More Bob White, Lost Archie Artist

« That’s the last number, Lollipop! Time for me to go! » — Archie has to go mop the floor with Reggie

Well, I’ve already stated my case for neglected Archie artist Bob White (1928-2005), but persistent reader interest has (ever so gently) forced my hand in the matter. You crave more, and who am I to deny such a reasonable request? Besides, these suckers are rather thin on the ground.

Comics scholar Bart Beaty‘s experience appears to match mine in this regard. He notes, in Twelve-Cent Archie, his compelling study of the period, that « … high-grade copies of most Archie comics from this period do not seem to exist on the market. » And I heartily agree with his assessment that « much more available are copies that have been treated in the ways they were intended – copies that show the well-worn tattering of having been read and reread repeatedly by children. » The selfsame quandary arises with other loved-to-rags series such as DC’s Sugar and Spike, whose issues all-too-frequently turn up sans their paper dolls feature… and a story page or two on the reverse side.

Here, then, is my second batch of Bob White covers from his prime period, which, not so coincidentally, arguably matches the prime of Archie comics.

This is Archie no. 124 ((Dec. 1961, Archie); ah, that blessed period when the Archie line featured some truly bizarre situations. I’m afraid my picks will reflect this little bias of mine.
This is Archie Giant Series Magazine no. 8 (Sept. 1960, Archie)… only a few days until the summer solstice!
This is Archie Giant Series Magazine no. 19 (Winter 1961-62, Archie).
This is Pep no. 152 (Jan. 1962, Archie), an absurdist upgrade of the corny old ‘multitasking teenager’ joke. I love the three-way visual match between Archie’s bowtie, Ronnie’s dress and the Martian’s peepers. Also, nicely-detailed TV shootout.
This is Pep no. 155 (June 1962, Archie), notably risqué in its implications. This Cat Person seems far more… assertive than her kin Simone Simon had been a couple of decades prior. Among the distinguishing  hallmarks of White’s artwork is his evident enjoyment and finesse when it came to drawing hands. Digit delineation dexterity is a rare gift, as any artist will attest.
This is Laugh no. 143 (Feb. 1963, Archie). Aw, Reggie. It’s actually a rather flattering effigy… Betty would be delighted to take it off your hands!
This is Pep no. 161 (Mar. 1963, Archie), an exemplary use of the best-ever Archie line’s cover grid: it allowed for nicely-open vertical scenes, and the visuals had ample room to breathe. Bob White and Samm Schwartz took fullest advantage of the format.
This is Pep no. 170 (May 1964, Archie); an excellent composition, with just the right amount of detail.
This is Archie Giant Series Magazine no. 28 (Sept. 1964, Archie); I’d keep my eyes on Betty instead, Archie: aside from being the more athletic of your girls, she’s also the one with the bat.
This is Pep no. 173 (Sept. 1964, Archie); given that Ronnie’s wearing a mouthpiece, is it off-base to assume that the telltale scarlet traces on Archie’s cheek were left by the fish on his right? The lip colours even match! 😉


4 thoughts on “More Bob White, Lost Archie Artist

  1. Matt Brunson June 14, 2020 / 23:32

    I appreciate the mention of the lovely Simone Simon in what’s merely one of my all-time favorite films!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gasp65 June 19, 2020 / 19:24

      When the occasion calls for it, I love to flit from medium to medium. Art is rarely created in a vacuum, after all. DS and I watched Curtis Harrington’s Night Tide last month, and I posited then that it was ‘basically Cat People with mermaids’, which in due course led us back to Lewton and Tourneur’s classic. And then there was that Bob White cover… what’s a poor boy to do? 😉


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