Date With Debbi #9 (May-June, 1970)
“Debbi’s Secret Weapon”
“Not Worth a Scent!”
“Where the Action is!”
By Doug Crane & Samm Schwartz
Letters – Gaspar Saladino (least the cover, anyhow)
Horoscopes – Liz Berube
Edits – Dick Giordano
Cover Price: $0.15
And now for something… ain’t nobody gonna care about! It’s gonna be fun for me though, and sometimes, ya gotta take your victories where ya can!
Today we’re going to look at a genre we don’t really do too often. Not for a lack of interest (well, maybe a little bit of that), but because these sort of Archie-alike books don’t come to the surface very often during my bin-dives. We’ve already visited with Binky’s Buddies, Windy and Willy, and the incomparable (though only Archie-ish in its art) Angel Love. Today we’ve got Date With Debbi… not to be confused with Debbi’s Dates… which, was the other Debbi book… cuz Lord knows she couldn’t be contained by one! In fairness, they’re bi-monthly books… for all I know, they might’ve just filled in each other’s “off-months”.
Anyhoo, who’s excited? Any-body? Uh… is this thing on?
Our first story, The Hitchhiker! opens with Debbi and her boyfriend, Buddy out for a drive. Suddenly, Buddy spies a beautiful stranger looking for a ride. He slams on the brakes so hard, he actually ejects Debbi from his hooptie! Ya see, kids, hitchhiking is way dangerous. The new-girl hops in, and Buddy hits the gas… only realizing when they’re already down the road that Debbi wasn’t still in the car! He flips a U-y and finds her, legs up in a bush… dead. Well, no, no… she’s okay. In fact, the accident only seems to have made her feistier… she socks Budro in the mush.
Back on the road, the hooptie has a blow-out. Since they’re on an incline (which Buddy refers to as a decline… which, I guess is the same-ish thing), he heads into the brush to find something he can use as wheel chocks. Debbie starts jacking up the rig, while their “guest” gleefully looks on.
Unfortunately, while we knew this road has a “decline”, one thing we weren’t aware of was the fact that they were basically at the edge of a cliff. Debbi jacked the car up so well, it… tipped, and rolled right off the cliff!
And so, we rejoin our trio… several hours later, when they finally arrive in civilization. Well, a farmhouse anyway. Buddy calls the insurance company (what a responsible teen-ager!), and the farmer offers to let him borrow one of his spare cars in order to get home. Whatta guy! Buddy hops a fence… to, uh… find the car, I guess? Only problem here is, he’s hopped right into the bull’s penn. Poor Buddy winds up being gored… to death. Well, no… it would appear that he’s got some’a dem cartoon “rubber bones”. The bull’s horns only manage to send him flying into a tree.
We wrap up with Debbi giving Buddy a ride back home in their borrowed car. When, what should happen but… she spies a hunk of a fella on the side of the road! She slams on the brakes so hard… poor Buddy went flyin’! Wonk wonk wonnnnnk.
Debbi’s Secret Weapon opens with our favorite gal bringing her daddy some breakfast in bed. Upon entering his room, she naturally catches her foot in the carpet.
… annnnd, poor daddy gets covered in the stuff! He then makes the mistake of looking out his bedroom window. Debbi winds up bumping him with the door, sending him plummeting… to his death.
Well, no… he just has a tremendous bump on his head. Probably brain damage too, but it isn’t clear from the artwork. Anyhoo, morning commences, Debbi’s little brother, Rocky rushes out to school, lest his sister prepare him breakfast. Daddy leaves to find medication for his achin’ noggin.
While Debbi prepares some biscuits, she’s interrupted by a knock at the door. It’s a man with the Buddsville Charity. He’s collecting funds for underprivileged chirren. Debbi the Dullard doesn’t quite know how to respond… that is, until he mistakes her for the winner of the “Most Beautiful Girl” pageant. This causes her to hop-to, rush upstairs, and steal $10 out of her daddy’s dresser! That’s like $66.52 in today’s money! The dude takes the cash, and leaves Deb to pose in front of her mirror in peace.
Just then, Buddy arrives! Just in time for Debbi’s biscuits to start burning! As she nyoink’s the blackened breads out of the burner, a news report plays over the radio. Looks like there’s some dude posing as a Charity collection-guy. Ruh-roh, did our Debbi get scammed, bamboozled, duped, even?!
No worries, Buddy’s on the case! He rushes out the house to chase the con-man down! It… doesn’t go all that well for our boy. In fact, it would appear as though the dumpy old thief handed him his butt.
Now, it’s time for, just as the title promised… Debbi’s Secret Weapon! She, ya ready for this… oh boy, it’s a goodie. She… ooh, I can’t wait to tell ya. She… well, throws one of her burnt biscuits at the baddie.
The police arrive and wrangle the creep, who tries to sweet-talk his way out of being arrested (and it looks like it almost worked!). Debbi reveals that she kayoed the con-man with a “home-made weapon”… which, if you were to say that to the police nowadays, they’d likely assume you were making bombs out of fertilizer. So, uh… never say that to the police.
Next, we get a little bonus strip called Not Worth a Scent! in which Debbi buys herself some new perfume in order to, uh… probably turn Buddy on? She stands over him, with her arm up in the air, wafting her armpit aroma in Buddy’s direction while he works on his hooptie. She is unsuccessful in getting his attention. Word to the wise, this isn’t the best way to impress your would-be mate. I mean, I’m not gonna kink-shame, but this method will probably only work for ya one out of every twelve-hundred times. Debbi returns to the department store to complain… and ask if they had any perfume that smelled like motor oil. Wonk wonk.
Finally, we arrive at Where the Action is! in which Budro is tutoring a pretty young thing. Imagine being so bad at life, you need friggin’ Buddy as a mentor? Crazy times, y’all. Anyhoo, she expresses surprise that Debbi didn’t seem jealous that her beau Bud would be chillin’ with another gal.
Naturally, our Debbi is currently hiding in the bushes outside his house. The tutoring sesh ends, and Mona (the other girl) calls Buddy “Dream-Boy”, which… I mean, I’m no expert, but those are flirtin’ words to me. They pull out in Buddy’s new car… which illustrates that friggin’ Date With Debbi has a better grasp on continuity than anything from DC Comics over the past decade! Poor Debbi gets a facefull of mud when they peel out.
Mona regales Buddy with some heated discussion about her achin’ shoulder. I assumed here that she was trying to talk herself into a massage of some sort, but… no, she just really likes talking about her appendages! I said it once, and I’ll say it again… I’m not gonna kink-shame! With a dulled look on his face, Buddy drops her off on the corner, and drives away.
He pops into the soda pop shop, where he is soon joined by Anna from English Class! You know Anna… she’s that girl… from English Class! The one whose sleeves never match her dress. Yeah, her! Anyhoo, they chat for a bit… starting with Buddy asking her if she’s showing any symptoms. Wait, what year was this written in? Who’da thunk Date With Debbi would be 2020-relevant?
The two teen-agers hit it off… with Buddy even referring to Anna as a “pretty chick”. Wow, dude… I mean, yeah, Debbi’s a pain in the ass, but she’s still your pain in the ass. Buddy walks Anna home, and with a dulled look on his face, bids her adieu.
We wrap up with Buddy visiting Debbi, who is trying to kill a mosquito with a giant book she’s likely never read. Naturally, she accidentally bonks Buddy on the head… killing him instantly. Well, no… actually, it just convinces him that all he needs in this world is Debbi… and every bit of the craziness that comes with her.
So, this was an experience, wunnit?
Certainly not the greatest thing we’ve ever looked at here on the site… but, not nearly the worst either! Overall, I’d say I had a pretty good time with this. If for no other reason than it actually cleared up a question I posed way back on Christmas Eve, 2017! Ya see, that day I looked at Adventures of Superman #520 (1995), in it, all Lois wants for Christmas is a doll… a Date With Debbi doll! Back then, I wracked my brain trying to figure out what this might be analogous to. I wondered if there was any “hot toy” back in 1995 that this could’ve been in reference to. I did everything except… well, Google “Date With Debbi”. Had I simply done that, I’d have had my answer straight away!
Anyhoo, Superman does manage to find the doll… annnnnd, the colorist whiffed it, by making her blonde! C’mon… poor Debbi’s only appearance in like a half-century, and ya mess it up?
Colors – Glenn Whitmore
So, with the semi-relevance of Debbi out of the way… how’d we feel about this quartet of stories?
They were… fine. Nothing that’s gonna rock any socks, perfectly breezy and silly Saturday morning reading. Debbi comes across as sort of a simple conniver, kinda Lucy-ish, I guess. Ya see, the thing with comics like this… they’re fun to share, but… there’s not a whole lot to “analyze”, ya know? Debbi’s a pain in the ass, she unwittingly torments everyone in her presence… and has to deal with an ascot-wearing boyfriend whose eyes-wander more than Robert Gibson’s. The stories were cartoony… and fun enough.
I will say that I thought the “extras” included here were really cool. Never seen horoscopes in a comic before… and the “reader designed” outfits were neat. The art was clean, though not really my preferred style. If you do dig that classic Archie look, you’ll probably like this nearly as much.
Overall, I’d tell ya if you happened across an issue of Date With Debbi (or Debbi’s Dates) in the cheap-o bin, you could do far worse! I wouldn’t break the bank for it though.
Your Horoscope (click to enlarge… if you dare)!