Close shaves of Pauline Peril

Publisher: Western
Publication Dates: June 1970 – March 1971
Number of Issues Published: 4 (#1 – #4)
Color: Color
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U. S.
Paper Stock: Glossy cover; Newsprint interior
Binding: Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: was ongoing series
Publication Type: magazine

Co-created by editor/writer Del Connell and artist Jack Manning.

Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database

A prominent comic book bibliography lists The Close Shaves of Pauline Peril as an adaptation of a TV cartoon. It isn’t, but the mistake is understandable. It was published by Gold Key Comics, the bulk of whose output was based on television properties, and it was
done in a style that more closely resembled Gold Key’s adaptations of Warner Bros.’ Daffy Duck or MGM’s Tom & Jerry, than its better-known self-owned properties such as Mighty Samson or Space Family Robinson. It even bore a close resemblance to an existing TV cartoon, Hanna-Barbera’s The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.

It’s easy to think Penelope was a direct imitation of Pauline, as the tendency of Hanna-Barbera to “borrow” set-ups that others have already used is well known. (E.g., The Flintstones’ family situation was just like that of The Honeymooners, and that of The Jetsons was just like Blondie’s.) But Penelope, who got her own show in 1969, actually predated Pauline’s June, 1970 debut. Besides, they were both lampooning the early movie serials such as The Perils of Pauline (1914), which were done in the style of music-hall melodramas that went back to the 18th century.

Pauline was a reporter for The Daily Noose, which was owned by her father, Porterhouse P. Peril. The editor, Snodgrass McViper, was also, unbeknownst to anyone but the readers, the villain. The assignments Snoddy gave her, which involved dangerous deep-sea dives, deadly mountain climbs and similar hazards, were designed to eliminate her as Porterhouse’s heir-apparent, in hopes that he’d bestow his wealth upon his faithful editor instead. But Pauline (accompanied by her constant canine companion, Weakheart, no relation) took a blasĂ© attitude toward such menaces, confident of her impending rescue by her stalwart boyfriend, Chester Chesty, usually attracted by Weakheart’s whining. Often, Pauline wasn’t even aware she was in danger.

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