Thursday, January 10, 2013
TONY’S BACK PAGES: I WANT CANDY!
I didn’t buy my more-than-slightly-used copy of Police Comics #17
[Quality; December 1944] for cover feature Plastic Man or even for
any of the other heroes with whom he shared the 60-page comic book.
Nothing against Manhunter, the Human Bomb, the Spirit, or the wacky
Flatfoot Burns, but I bought the issue because it contains the very
first appearance of the delightful Candace O’Connor.
Candy, as she preferred to be called, seems to be the creation of
Harry Sahle. A noted Archie Comics artist, Sahle drew this first
story and likely wrote it as well. She’s one of many teen queens
who appeared in the comics of the 1940s and 1950s, but her stories
are so well-written and drawn so expressively that she became one
of my favorites after I’d read but a handful of issues of her own
title. Candy ran 64 issues from Autumn 1947 to July 1956.
The brunette Miss O’Connor is a sort of cross between the better-
known Berry and Veronica. Her family seems to be a wee notch above
middle-class. She has moderately expensive tastes and Ted Dawson,
the boy next door. She likes Ted, but she can be a little tough on
him and, in future stories, more than a little fickle. Though it’s
not shown in this story, she also has a good heart.
In his first stories, Archie Andrews preferred to be called Chick,
a silly notion that was soon forgotten. Candy’s debut features a
similar quirk. Our young heroine hates her given name of Candace.
So much so that...SPOILER WARNING...she deliberately loses a city-
wide jitterbug contest to her rival Cornelia Clyde because, if she
had won it, the banner that would have been raised over the dance
hall for the next year would have her given name on it.
No one seems to be sure if DC Comics bought Candy when they bought
several titles from the going-out-of-business Quality Comics. The
feature may be in the public domain for all I know. However, like
the Barker, another Quality Comics headliner I wrote about around
this time last year, Candy deserves to be reprinted and introduced
to new readers. Her stories are dated, products of their time, you
might say, but they are as much fun as they ever were. I know I’d
be a sure sale for such reprints. Or, as Candy might and actually
did say in her first appearance:
“Hit me with a hot note and watch me bounce!”
Some notes on the sad passing of Comics Buyer’s Guide:
While I will have more to say on this next week, I’m going to hold
off on that until I finish running all my remaining CBG material in
this bloggy thing. Besides the stuff that appeared in issue #1699,
I had already written my material for issue #1700 and sent it to my
editors before the plug on that issue was pulled. Ironically, one
of my new year resolutions was to send in my material earlier each
month. I guess I nailed that one.
My “Tony’s Tips” column discussed my long association with CBG
and I think it will serve as a fitting-if-incomplete eulogy. After I
run that piece, I will have a bit more to say.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with the second half of
my CBG look back at 2012 and ahead towards 2013.
© 2013 Tony Isabella
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