Kookie is just a waitress, but that chick is far out! Artist: Bill Williams.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Dell Comics
First Appeared: 1962
Creators: John Stanley and Bill Williams
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From the 1930s through the '50s, Dell Comics subsisted mainly on licensed properties, from Alley Oop to Zorro, that it subcontracted through Western Printing & Publishing. But as the …

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… 1960s started, it was becoming apparent that the relationship was coming to an end — Western started publishing through its own imprint, Gold Key, in 1962. Dell's response was to launch one new title after another, hoping to replace the publishable material Western was about to take away.

With few exceptions (Kona, Ghost Stories and Thirteen, Going on Eighteen among them), most of these titles were short-lived. They tended to run from three to six issues (like Millie the Lovable Monster and Brain Boy, respectively. With two issues published, Kookie was even more so than most. Kookie ran the entire course of her existence between April and July, 1962.

The reason for its failure to create enduring success could be anything, but lack of talent on the part of creators isn't likely it. Kookie was written and laid out by John Stanley, whose ability to craft very funny comic books has been evident since he began his long stint on Little Lulu; and whose ability to deal with weirdos is demonstrated by Oona Goosepimple and Melvin Monster. The artist was Bill Williams, whose work has been seen on everything from Charlton's Scooby-Doo to Marvel's Millie the Model, but who ie best known as Stanley's collaborator on Around the Block with Dunc & Loo.

Kookie was a square chick working in a beatnik coffee shop, a sweet, pretty, normal girl who waited tables at an establishment where the regular customers tended to be Greenwich Village weirdos such as supporting characters Bongo and Bop. Her boss was Mama Pappa, the hard-boiled owner and operator of the joint. Beatniks, generally disaffected young people, were a stereotype in media of the time. The men wore scraggly beards and the women had no make-up. They hung around in coffee shops, drinking amazingly strong espresso and reciting amazingly meaningless poetry. They oohed and ahhed over art that could be anything from a floor covering that paint had dripped on to a canvas the artist had sat on after an amusing accident with paint.

Linda Lark, Student Nurse; Johnny Jason, Teen Reporter; Space Man and other contemporary Dell titles tended to come and go; and once gone, not be seen again. Kookie did so in a shorter period of time than most.


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Text ©2008 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Dell Publishing Co.