In 1953 and 54 the small outfit called Toby Publishing took their stab at the Riverdale sweepstakes by introducing Merton Muddle in the pages of MEET MERTON.
Mert lived a familiar teenaged lifestyle vexed by a rival named Chris Cross and enjoying the company of a best pal called Calories Casey. However most of Merton’s troubles came from through his relationship with two girls, the strawberry blonde Marcia and the brunette coiffed Joann. Take for example “What Goes Up!”
Merton is a tad different from Archie in that he is nowhere near a girl crazy as the ol’ carrot top. Witness the exchange with his dad on page two of “Love And Let Love”
The cartoonist for the strip was Dave Berg, the guy who would later be responsible for the “Lighter Side” strips in Mad Magazine. His cartooning is pretty loose in Merton, no where near as tight as his Mad stuff. But I’m convinced that Merton’’s dad was the prototype to his character ‘Roger Kuputnik”.
I’ll end things with “Anything For A Laugh”.