By T. Mack
Betty’s getting brand new comic books soon. “Squeee!”
When I was a kid, my dad used to make copies of old cartoons for me. Harold and the Purple Crayon, Little Lulu, Felix the Cat and other old black and whites and colors. Among my favorites were the classic Betty Boop cartoons. She was so cute and sassy and sexy and just kind of fun. Back then, I couldn’t read into the sexism in her cartoons. And while a part of me registered the innuendo, the rest of me just enjoyed funny cartoons. Of course, her image was easy enough to find. On clothes, novelty items, lunch boxes. She was all over the place, even all those decades after her 1930s hayday.
One of the things I love about Betty Boop is her resilience. She seems to crop back up, same as ever, but somehow made new for each generation. In the 60s, she went from black and white to color. In 1974, she had a movie. In the 80s, she had new cartoon specials and made her second big screen appearance in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). When I saw that movie for the first time, I nearly did a cartwheel when she appeared on the screen in all her black and white glory; a classic throw-back placed next to the shiny, colorful Jessica Rabbit. Betty thought no one noticed her next to Jessica, but I still did.
In the 90’s she made it onto VHS and LaserDisc inside collector’s additions. And in 2013, she finally came to DVD and Blue-Ray with restored and released volumes of her non-public domain cartoons that originally aired on television in the 30s. Even with the obscurity of those releases, people still know who she is. You can still find her on everything from shirts to watches, posters to paintings, jewelry to cutlery to statuettes. She is still being tattooed on everyone from cute college students to hardened bikers. Why? Because she’s awesome, that’s why.
My own love for Betty ran deepest throughout my childhood and adolescence. She was plastered all over the walls of my dorm room during my freshman year in college. The only reason I don’t currently have my own tattoo of her is because I was unable to afford one in those days. I’ve grown older and wiser now and am much more discerning about my ink. But honestly, I still haven’t completely ruled out having her placed some special place on my body. It was only after college that my obsession died down to a slow simmer of adoration for the cute and sexy character. But I still pay attention. I still notice her face on merchandise. I still have to make myself not drop $20 every time I see her on a mug.
So imagine my excitement when I read on comicbook.com that Betty is getting a brand new comic series soon–her first in more than twenty years! The website reports that Betty Boop will be solicited in an upcoming edition of DiamondComic Distributors’ Previews catalog and will be available digitally through Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse and Dark Horse Digital. The comic will premier Dynamite’s all ages line and will be just the first in their upcoming kid-friendly titles.
Do you like or love or loathe Betty Boop? Do you not see what all the hoopla is about? Sound off in the comments.