Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dèjá Vu for Millie the Model

This list is only the first wavelet in a tide of Millie the Model refries, to use the term cat yronwode came up with for Spirit self-plagiarizations. Scripts are reused, if lightly rewritten, but the art is all-new. There are refries too in the Millie the Model Annual, and in the companion title A Date with Millie/Life with Millie. When the feature takes a turn into soap opera, of course the humor-related earlier stories can't be mined any more. But when Millie returns to humor in 1967—comes the deluge!

This is no doubt an incomplete list in that there are gaps in the early issues available; I could well have missed any number of first-time stories. What makes it harder is the lack of story titles in the Fifties. If a story seems familiar it has to be tracked down by looking at the comics themselves--and some around 1960 may be familiar because they're the originals for refries published around ten years later. ("Millie's Museum Madness" in 97 is the second of three uses of that story.)

As far as I can tell, Stan Lee reused his own scripts; he didn't dip back into the earliest Millie stories by other writers.

Millie 41, 101 'Run, Millie, Run'

1953-61 stories in Millie the Model
reworking earlier scripts

May/53 42  [The Scout] (CHILI)
    from MILLIE 35 Chili story
Dec/56 73  [Male Model] (CHILI)
    from MILLIE 32 Chili story
May/59 90  [No Proposal]
    from MILLIE 73 1st Millie story
Jul/60 97  The Other Woman
    from MILLIE 23 Clicker and the Other Woman
Millie's Museum Madness
    from MILLIE 35 3rd Millie story
Sept/     98  It's a Bet, Pet
    from MILLIE 39 4th 1-page gag
No Chance to Dance
    from MILLIE 39 1st Millie story
Jan/61 100  How Millie and Chili Met...
    from MILLIE 43 1st Millie story
Mar/     101  [information booth gag] cover
    from MILLIE 53 cover
Run, Millie, Run
    from MILLIE 41 1st Millie story
Let's Look for the Book
    from MILLIE 44 3rd 1-page gag
The Late Date
    from MILLIE 43 4th 1-page gag
Come to Baby
    from MILLIE 41 2nd 1-page gag
May/     102  Fuss in the Bus
    from MILLIE 32 4th 1-page gag situation


  1. Martin, Lee also reused scripts (again, slightly revised) in many of the romance and mystery stories of the late 1960s (My Love/Our Love Story/Tower of Shadows/Chamber of Darkness). I'm sure this was also the case with Millie/Chilli and other new material stories from the late 60's-early 70's period, although I don't have many of those books to identify them.

    Of course there is the question of how this was accomplished, since I doubt Lee kept any scripts. My guess is that Lee gave the artist stats of the story to follow and he then made alterations in the script when he received the art.

  2. At least one of the Tales of the Watcher stories was a reused story.
    and of course, this was done in other companies as well.

  3. Shucks, ALL of the Tales of the Watcher stories in SILVER SURFER were recyclings of old stories, usually from AMAZING ADULT FANTASY. Mort Weisinger used to do that all the time; the origin of Mon-El was adapted from an earlier story, "Superman's Big Brother". Mort even admitted that more stories would be recycled in a note in a Superman 80 Page Giant. One of the Cat-Man stories in a 1963 DETECTIVE was recycled from an old Catwoman story. It went on more than you'd think.

  4. The ones that struck me at the time in TOS and COD were "The Four-Armed Men" and "The Beast from the Bog." Reprinting the originals at around the same time didn't help disguise the recycling.

    Nick, a third Millie title was started at the same time as CHILI when the feature went Archie-style--MAD ABOUT MILLIE--so they needed plenty of material. The funny thing is that after a while a greater number of original stories were used, as far as I can tell--until the Millie books succumbed to the fate of the romance and mystery titles: reprints.

  5. And, of course, we can point to the Spirit stories from the early Forties that were recycled by Jules Feiffer in the late Forties. Also, Archie Comics does this all the time.