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      Josie and the Pussycats

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Josie and the Pussycats Josie was an Archie Comics title that ran for 106 issues, between February 1963 and October 1982. It was also known as She's Josie for issues #1 thru 16, and Josie and the Pussycats starting with #45.

Josie first appeared in Archie's Pals 'n' Gals #23 (Winter 1962-1963). The first issue of She's Josie followed, cover-dated February 1963. The series featured protagonist redhead Josie, her ditzy blonde friend Melody, and the brainy, cynical, bespectacled brunette Pepper. These early years also featured the characters of Josie's beatnik boyfriend Albert; Pepper's strong but dull-witted boyfriend Sock (aka Socrates); Albert's rival Alexander Cabot III, who chased after both Josie and Melody; and Alex's obnoxious twin sister Alexandra Cabot. Occasionally Josie and her friends would appear in crossover issues of other Archie Comics titles. Josie and her gang also made irregular appearances in Pep Comics and Laugh Comics during the 1960's.

In Josie and the Pussycats #45 (Dec. 1969), the first issue to bear that new title, Josie and Melody decide to start a band called the Pussycats, and ask Alexandra to be their bassist. Alexandra accepts, but only if the girls change the name of the group to Alexandra's Cool Time Cats. Expecting Josie and Melody to yield to her demands, Alexandra is flustered when she finds that her brother Alex has appointed himself manager of the Pussycats and found a replacement bassist in Valerie Smith, a new girl in school. The Pussycats make their leopard print band uniforms (complete with cat-ear headbands and long tails) and perform at their first gig, a school dance, as a seething Alexandra tries unsuccessfully to use her witchcraft to get back at the Pussycats and Alex.

The revamping of the comic resulted in the characters of Albert, Sock, and Pepper being phased out altogether. From 1970 on, most of the stories in the comic book revolved around the Pussycats traveling around the country and the world to perform gigs, with Alan M., Alex, and Alexandra (and sometimes Sebastian) in tow. When the girls weren't off performing, they would be at home dealing with the various trials and tribulations of teenage life, often including Alex's jealousy of Alan M., and Alexandra's jealousy of Josie. The Josie and the Pussycats comic ran until 1982, after which the girls would often be featured in various Archie Giant Series issues and miniseries and one-shot comics of their own. Reprinted Josie stories (including the occasional pre-Pussycats story) appear frequently in the various Archie digest reprint magazines.