MILLIE THE LOVABLE MONSTERMedium: Comic books
Published by: Dell Comics
First Appeared: 1962
Creator: Bill Woggon
Please contribute to its necessary financial support.
Amazon.com or PayPal
decided to cancel Woggon's most famous creation, which they'd published since 1945. Woggon never worked for Archie again.
Fortunately, Dell Comics was putting together a whole new line just then — they were about to split with Western Printing, which had been licensing the properties of Disney, King Features and other toon producers, and farming out the publishing to Dell, since the mid-1930s. If Dell was to have anything to publish after it all moved to Western's own Gold Key line, they were going to need properties of their own. That's when they launched Yak Yak; Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle; Tales of the Wizard of Oz (only tenuously related), which wasn't exactly a new creation, but many of the Oz characters were already in the public domain; and other brand-new titles.
As part of this new line, Woggon's Millie the Lovable Monster debuted with a cover date of September-November, 1962. The star was a kid-friendly, green and purple dragon, who lived in a haunted house in the town of Midway, which she moved into in the first issue. "Lovable" wasn't just part of the title — her first act in Midway was to make friends of all the town's children. It helped that she didn't emit any fearsome roars — in fact, she didn't speak at all. She just smiled and acted nice.
Not that she didn't sometimes get angry and assert herself as only a truly powerful monster can — she could even, when provoked, breathe fire. But this side of her personality was seen only by those who tried to push others around. With most, such as Goodie the Ghost, who inhabited the house before she arrived, she was unfailingly polite and kind. Even Greedly Gotrocks (the Pennybags look-alike who owned half of Midway) and Milton Meek (Greedly's assistant) weren't targets of her rarely-seen ire.
Millie was, in every way, a quality product for very young readers. But like most of Dell's 1960s launches, she didn't last very long — three issues, in her case, the last dated August-October, 1963. Maybe that was due to infrequent publication — quarterly was the norm at Dell just then, and Millie didn't come out even that often. At that rate, it can be hard to build an audience among those with her demographic's typical attention span. Bill Woggon, then in his early 50s, left comic books, and his subsequent creations include the "Sambo" character for the eponymous restaurant chain.
A decade later, Dell was on its last legs as a comic book publisher, and was reprinting things right and left in hopes of something sticking. Even one of its monster superheroes, Dracula, got reprinted. Millie's three issues were reprinted as #s 4-6, between July, 1972 and June, 1973. But that was the last of her.