2/13/12

Comic Books #38: Archie Comics Photobombs

I imagine this post will interest less than 0.01% of you reading this; however, I just couldn't help myself.  I read a ton of Archie comics and kept noticing these odd 'photobombs' popping up in nearly every issue. (Note: photobomb = term for when a random person drops in a photo unexpectedly) For some reason, Dan DeCarlo, a master comic artist if there ever was one, felt the need to draw in faces hugging the sides of the panels - again and again and again....

I suppose it has a purpose. It gives the impression that the main characters are not interacting within a vacuum. A close-up of an unknown person's face in the corner also adds an element of realism - as if you are viewing the scene in person or through a camera lens, rather than a 2D comic strip panel.

That being said..... DeCarlo did it A LOT.  I guess he just got bored to death of drawing the same characters over and over, and had the urge to stretch his artistic muscles now and again.  And perhaps this is a well known trademark of his, and I'm just now catching on.

Whatever the case, heres a generous helping of examples of the omnipresent Dan DeCarlo Photobomb. Enjoy.



Mary Hartman, is that you?

15 comments:

  1. Lee in FloridaFebruary 13, 2012

    Hah, one of the photobombs on the beach has a reflection in her sunglasses... and is reading an Archie comic.

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  2. Now that you've pointed that out, that is the g$#@damn oddest thing I've ever seen!

    Roger

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  3. So odd. I'm also curious about the box that has Mr. Lodge talking with a young man named Steve. Steve: You seem like a straight guy.
    Mr. Lodge: So do you Steve! I guess we'll have to stop judging books by their covers and learn how to trust each other no matter how we dress!

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  4. Now that's an interesting art-archeology 'find'!

    Many cartoonists will throw in cameos or repeating icons in various ways, but they're usually in the background or the corner, testing the viewer's ability to spot them. DeCarlo reversed the trick!

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  5. The "Yes Buttercup" panel (2nd from the bottom) has the photobomber and the reflection of the guy taking the photo in her sunglasses! Maybe that's . . .
    DeCarlo himself!!

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  6. I da all noticing this a kid. Always pretty girls at the edg of e frame. Look closely though, some look like they were done by a different cartoonist or are in a completely different style

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  7. As someone who spent a year drawing ARCHIE AND FRIENDS, I can tell you it's done for the reasons you cited, but also to create a sense of depth, having a foreground, middle, and background in the panel!

    Great blog!

    Al Bigley

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  8. Some of the more "realistic" faces also makes you wonder if Dan wasn't asked to include various family members or their school chums in the strip!

    Al Bigley

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  9. I also noticed the panel with the reflected muscle-flexer in the girl's sunglasses. There's a "pop-art" quality to it...maybe as the pop-art movement borrowed from the comics, the comics in turn put some overt homages to pop-art back in...?

    On another note, the percentage of African-Americans in the "bombers" seems high, going by this selection, anyway. Perhaps it was a way to seem "inclusive" without actually having any black main characters?

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  10. This is so fascinating! What a curious thing to spot. I love the commentor theories, too :-)

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  11. I've never hear of the term "Photobomb", but now that you've pointed them out I can say that I love them!

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  12. Interesting stuff! I never really noticed that before!

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  13. I like the 10th one down, how a guy with muscles is reflecting in the photobomber's glasses. Its like a double bomb!

    http://othersuchshenanigans.blogspot.com/

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  14. Google "Dan DeCarlo pinups." Dan liked his women, oh yes he did.

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  15. Many of them are hotter than B&V. I think it would have been interesting to have them have some interaction with the main characters, especially the guys.

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