Friday, April 15, 2011
A mess of cross-dress
Back in Pappy's #796 I showed a story from the ACG teenage comic, Cookie, with the title character, Cookie, in drag.
In this story from Cookie #6, in 1947, there is also some cross-dressing in Al Hartley's "Pickles" feature. This time it's Pickles' pal, Binkie (apparently not related to DC's Binky), who does the honors of dressing up. He's quite a dish in Pickles' sister's clothes, and Binkie doesn't put up much of an argument for dressing up. (Confidentially, I think he really digs it.) One wonders about this fetish for blurring of sexual roles, because in the same issue there's some gender confusion in the one-page "Lorrie" strip.
Both are by Al Hartley. Hartley went on to draw for Atlas, and was a good-girl artist, able to draw knockout females. I've featured some fun strips by him in Pappy's #194, Pappy's #440 and Pappy's #635, all showing his ability to draw hotties. Hartley went on to Archie Comics, and at some point got religion, after which he drew the line of Spire Christian Comics.
His drawing in 1947* was much tighter, less cartoony than his later artwork. Pickles looks like a more realistic Archie, red hair and freckles, but no bowtie or crosshatching on his temples. Hartley, after a long career in comics, secular and religious, died in 2003.
*In 1947 Hartley's dad, United States Congressman Frederick Allan Hartley, Jr., was the co-sponsor of the controversial Taft-Hartley Act.