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Josie and the Pussycats featured an all-girl pop music band that toured the world with their entourage, getting mixed up in strange adventures, spy capers and mysteries. On the small screen, the group consisted of level-headed lead singer/guitarist Josie McCoy, intelligent tambourinist Valerie Brown and air-headed blond drummer Melody Valentine. Other characters included their shady manager, Alexander Cabot III; his conniving sister, Alexandra; her cat, Sebastian, and hunky roadie Alan M. Mayberry.
had spent most of the 1950s drawing teen and career-girl humor comics such as Millie the Model for Atlas Comics, that decade's forerunner of Marvel Comics, began freelancing as well for Archie Comics. In 1960, he and Atlas editor-in-chief Stan Lee co-created the short-lived syndicated comic strip Willie Lumpkin, about a suburban mail carrier, for the Chicago, Illinois-based Publishers Syndicate. Casting about for more comic-strip work, DeCarlo created the characters of Josie and her friends at about the same time. The artist's wife, Josie DeCarlo, Josie's namesake, said in an interview quoted in a DeCarlo obituary, "We went on a Caribbean cruise, and I had a [cat] costume for the cruise, and that's the way it started."