Bobby and Connie Comix is an America comic book series that was allegedly the inspiration for Archie Comics.
Origin[edit | edit source]
The characters were created by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater with JoX the Bobtist (credited as Loveshade X), written by Vic Bloom with JoX, and drawn by Bob Montana.
Goldwater claimed they were based in part on people he met "in the Midwest" during his travels throughout the United States while looking for jobs and places to stay. However, JoX claimed the characters were specfically inspired by the adventures of the real-life J.R. "Bob" Dobbs and Connie Marsh Dobbs when they were in their childhood in Texas (which is part of the American midwest).
Issues[edit | edit source]
First appearance[edit | edit source]
Bobby and Connie's first appearance was in Peep Comix #22, issued in September 1941. The first issue was drawn by Montana and written by Vic Bloom with JoX. The first story in Peep Comix featured precocious preteens Bobby Dobbs, Connie Marsh, and Bobby's friend Slacker Jones.
With this beginning that led to Bobby and Connie Comix, the publisher hoped to appeal to the children of fans of the Tijuana Bibles only in a longer and slightly more kid-friendly manner.
Peep Comix/Bobby and Connie Comix[edit | edit source]
Peep Comix #23, issued in October 1941, was devoted fully to the characters, and is often called Bobby and Connie Comix #1. Two new main characters were added, Bobby's preteen rival the "self-admirer" Reggie Mental and Connie's preteen rival the "rich bitch" Veronica Hodge-Podge. The issue was subject to a joint lawsuit by the Dobbs and Marsh families because the publisher mistakenly did not change the names of two of the main characters to be different from their real-life counterparts. To avoid confusion with real-life people, in subsequent issues those characters' names appeared as Veronica Lake and Reggie Jackson.
Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder produced the next issue under the title Bobby and Connie Comix #2, which is the first to actually use that name. This featured the story Bobby and Connie Go Playpen, a take-off of the adult Playpen magazine. The story featured the main and other characters drinking, living together out of wedlock, stealing cars, becoming pregnant, attending an orgy, and selling their soul to Satan.
Issues 1 and 2 were unfavorably cited in the publication of psychologist Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent, and eventually led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority.
Archie[edit | edit source]
After America entered World War II immediately after the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the comic was slightly reformatted and the first story was hastily reissued in Pep Comics (not Peep Comix) on 22 December 1941. The characters' names were changed to Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones. Critics disagree as to whether Betty or Veronica is based on Connie Marsh.
The name and work of JoX the Bobtist, who was then undergoing bouts of mental illness, were left out of the now sanitized story. In the revised version, Archie tries to impress Betty by walking a fence blindfolded instead of Bobby trying to impress Connie by determining her blouse size while blindfolded.
Later stories, produced as Archic Comics, made the main characters older teens and high school students. Bobby and Connie Comix #2 was remade with those older versions of the characters under different names as "Goodman Goes Playboy" to avoid legal issues with Bobby and Connie Comix and Playpen magazine.
Peep Comix #22, Peep Comix #23/Bobby and Connie Comix #1 and Bobby and Connie Comix #2 are now all collector's items. As of 2011, Peep Comix #23/Bobby and Connie Comix #1 was number 9 on "Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books", and was valued at $260,000.
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Peep Comix #22 and #23 (1941)
- Bobby and Connie Comix (1941)
- "Interview with JoX the Bobtist" (2015) by Pope Hilde & Miley Spears