Suzie, the eponymous heroine of Suzie Comics, began life in Top-Notch Laugh Comics #28 (July 1942), one of several anthology titles in the Archie Comics line of The '40s. She gradually took over the comic until it was re-named after her in issue #49. She also appeared in Pep Comics with the Riverdale gang proper though her stories don't seem to have been set in quite the same continuity.
Suzie was a young woman, sweet natured and very pretty but not overburdened with brains and a total klutz. She was forever in search of a job she could keep, and usually managed to get fired from whatever job she took through ineptness or bad luck (or more usually both) by the end of the story.
Initially Suzie was depicted as living alone and implied to be an adult in her early 20s but in her own title she was retooled into a teenager having recently graduated high school and still living at home. Amongst the suitors she acquired in the new setup was a gangly young man named Ferdie, who was at least her equal in clumsiness and, depending on the issue, acted as either the Betty in a Betty and Veronica setup (with Suzie as the Archie and some rich, good-looking suitor as the Veronica), a platonic friend or, in later issues, an out and out boyfriend. Ferdie quickly began to grow in importance getting side strips of his own and increasingly the focus of the comic began to shift toward him. By the end of the original run with Suzie Comics #100, he was arguably the real star with Suzie more of a supporting character in her own book reduced to the status of the love interest and, bizarrely enough, the Straight Man.
For much of the comic's run, Katy Keene was the backup feature.
After the end of her comic run, Suzie remained in comic book limbo for decades until being revived (with a host of other near forgotten Archie Comics characters) for an Intercontinuity Crossover in a two-part Archie and Friends story in 2009 (which saw Archie flirt with her and Veronica give her a makeover.) Since then digital reprints of her comics have been published by Archie Comics along with a 60-page Digital Exclusive collection in September 2013 which suggests her story isn't quite over yet.
Suzie provides examples Of:
- Art Evolution: Radically so as very different artists tried their hands on the character, though Suzie herself remained largely recognisable. Ferdie in particular went from extremely ugly to merely gangly and awkward looking over the years.
- Brainless Beauty: Suzie was very beautiful but had little if anything between her ears.
- Character Check: The cover of the comic and several of the later strips (especially those without Ferdie) had Suzie act more like her original self than her Characterization Marches On version.
- Characterization Marches On: Suzie's airheadness and klutziness very noticeably diminished as her role turned into being Ferdie's Straight Man. It is not quite a straight example though as her earlier characterization is better and more fondly remembered, to the point that her character blurb in her 2013 collection stresses her "scattered brain" and "clumsy streak to rival Archie Andrews".
- Comically Missing the Point: A number of cover gags was Suzie doing this, such as being told she should have come to work on time, and her thinking that was because something exciting happened that morning.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Originally a very prominent trait of Suzie, though it was toned down later as Ferdie took over slapstick duties.
- The Ditz: Suzie obviously, but also Ferdie.
- Dumb Blonde: Suzie was one of the most prominent early examples in western comics, even to the point of being a Trope Codifier. She is a very sweet natured and gorgeous but clueless blonde.
- George Jetson Job Security: The defining feature of early Suzie stories, though it had faded out a little later.
- Invisible Streaker: In issue 49, Suzie became invisible after putting vanishing cream on her face.
- Ms. Fanservice: Suzie to a huge degree. Toned down a little in the late 1940s after the comic adopted the Archie house style but as noted above Suzie's hotness was still a plot point in her 2009 appearance.
- Pretty in Mink: She has owned a few furs◊, and even helped sell some◊.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Ferdie to a ridiculous degree, to the point where Suzie Comics practically became an Artifact Title.