Thursday, May 10, 2007

Henry Scarpelli and Glenn in Hollywood

Glenn Scarpelli in Hollywood “Get the Picture”
Written and Drawn by Henry Scarpelli
From Laugh #387, 1985 Archie Comics.

One of the more oddball items in Archie’s history. The story behind this is that Henry Scarpelli’s son was a minor teen idol at the time. He had appeared in episodes of One Day At A Time, The Love Boat and Amazing Stories. Scarpelli, an experienced cartoonist who was drawing more typical Archie pages, came up with the idea of doing a feature based on his son’s celebrity status. He did three of these stories (that I know of) which appeared in the following issues from 1985: Archie’s TV Laugh Out #100, Laugh Comics #386 & 387. This one is from issue #387. Notice that the art style fits in with the Archie oeuvre, but there are definite distinctions that make it a stand-out. First off is the large, bulbous noses and the sometimes more realistic features (the blonde guy on page 1 and the celebrity caricatures on page 4). Second, is the fact that while this strip proposes to star Glenn, it really features the photographer character as the protagonist. What I find so amusing about this is, when do you see a comic in Archie that focuses on a bald, overweight guy? I love the way this character appears to move. Check him out with his leg jutting up into the air on page two and three…it’s a real hoot. But what made me laugh the most was the caricature at the bottom of page 4. Is that supposed to be Brook Shields (in her one and only comic book appearance)? Even Mr. Weatherby never got this type of attention!

Scarpelli was later assigned to work on the Archie newspaper strip, where he has cranked out little jokes in strip form for years. But why not a revival of Glenn Scarpelli in Hollywood? What, you’ve never heard of him either? Oh, well…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Man! I came across this story when I was working in the Archie Digest dept! It's the only story I've seen like this. Scarpelli is really good, especially when he lets loose like this. He occasionally still draws new digest stories as well as pencilling the daily archie strip. I'm pretty sure that IS brooke shields, too.

You found some great stuff so far. I always like finding wally wood and toth art i haven't seen.