Boop-Oop-A-Doop! Betty Boop is back in comic form, with Dynamite’s Betty Boop #1. Before I talk about the comic book, though, let’s talk about Betty Boop herself.
Created by Max Fleischer, Betty Boop is a cartoon that has become one of the most instantly recognizable pop culture characters in the world. She was created in the 1930s as result of an anthropomorphic caricature of Helen Kane. Within a year, she went from dog-human hybrid to strictly human. Prior to the Production Code of 1934, Betty Boop was highly regarded as a sex symbol; she had a huge adult fan base. However, with themes including sexual harassment, drug abuse, and racism, the Code made Betty Boop change in a big way (as well as banned some of her cartoons). She became a housewife who wore clothes that covered a lot more of her body, and obtained a much more mature personality. Nonetheless, she was, is, and will be one of the most popular and well-known characters in pop culture history.
In this issue, entitled “Betty Boop, the Boop-Oop-A-Doop Girl, in ‘Enter the Lizard,’” our protagonist finds herself in some scary situations. After getting to work late, Betty Boop has to rush home early because her Grampy got kicked out of his house. She grabs a cab and comes to find that “Lizardlips” and his ghostly minions have come from Hell and taken over his house. The catch is, Betty Boop is at the center of it all.
There are a lot of things about Langridge’s script that I really like. First and foremost, Betty Boop isn’t written to be the way that she was back in the day. She is now an independent woman with a job where she is looked up to. She has so many responsibilities to take care of, like caring for her Grampy, and she juggles them well.
The language used in this issue is very reminiscent of the time period because of the lingo used. Phrases like “Gee Whiz” and “Sweet on her” bring an old timey feel to the series. There is a lot of singing in this script, too. In classic Betty Boop fashion, a lot of the lines rhyme and have a very lighthearted, upbeat tone to them.
The time period also comes across fabulously in Lagace’s illustrations. These look like they are straight out of the ‘40s-‘50s. The line work is loose and the cartoonish art style translates to the page wonderfully. Ms. Victoria Robado’s colors are what really tie this issue all together. The colors are really dulled down—except for Betty Boop’s dress. The dullness really helps reinforce the look from decades ago. Aesthetically, this book is flawless.
This is a fantastic read for anyone who grew up with Betty Boop. You can’t get this kind of nostalgia just anywhere and it is well worth the read. For those younger readers who don’t know Betty Boop that well, now is your chance to become a fan. This issue is a great start to what I expect will be an insanely entertaining series. Betty Boop is back, and better than ever. This issue comes out on October 5th, so make sure to head to your local comic book shop and give it a read.
Written by: Roger Langridge
Illustrated by: Gisele Lagace