For immediate release:
Classic Kennedy cartoon "Miss Caroline" collected
Back in 1963, acclaimed humor writer Gerald Gardner (who just passed away this week), the author of the best-selling Who's In Charge Here?
books of photo funnies, made his only foray into the world of drawn comics, joining in on the public's fascination with America's First Family. "Miss Caroline" focused on a little girl living in the White House, surrounded by politics and power... and her baby brother and favorite dolly. Drawn by Frank Johnson, the single-panel gas were attractive and amusing, and give a snapshot of the moment. Now, those cartoons are available again in Miss Caroline: The Complete Camelot Collection
, published by About Comics.
"Miss Caroline" took an unusual path through the comics world – instead of launching in the newspapers and then those cartoons being reprinted in paperbacks, it first appeared as an original paperback in early 1963, and then when that sold hundreds of thousands of copies, began being syndicated to newspapers. The plan was to run reprints of the cartoons from the paperback, switching to all new cartoons when those ran out.
But "Miss Caroline" hit the newspapers in early November of 1963. When John F. Kennedy was killed later that month, the strip was quickly pulled. The life of Miss Caroline did not seem to be the proper source for humor. Gerald Gardner went on to other projects, including writing for the TV shows The Monkees
, Get Smart
, and What's Happening!!
, and films like the Jerry Lewis starrer Which Way to the Front?
and Disney's The Worlds Greatest Athlete
. Frank Johnson became part of Mort Walker's studio, primarily as artist on the long-running "Boner's Ark."
When About Comics first reprinted the "Miss Caroline" cartoons in a book that was briefly on the market in 2009, we just reprinted the panels from the original paperback. We'd been told by those involved in the making of the strip that that's all that had been created – but that was not the case. It turns out that in the few weeks that the strip ran, mixed among the reprints were four original cartoons. We had had an eye on rereleasing our Miss Caroline
book eventually, but with these never-before-in-any-book cartoons, we started moving ahead. Now there's 128 cartoons in all, in a nice $9.99 paperback that is available for immediate ordering from Amazon and will soon be available as a special order from your favorite independent book store. (About Comics books are not currently distributed through the Direct Market.)
That's Miss Caroline: the Complete Camelot Collection
(ISBN: 978-1-949996-27-2), 5.25"x8", 132 pages, by Gerald Gardner and Frank Johnson.