Dan DeCarlo Passes Away at 82
Taken from alt.fan.furry, as posted by Mike Curtis: "Dan DeCarlo, creator of JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, and the ARCHIE character Cheryl Blossom, died this morning." Mr. DeCarlo was the Guest of Honor at this year's past Anthrocon. Read on for the rest of Mike Curtis' post.
Dan was a legend to me. I was lucky enough to meet him, work with him, and in return he and Josie became friends with Carole and I.
He was a consummate professional.
He was a nice guy.
He was the most talented individual I have ever known.
The following is an obituary I just posted to the rec. comics newsgroup.
Dan and Josie had never been to a furrycon before they came to Anthrocon
this year. They were delighted at how polite and nice the furry fans were,
and told us they had a wonderful time. Dan in particular was very
interested in artists like Shannon Stuart and Lisa Jennings.
They were impressed by the care taken of them as guests and were flattered
by Kage and his French and the wine. They had talked about coming back next
Dan was also greatly surprised by the appearance of Lisa as "Josie"
with his wife Josie's foreknowledge and permission.
Dan's furry credits included a pinup for IN THE ZONE and covers for SHANDA
and MAGIC CARPET. He was planning to do the cover for the first issue of
FURRY NINJA HIGH SCHOOL.
Carole and I, and all of us, have lost a great friend.
I know Mark Evanier should be posting this....but looks like it falls to
Dan DeCarlo, creator of JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, SABRINA THE TEENAGEWITCH, and the ARCHIE character Cheryl Blossom, died this morning.
I'm still getting details, we have a call in to Josie in 30 minutes, but
basically, he had a heart attack this morning.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.
Dan was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1919, and had an artistic family
background. His father worked in landscaping, as did Dan. When Dan was in his teens, he often drew art on jackets and cars for friends.
During WWII, he was stationed in England first, and then Belgium, where he met Josette Dumont. Dan married Josie, and then brought her back to the US.
They soon were joined by Dan's twin sons, Dan Jr. and Jim. He answered an newspaper ad and began working for Stan Lee at Timely Comics, doing a teenage book called JEANNIE.
Dan went on to do MILLIE THE MODEL and MY FRIEND IRMA. Stan and he also did a strip called WILLIE LUMPKIN , familiar to recent comic readers from it's reprints in MARVEL AGE.
Other projects Dan worked on included THE YARDBIRDS and THE BRAIN, as well as cartoons for men's humor magazines.
Eventually, Dan began freelancing for ARCHIE. Instructed at first to
imitate the creator Bob Montana, Dan quickly asserted his style, which
became the official ARCHIE look.
During this time, Dan created a teenage feature of his own, called JOSIE,
named after his wife, and inspired by his sons and their friends. He
planned the feature as a comic strip, but put it aside to work on comics. Later he took it into ARCHIE and showed it to Richard Goldwater, hoping to see it become a comic. Goldwater added his name to it, and it was pitched unsuccessfully as a comic strip. Eventually it became a comic from ARCHIE, credited to "Dick and Dan", the first wide use of creator credits at the company.
During the 1960's, Dan was kept busy doing promotional art for THE ARCHIES cartoon, and a deal was made without his knowledge to animate JOSIE.
JOSIE had undergone a change, to become a girl group. Dan had designed the costumes after one his wife Josie had made and worn to a costume party.
JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS became a CBS cartoon show, which is still airing on the Cartoon Network.
During the 1960's Dan also co-created SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH with George Gladir, when MADHOUSE needed a new character. Dan Jr. and Jim also did work at ARCHIE during this time, before their deaths.
Later on, Dan created the third "Archie girl" Cheryl Blossom, to make the
Archie triangle a quadrangle.
As the 1990's dawned, more and more of the older artists were retiring
from Archie. New talents were told to imitate his style, and ARCHIE had
videotapes made of him giving lessons on drawing in his style.
When SABRINA was made into a TV show, Dan heard rumors that JOSIE might be next. He decided to look into his legal rights, which had been ignored during the cartoon show days. He retained a lawyer, and was promptly let go by ARCHIE.
Dan stayed busy, doing THE SIMPSONS, two HARLEY QUINN stories for DC, as well as a SCOOBY DOO story. We at Shanda Fantasy Arts also had the pleasure of having him do a few covers for us.
Dan made many convention appearances, and at his first "furry" con
appearance in July 2001, was treated to a performance by a live "Josie"
played by KATMANDU artist Lisa Jennings.
Dan was busy with plans for two new series at his death. One was LOWER EAST SIDE for Dan Fogel, and another was JESSICA AND THE BUNNYGIRLS, a new teenage girl group comic.
Dan is survived by his wife Josie and two granddaughters, Jessica and
On a personal note, my wife Carole and I had the privilege of having Dan
and Josie for friends in the last years of his life. He was supported in his
crusade for creator rights by Peter David, Mark Evanier, Mark Ingersoll,
Bill Morrison, Paul Dini and many other creators.
On an even more personal note, Dan suffered much stress during the last
two years during his battle with Archie and this surely contributed to his
ill health over the past year.
I hope you b*******s at Archie are happy. Sue me if you wish.
Mike Curtis & Carole Curtis
SHANDA FANTASY ARTS
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Is there anywhere we can send cards for our respects? Also, I'm wondering if there's any charity or group Mrs. De Carlo would like us to give money to in leu of flowers. CLDF?
I'm so sorry. I wanted so badly to go to Anthrocon this year, and it was the one year I couldn't. He was one of the icons of my youth, reading my Archie comics and learning how to draw from them. I only wish my priorities had been the right ones and I had GONE and MET him. You always think there will be another chance...
God bless him and his lovely wife. I know having freinds like the Curtises will help her in this time.
Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake
This really is a sad thing to hear. I got the pleasure of meeting Mr. DeCarlo at Anthrocon this year, and I'll always consider it a pleasure. Although we didn't talk much, for it was crowded, busy, and noisy, I still was happy to meet him, and his lovely wife. Always a warm smile on her face, she and he was the highlight of the con.
I'll treasure my picture of 'Betty' in my book now. For it's a treasure definately. I'm so happy that I got a copy to him, ASAP. It goes to show, never to procrastinate. For we may never have a second chance.
I grew up with Archie comics, getting my first dgest in 1977, and even today I still get an issue in the checkout counter. My favorate of the Pussycats was Val. She was sexy, pretty, and definately a good counter to Melody's bubbleheadness :). I liked all though, including Josie. Pepper (from the earlier stories) was one I kind of miss too.
I'm glad the Curtis's was friends with them. It answered a nagging question; how was the DeCarlo's treated at AC? What was their impressions? Thank you, furry community for showing true maturity, and wisdom at how you treated them. We have a bed reputation, but it shows, that it's only caused by a few narrow minded jerks, and not the REAL community :) I was hoping that he could return to the con in future years too. He was quite a gifted artist, and creator. Not only that, but just generally a good person. I only wish I got to meet him more.
I'll sorely miss Mr. DeCarlo this christmas, and will drink a spiked eggnog to his memory. (I usually don't drink.) and to the health of his family and friends. I will always treasure his memory.
Mrs. DeCarlo, and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss. I could tell you two never lost the love you had for each other.
I'm at a loss for words, so I'll end this letter. Godspeed, Mr. DeCarlo. You'll be remembered.
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