Writers: Mirka Andolfo & Luca Blengino
Artists: Elisa Ferrari, Mara Angelilli & Tommaso Ronda
Colorists: Maura Gulma & Francesca Vivaldi
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Cover Artists: Joseph Michael Linsner; Leirix; Rebeca Puebla; Mirka Andolfo;
Release Date: August 16, 2023
Lisa Cosmi wants to marry Paolo Raviolo. Their opposing mafia families forbid the match. The Sicilian lovebirds eloped. Then they got separated. Can Bettie find Paolo and help the couple escape their families’ hitmen? Let’s leap into Bettie Page #3 and find out!
Bettie’s agent, Benjamin Du’Met, got her a starring role in Eugenio Vitelloni’s next movie. Along with her secretary Karen Beauregard, Bettie discovered she was a decoy. Eugenio wanted Lisa—the spitting image of Bettie— to be his muse but first needed to put the hitmen off Lisa’s scent. Unwittingly, he put Bettie in the crosshairs instead.
In Bettie Page #3, Bettie, Lisa, Karen, and Benjamin traverse Naples, following a trail of breadcrumbs that they hope will lead them to Paolo. As they meet a cast of colorful characters, Benjamin shares his WWII experience in the city, and Karen displays a new skill. Each searcher plays a vital role in locating their prize. But if you think they’ll find Paolo without suffering setbacks, think again!
This enjoyable all-ages comic puts the fun back in the funny pages. As in newspaper strips of yore, Bettie Page #3 delivers a stomach-buster of narrative and dialogue that is character-specific and never feels overwritten. It’s a satisfying situation comedy that doesn’t dumb down or become crass. While the authors break the wall on the final page—and deliver the disheartening news that it’s the penultimate issue—this charming story held my interest from beginning to end. Say, did I mention the singing paparazzo who moonlights as a hitman? Mamma mia!
Along with the plot, the characters and settings remind me of classic Disney animated movies. The action—and the story’s sensibilities–recall the studio’s live-action cousins. At the same time, Betty Page #3 also evokes episodes of Roger Moore’s TV series The Saint set in Italy. The cast of characters exudes warmth and personality. Whether housewives, henchmen, hunchbacks, or anything in between–the people Bettie and company encounter always appeal. While a few pages have only a single scene, most boast six or more. Backgrounds fade in closeups, but mid and wide-range shots boast compelling imagery. Classic architecture and richly drawn interiors encourage me to add a visit to Naples to my Bucket List.
Panels benefit from a loaded palette of bright, soft colors. The sun’s radiance slants through windows, brightening walls and floors and making characters glow. Darker shades reveal shadows without relying on gray. Sepia-toned Polaroids enhance the search for Paolo. Tiny, italicized letters inhabit narrative boxes. Their larger uppercase relatives fill dialogue balloons. Inflection frequently emboldens words. The lyrics of the hitman’s song appear as bold words accompanied by musical notes. While sound effects rarely take the stage, love fills the air in Bettie Page #3. At least, in one panel!
With nothing to gain, Bettie and her friends risk their lives to reunite pining lovebirds in Bettie Page #3, a lively, comedic twist on Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet.