Friday, January 5, 2018


Here's a real treat you probably weren't expecting: an issue of DC Comics' The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis, based on the CBS television sitcom that ran from 1959 to 1963. I remember this show; I was only three years old when it went off the air, so I may only recall it from reruns, but my earliest memories do go back to when I was three, so it's possible I saw our Dobie on first run.

The TV show was based on a series of short stories by Max Shulman, and starred Dwayne Hickman as girl-crazy teen Dobie Gillis, and Bob Denver as his best bud, ersatz beatnik Maynard G. Krebs. I saw some reruns again within the past several years, and the series holds up as a clever, well-executed TV comedy. Early episodes featured regular characters played by future stars Warren Beatty and Tuesday Weld. Denver, of course, went on to pop culture immortality as the lead in Gilligan's Island, but I knew him as Maynard before I knew him as Gilligan.

DC's Dobie Gillis book lasted 26 issues, from 1960 to 1964. It was also quite well-executed, benefiting greatly from gorgeous artwork by Bob Oksner. In his long career, Oksner crafted a ton of exquisite-looking humor pages, including work on DC's licensed Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, and Sgt. Bilko titles. Oksner was equally adept at adventure and superhero work, demonstrated notably with a stellar run drawing Supergirl (among others). Oksner's female characters were irresistibly cute, and that ability to render attractive women and girls served his work well in any genre. I would presume that Arnold Drake wrote some or all of DC's Dobie Gillis books, but I would welcome  correction of that belief if it's warranted.

This is prime stuff that will probably never be reprinted. DC doesn't own the rights to the property, and one doubts there's sufficient public interest to prompt the company to license Dobie again. DC actually did reprint some Dobie Gillis material in 1969's Showcase # 81, with some images altered and the characters re-named, under the title Windy And Willy. Its sales did not prompt a second issue.

This material is copyright the respective owners. Its appearance here is intended as fair use. Now, from 1961, please enjoy the fifth issue of DC Comics' The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis.


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