Soon after the movie’s announcement and just before I started to work
on the history piece, the snowball started to roll downhill…pretty fast!
First, it was revealed that DeCarlo wasn’t involved and would not
receive any payment from the movie, he then complained by filing
some legal papers on this matter, then, in return, got the pink slip and
a countersuit from Archie chairmen Michael Silberkleit. DeCarlo taking
his case to the court and the press while the studio and Silberkleit
looked the other way with some behind the scenes bullying, etc., etc.,
I had my hands full as updates were coming at me from all directions
almost everyday. In the midst of this hectic background, Mike Curtis
interviewed DeCarlo for a large cover piece for Comics Journal, which
made some of my research much easier (CJ cover to the right).
Near the end of the project, I was fortune enough to meet the man
himself and his wife who inspired this whole deal, the original Josie
DeCarlo. It was at the San Diego Comic Con and Dan was there,
selling a couple of prints of his new pin-ups at Dan Fogel’s table.
As you might guess, I was a bit nervous meeting Dan and Josie (who was handling the paper work while Dan
shook hands and signed autographs). Dan and I had a nice, but sadly, short talk (the line behind me was getting
longer). Dan looked tired as he just got back from another convention from the previous weekend, but, still, he
was happy to see me and thanked me for the “write ups”. Our brief chat was done and I exited the line, figuring I’
ll meet Dan later that weekend. Sadly, again, it was the last time I saw him as he left half way through the
convention due to exhaustion.
Once the movie bombed and rolled off into its grave, the dust began to settle and I managed to wrap up 99 % of
the project…only I had forgotten about the cover. Since I couldn’t find an artist in time to do a cover (much less a
good idea of one), I ripped a satirical logo from the found-sound group Negativland (1) and plastered Josie’s
face in the center of it, thus my own satirical tribute to Archies preoccupation with their sacred pure version of
Americana that, more or less, started this mess in the first place.
In June 2001, 64-page ‘Jozine 3!: The Final Sequel’ was released. It
did well, but not as well as previous issues, thanks largely my
incapability to get the word out like I used to. Another reason was that
Factsheet Five, the magazine that provided the “good press” that got
the ball rolling in the past, had folded and I didn’t have easy access to
Then in December of that year, just a few days after his birthday, Dan
died from a heart attack.
…and aside from the memorial ad placed in the Comics Buyers Guide
(one week after the issue announced the sad news and the tributes
that flooded its letter page) and a small copy of it in their web site,
Archies remained just as silent and stubborn as ever, hoping, I
assume, the whole controversy will blow over and everybody will
forget and, in their view, forgive them.
Well, that’s what this site is about, not forgetting Dan’s place in comic
art and pop culture history and to keep an eye on Archie.
Well, Mr. Silberkleit, one might argue that all of this business is old news, but Dan gave us too much to be
forgotten so soon.
1 – The term ‘Copyright Infringement’ is nothing new to Negativland. They have been sued almost out of
existence by Island Records & Casey Kesem over a satirical record about U2 and have gotten up against the RIAA
over CD pressings. For further horrid details, check out their mammoth book/CD package ‘FAIR USE’, the
smaller yet important ‘NO BUSINESS’. Their web address is www.negativland.com.