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GROOVY BONUS! The original art for the cover of Flash #123,
the inspiration for this DBB issue of "Secret Origins."
Click it!
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SECRET ORIGINS
TEENS of TWO WORLDS

The Dobie Gillis story starts with author Max Shulman, who created the character, a love-sick teenage high school boy, and portrayed him in a series of short stories...

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Dobie got his own movie in 1953, starring Bobby Van as Dobie, Debbie Reynolds as his girl, and future superstar director/choreographer Bob Fosse as his beatnik pal, Maynard Krebs.
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Then came the Dobie TV series, titled "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." Actor Dwyne Hickman was cast as Dobie, but Hickman had recently played a character named Chuck on the popular series "Love That Bob." To make sure no one confused the two charaters, the producers had Hickman dye his hair blonde. Below left: Hickman as Chuck on "Love That Bob." Below right: Hickman as a blonde Dobie Gillis.
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By the way, the cast of "Dobie Gillis" was the inspiration for the cast of the "Scooby Doo" cartoons. Fred was based on Dobie (blonde Dwayne Hickman), Shaggy on Maynard (Bob Denver), Velma on Zelda (Sheila James Kuehl) and Daphne on Thalia (Tuesday Weld).
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At the time (1960), DC had several licensed titles-- comic book versions of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, as well as Bob Hope, pictured below reading the second issue of his DC title.

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In 1960, DC decidd to add "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" to its line...

BELOW: DC in-house ad for The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis #1, with a story written by Arnold Drake, drawn by Bob Oksner and Tex Blaisdell.

TV Dobie (below, left) opened each show by musing in front of a replica of Rodan's famous "Thinker" statue. Comic book Dobie (below, right) followed in his footsteps, starting with the splash page of issue number one...
A typical Dobie Gillis splash page, by Oksner...
A year into the Dobie television series, Dwayne Hickman was allowed to let his hair return to its natural brown color...
Comic Dobie's hair did the same, staying brown for the remainder of the series...
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis ran for 26 issues, ending with the October 1964 edition, outlasting the Dobie television show (cancelled in 1963) by almost a full year. After this, Dobie Gillis and Maynard Krebs were never again seen in comic books. OR WERE THEY?!?!?!?
SHOWCASE #81, MARCH 1969
DC no longer had the right to publish "Dobie Gillis" stories -- but they still owned the artwork for the existing issues of the title. They decided to recycle them. The names and appearances of the characters were changed. Maynard became Windy, and Dobie became Willy. The updated story ran in Showcase #81, March 1969.

Topical references were also updated, as you can see from the very groovy title-change below, Dobie on the left, Willy on the right...

This panels BELOW show how the boys appearance was updated. Dobie's brown crewcut became a black mop-top, while Maynard's black shag became a brown, more hippie-ish hairdo, complete with granny glasses. Also, the lettering of the boy's names in the "Willy" version (bottom) stands out as being different from the surrounding letters.
BELOW: Dobie's hair was changed, and sometimes his entire face was redrawn so it would not look like the face of Dwayne Hickman, the actor who played Dobie...
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The WAY-OUT WORLD OF WINDY AND WILLY #1, JUNE 1969
Though it seems to defy all logic, Dobie's "try-out" in Showcase was apparently successful enough for the modernized pals to be given their own title, "The Way-Out World of Windy and Willy," an all-reprint series with beautiful new front covers (by Bob Oksner) and "updated" interior artwork...
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Issue #1's splash page features Maynard/Windy and a shrunken Dobie/Willy!
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Fashion note: Squares wear t-shirts and red button-down shirts. Hipsters wear purple sweatshirts, green nehru jackets and groovy bronze medallions!
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Dobie's father clearly got the worst of the whole "updating" deal. Dobie got MORE hair, but he went from having a full head of hair to being totally bald on top! Also, he got a nose job, and and even worse EAR job!
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The WAY-OUT WORLD OF WINDY AND WILLY #2, AUGUST 1969
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In addition to long hair, it seems groovy bronze medallions were considered absolutely ESSENTIAL to the well-dressed Sixties hippie...
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Uh... OK Stranger! Back to the comic book... Topical reference alert!
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In the top panels, Maynard really looks like Bob Denver, doesn't he? In the bottom panels, the colorist took a completely different approach than the original.
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The WAY-OUT WORLD OF WINDY AND WILLY #3, OCTOBER 1969
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The splash page from issue #3 was changed radically from the original. The hairstyles are radically different, and the bathing suit patterns go from sedate to super-funky.
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Dobiw/Willy argues with his father over getting a job. Some things never change -- although Dobie's dad is looking bald and bizarre in the modernized version (right).
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The WAY-OUT WORLD OF WINDY AND WILLY #4, DECEMBER 1969
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The page of original art below reveals HOW the "Dobie" series was updated. Large photostats were taken from the original "Dobie" art. Antiquated refrences, hairstyles and fashions were removed with a white-out like correction fluid, and redrawn to reflect the groovy times. Most of the changes were made by the same artist who drew the original Dobie Gillis series -- Bob Oksner!
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After their own title was cancelled with issue 4, Windy and Willy disappeared for years, then reappeared for a massive "class reunion" of every character who had ever appeared in the title in Showcase #100...
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After this, neither Windy nor Willy were EVER seen in the DC Universe again!
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XThink of the wild PAST indeed, Dobie/Willy, because in the DC Universe, and in every other universe as well, the past is all we really have.

Topical references change. Hairstle and fashions change. But people do not. Teenagers in the future will probably be no different from teenagers in the present -- and the teens of BOTH worlds will be nearly identical to teenagers of the past. Because the past is all we have!

As Eugene O'Neill put it, "There is no such thing as the present. There is no such thing as the future. There is only the PAST, happening again and again, now."

Reader, I sincerely thank you for reading DIAL B for Blog volume three, and helping me, Robby Reed, make DC's glorious Silver Age past happen again and again, now.
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