Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More Cute Girlie Stuff: Katy Keene Paper Doll Reprise

The most popular Out of This World blog post for a long time time was actually about paper dolls in comics. I made a one-off post about this topic as a 'thank you' to a fellow blogger who was very kind enough to allow me to use her scan of a newspaper comic strip for a project I was working on. Since then, paper doll fans have been among my most frequent visitors. So I thought it was about time I followed up on that success with some more paper dolls. In today's post I'm using other people's scans that have been passed on to me, and they are all from various Katy Keene issues from the original series and annuals. In the next post I'll be featuring some Millie the Model and Patsy Walker paper dolls from my own collection.

Katy Keene was published by Archie Comics. Katy Keene is something of a phenomenon. Bill Woggon has that 'good girl' look just right, with Katy sort of somewhere between Fritzi Ritz and Torchy. So here's a selection of material from some classic Katy Keene comics - wedding dresses, some covers, a cool beatnik story, and of course, lots of paper dolls! Enjoy!

First here's the story from the beatnik issue:


Next, some examples of those word and picture narratives that were frequently included in Katy Keene comics. This first one is again from Katy Keene 50:

and this one is from Katy Keene Annual 3:

and this from Katy Keene 45:

Now some paper dolls. From Katy Keene 62:

and this one from Katy Keene 50:

Here's a bunch from Katy Keene Annual 3:

and Katy Keene Annual 4:

Some really old ones, from Katy Keene 16:

and finally (for the paper dolls in this post), I don't know if these aprons are supposed to be paper dolls but I'll put them here anyway, from Katy Keene 45:

Katy Keene (the character) is a model and movie star, pretty much like Millie the Model and other 'model' characters in girls' comics from the Golden and Silver Age. Katy Keene comics have tons of fashion features and reader participation in providing ideas and designs. As an example, here's some Katy Keene wedding dresses, from Katy Keene Annual 3:

from Katy Keene 16:

and Katy Keene Annual 4:

Well that's pretty much it for this one. I found that an interesting jaunt through some of Bill Woggon's Katy Keene artwork, and I hope you all enjoyed it too. Paper dolls seem to have quite an incredible following, so I hope some of those fans stumble across this post. Paper dolls are an interesting piece of culture, and it heartens me to know that there are people dedicated to preserving and perpetuating them for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Until next time, hopefully you'll think these paper dolls are Out of This World!

I <3 Katy Keene!?


  1. Wow, a bonanza of paper dolls! Many thanks for this.

  2. I love these!!! I enjoyed paper dolls when I was little and I still like looking at them today! These would make an excellent reprint collection. You have to wonder if any of the original designs sent in by readers survived and are stashed away somewhere...

  3. What a great post! I loved Bertha the best! She seems so OK and at home in her own ample frame! What was her role in the series? And I loved those wedding dresses!

  4. Linda: Thank you for publicizing my post! Look out for more paper dolls here soon! :)

    Jacque: yes wouldn't a reprint collection be a good idea! All those paper doll fans would snap it up. Good question about the reader designs - somebody at Archie would maybe have an answer.

    Mykal: greetings old buddy! Yeah Woggon's art is special. I don't know enough about Katy Keene comics to say anything about Bertha really. I do regret selling my copy of the beatnik issue years ago - I enjoy comics about beatniks. That was one of the few Katy Keene comics I have ever actually owned - they are so darned hard to get. I've got a giant size with some more paper dolls somewhere in one of my boxes - still sorting them out now that we finally have somewhere to live again. I owe it to those paper doll followers to scan that one when it does turn up. Meanwhile I've pulled out all my Patsy Walker and Millie the Model comics with paper dolls, and I'm fixing to make my next post about them.

  5. Thanks for sharing all these amazing scans! I have just discovered your site and I am obsessed!! So thank you for this new addiction ;) I had never heard of Katy Keene before and am so intrigued... The styling and character reminds me a lot of a vintage book I collected called "Brenda Starr: Girl Reporter"... Are you familiar with the Brenda Starr comics? Most of the newspaper comic scans Ive found online of Brenda are a very different style from the drawings in the 40s "Girl Reporter" book, which looks more like Katy Keene.

  6. You're welcome Lise. Glad you enjoyed those. I posted most of the rest of the paper dolls from my comic collection today:


    Hope you like those as well.

    I have heard of Brenda Starr, and looked at some old Brenda Starr comics in the Digital Comic Museum:


    but I cannot claim any knowledge of this title - it is on my 'get to know' list however!

  7. Replies
    1. Loved Katie Keene and Brenda Starr in the 50's. Thanks for this wonderful trip down memory lane.

  8. My father burned all my Katy Keene paper dolls (and others) in the back yard, leaving me scarred forever. Thank you for posting these--it leaves a lump in my throat.

  9. Audrey Burtrum-StanleyNovember 16, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I had so many Katy Keene comics - and never, ever cut any pages and kept the covers in perfect condition. However, the BIG QUESTION is: 'Where did they go?' (HA!) I believe many readers tried their hand at drawing Katy's elaborate dresses, swimsuits, etc... (Several issues even had the names of fans / in tiny print at the edge of the apprel / who had submitted fashion suggestions!) The artwork was beautiful, characters were clever and they were pure fun!

    (Single issue - 10cents / Annual issue - 25cents)

    Several years before Bill Waggon died, I was given an autograph he had inscribed and signed to me. When I look at it now, I'm reminded of the hours of enjoyment I had as a youngster looking at the innocent world of pretty people in lovely apparel doing 1960s-era activities. They may be a bit tame (or even lame) today, but they are priceless to those of us who bought them new-off-the-rack!

    1. What wonderful memories!
      Katy Keene was the best hobby ever for me as a little girl in the fifties. I remember collecting, cutting the outfits and creating more, then making a notebook to hold it all. It was a fun and creative past time, better than tv. I still have a few well worn cutouts and books. What I cherish most are the memories, full of fun and creative inspiration and a personal letter I received (May '83) from Bill in response to a letter I sent him with my thanks for the enjoyment his drawings and words gave me and many questions about his life since Katy Keene.
      I remember taping dimes or quarters to the offers in the comic books and checking the mail for my new Katy Keene adventure to come. Thanks for the memories...yes, they are priceless!

  10. Ahhhh, Katy Keene. I loved those comics and the characters. Looking at it today, maybe I loved them TOO well -- everything that could be filled in or cut out, was! The remains were later, years later, thrown out. I wish I still had that stack of comics and the "extras" I ordered, including the Fan Club kit. Alas, all I have left of my early collection is a scrapbook into which I'd pasted many of the pinups and a lot of good memories.

  11. Not the best childhood, but the one thing I clung to was Katy Keene newest comic....now I go on-line to capture that feeling.. Thank you so much