Thursday, May 16, 2019

Gold Key Happy Days

Back in the 1970s, one of the most popular TV shows of the time was Happy Days, a light comedy set in the Milwaukee of 1950s, detailing how Richie Cunningham grew up with his friends like Potsie, Chachi, Ralph and the Fonz, and family including his mom, dad and sister Joanie, all the while hanging out at the local burger joint, Arnold's.

Best of all...Gold Key gave readers six issues of Happy Days comics to enjoy!  Here's a quick look at those books!

Happy Days 1

Starting with the cover date of March, 1979,  the first issue of Happy Days premiered, with a photo cover with Richie, Marion, Joanne and Howard Cunningham surrounding the Fonz, giving his usual thumbs up approval of the new book!

Inside, there are four stories, including "The Winner" where Fonz wins the lottery (a whole $100,000) but finds money buys problems; "Over The Hill", with the Fonz helping Marion out with Howard's problem of turning fifty; "Star Light, Star Bright" with Richie dealing with actress Dora Lake coming to speak to the school drama department and deal with her own drama; and "Dream Girl", with Joanie being crowned prom queen, but attracting a make-out artist, which Richie and Fonzie must protect her from.

Art on the interior of the issue for all these stories is by Bill Williams, but no writer credits are to be found.

Happy Days 2

Happy Days #2 (May, 1979) has the Fonz on the phone, with Richie and the rest of the Cunninghams.

This time, the three stories are "The Great Fonzarelli", with the Fonz performing a magic act to raise money for a charity (maybe he should have saved some of his winnings from the last issue....); "An Offer You Can't Refuse", with bikers trying to extort money from Al Delvecchio, the owner of Arnold's, with Fonzie and his friends running interference to stop them; and "Masquerade", where Howard and Marion work on a costume for the upcoming Elk's masquerade ball (which they win, getting all expenses paid vacation to Detroit!).

No records of artists or writers were available. 

Happy Days 3

Next up is Happy Days #3 (July, 1979) with another photo cover, but this time including Chachi, Potsie, the Fonz, Richie and Ralph Malph.

This time around the three stories are "Male Fraud" with Chachi starting a chain letter scheme, promising dates with the Fonz for every girl that passes the letter along (and he getting the overflow); "Framed!" with the Fonz being set up for another man's theft and having to prove his innocence; and "Matinee Idol" with Ralph trying to impress a girl, thinking he looks like Humphrey Bogart.

Art on these three stories is by Bill Williams, but no writer is identified.

Happy Days 4

Happy Days #4 (September, 1979) has a photo cover with the Fonz, Potsie, Ralph Malph, and the whole Cunningham gang!

The three stories here are "Marooned", with the gang going to enjoy a Caribbean cruise aboard the Humphrey's yacht, but a hurricane messes up their plans; "Love Is Better Than Ever", with Howard dealing with an old flame of Marion's who meets the Cunningham's for dinner; and "Dreamboat" with Richie being voted the dreamboat of the campus (and all the trouble that ensues from that).

No artist nor writer credits are to be found for this issue.

Happy Days 5

In a bit of a surprise move, the cover to Happy Days #5 (November, 1979) is a drawn cover by Art Saaf, with Fonzie, Richie, Potsie and Ralph dealing with the trouble caused by a Crystal Ball.

The three stories here are "Give A Guy A Break!", with the Fonz helping out an ex-convict friend of his with Howard getting him a job at the hardware store; "King Of The Deejays", with Chachi getting a job with the local deejay, but soon getting a swelled head from the experience; and "Roots?" with the Fonz talking to a fortune teller trying to connect with his late Granduncle.

No interior art/writer information available.

Happy Days 6

For the last issue of the series, Happy Days #6 (February, 1980), back to photo covers, this time with the Fonz and Richie.

This time around, only two longer stories, with "The Beggar", when the Fonz and the Cunninghams are kind to an old man, but unbeknownst to them, he is really a billionaire who then secretly leaves them gifts to show appreciation for their kindness; and "A Question Of Muscles", where Richie, after being outshined by a local muscle man, decides to start building himself up, at least until the Fonz intervenes.

No info is available on the writers or artists of this issue.

Something a little different with this article, as ye writer/editor meets Henry "The Fonz" Winkler this weekend at the Motor City Comic Con, hoping you can give this indulgence your thumbs up! 


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