katy comeback, but I haven’t found any of the books, which is fine because I fucking hate the artwork! And they chose to modernize her glam occupation as a “Hollywood celebrity.” BAH.
If you’ve noticed a change on the Pages section on the upper right of my blog, there is something very new and exciting! When I decided to redesign my website last year, I wanted a Paper Doll feature to pay tribute to my love of Katy Keene as well as to accompany the fashion-oriented direction I was going in. I asked the wonderful and amazing Gea to do the artwork. The clothing is from my actual wardrobe and I even have a couple of guest stars. It’s bananas how talented she is. Yay Gea! Be on the lookout for the upcoming interview I have with her also!
Take a look! You can drag the outfits and accessories to dress me up and click the swatches to change the background. The beautiful brocade and chandelier backgrounds are actually papers from Hambly Screen Prints. I love it so much!
Next up is deciding which Katy Keene paper dolls I want for a tattoo…anybody know a good tattooist for this in SoCal?
Also, present for you!