Published on July 21st, 2017 | by Richard Boom0
Review: Bettie Page #1
Hesitant to read this, the stunning art and the captivating story caught me by surprise!
As writer Steven Roman (Starwarp Concepts) said earlier in 2014, here at C4S “When it came to comic-book publishing in the 1980s and ’90s, no single female was a hotter subject matter than this real-life pinup queen of the ’50s, for whom interest in her long-forgotten career had been reignited in 1982 by writer/artist Dave Stevens when he created a fictionalized version of her as the girlfriend of Cliff Secord, the daredevil stunt pilot who moonlighted as the pulp-action hero The Rocketeer. With the rediscovery of Ms. Page’s work as a nude and fetish model (and occasional striptease artist) came a flood of comic-book titles and knickknacks, as indie creators and publishers alike tried to cash in on the “Betty Page” craze—with none of them aware (including Stevens) that Bettie was still very much alive. And that she might be looking for a bit of remuneration from all these people using her likeness…
As fans of Ms. Page eventually learned from Bettie herself, it was a combination of stricter moral codes—following a U.S. senate investigation of pornography, with Irving Klaw one of the main targets—and born-again Christianity that ended her modeling career. Bettie Mae Page faded into obscurity…until the 1990s when, one night while watching the television show Entertainment Tonight, she saw a segment about the resurgence in “Betty” Page’s popularity and the growing number of unlicensed products using her image—which was news to her! And she quickly took steps to rectify the situation and get what was long due her. (Apparently Disney studios’ lawyers had been right when they insisted that “Betty” be changed to “Jenny” for the 1991 film adaptation of The Rocketeer, just in case Bettie was still alive.) She even became friends with Dave Stevens. Bettie passed away in 2008 (as did Stevens), but at least she got to see the influence she’d had on art and pop culture before her time was up—an influence that continues to this day.”
When Dynamite first announced a new comic-book series of another iconic character I could not help think about the re-dressing and breast-reducing visualization of iconic Vampirella and other shuddering associations I will keep to myself. BUT LO AND BEHOLD… in opening the comic I can only marvel at the stunning artwork my eyes could feast upon!
Artist Colton Worley is new to me, but he sure surprised me in a good way! I am not sure if he is using photographs and filtering it or if this is oldskool artwork, but the end-result is easy on the eyes, with a fabulous use of positioning the characters in a panel, of setting up various-sized panels per page to make for a truly great read!
Writer David Avallone is really handling the comic-realization of The Secret Diary of Bettie Page in which Bettie is followed from her first days in modeling, in escaping the police (apparently taking photographs of ladies is not done 😉 ) and getting that exciting job that leads to a murder-investigation all by her sturdy self!
I am truly in love with all the in-cheek comments that already starts with the introduction found on the credit-page:
People can be forgiven for thinking they know all there is to know about Bettie Mae Page. She was, after all, a public figure, in every sense of the term. Even so, Ms. Page kept much of her life private, and with good reason.
Recently, a secret diary was discovered hidden among her possessions. Its contents were well known to the Federal Government, though they had remained highly classified since 1951. In the present day, the Bureau felt that sufficient time had passed, and that Ms. Page’s service to her nation, indeed, to the world, could now be revealed. Despite Mr. Avallone’s questionable reputation, he was chosen to adapt this diary to the form you hold in your hands. It is our hope that with this, the heroism of Ms. Page can be appropriately enshrined the hearts of her fellow countrymen.
COL. L. MCKNIGHT, SPECIAL AGENT, (RET.)
In this intro even the current writer is making fun off, and I do love that kind of self-humiliation (is that even a word?) to make sure the world is not taking it all too seriously, as folks (trolls!!! Social Justice Warriors!!) do tend to do!
With the cheeky dialogue, the sassy artwork and the strong premise, this is a sure winner!
Bettie Page #1
writer: David Avallone
artist: Colton Worley
covers: Terry Dodson (a), Joseph Michael Linsner (b), Scott Chantler (c), Photo Variant (color) (c), Photo Variant (B/W) (c)
subscription cover: Colton Worley
incentive covers: Terry Dodson (B/W art), Joseph Michael Linsner (“virgin art”), Terry Dodson (“virgin art”), Scott Chantler (B/W art), Terry Dodson (“red hot” line art)
Coming to stores July 19, 2017!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+