THE CLOSE SHAVES OF PAULINE PERILMedium: Comic Books
Published by: Gold Key Comics
First Appeared: 1970
Creators: Del Connell (writer) and Jack Manning (artist)
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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 Peril (not to be confused with Pauline McPeril, a short-lived 1960s newspaper comic by "Fulton", a pseudym of Mell Lazarus (Miss Peach), and Jack Rickard (Mad magazine)) was created by writer Del Connell and artist Jack Manning, both of whom did extensive work on various Disney titles, including Mickey Mouse, Scamp and Super Goof. The title was characterized by snappy dialog, outrageous situations and innovative layouts, making it, like Around the Block with Dunc & Loo or Tom, Dick & Harriet, very well liked among comics aficionados, even if it isn't well known.
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 blasé 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.
The Close Shaves of Pauline Peril was loved by practically everyone who read it. Unfortunately, not enough people did read it. It ended with its fourth issue, dated March, 1971.