Donato Salvatore DeCarlo (Born 12/12/1919), AKA Dan DeCarlo, got his start in comic books in 1948 with Atlas Comics (Later to be known as Marvel Comics
), as an artist for Millie the Model. His changes to the comic, making Millie over from a rather plain girl to an almost Marilyn Monroe
-esque appearance, caused sales to skyrocket. Atlas kept him working on almost all of their "Good Girl comics
" for the next ten years, to good effect.
However, the most significant change in his career happened only a few years later, in 1952, when DeCarlo started doing some freelance work for Archie Comics on Betty and Veronica. He started working more and more for Archie over the next 6 years, and eventually becoming the lead artist on Betty and Veronica. Always the active artist, Dan kept himself busy at Archie, and created one of Archie's longest-lasting characters in 1962: Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, In Archie's Madhouse #22.
In 1963, Dan and Richard Goldwater (Son of John Goldwater, publisher and co-creator of Archie) collaborated to create one of comicdom's most famous characters, Josie Jones, for a series of short comic strips that soon led to the new comic, She's Josie. This comic book would eventually lead to the creation of the now-famous cartoon, Josie and the Pussycats.
Dan has created many other characters over time, but none with the lasting power of Sabrina and Josie. To this day, Archie Comics instructs new artists to study DeCarlo's style, and imitate it.
On Saturday, July 21, 2001
, I got a personal sketch of Josie from Dan DeCarlo at the San Diego Comic-Con
. There is a god. =^_^=
Further update: Dan DeCarlo passed away on December 18, 2001 of pneumonia. He will be sorely missed.