ur first Godawful comic is the brainchild of Katy Johnson, or, as she’s better known, Miss Vermont. Certainly no slouch, Miss Johnson has a dizzying number of credits to her name. Besides winning the title of Miss Vermont, Miss Johnson has also worked as a columnist for Pageantry Magazine and as a model for Wilhelmina. In 200, she was listed in Who's Who in Pageants. Miss Vermont is far from her only honorary title, as she’s also been crowned Miss United States Teen, Florida Cinderella Teen and Florida Homecoming Queen, and, despite her obvious lack of dirndel and pigtails in her PR photo, somehow managed to even snag Miss Oktoberfest. Miss Johnson currently serves as the YMCA Advocate for Values, which, according to her bio, she uses to promote “character education.” She is also the founder of Say Nay Today, a pro-abstinence organization, and The Sobriety Society, an anti-drinking organization. She wrote an article entitled "ABCs of Abstinence" for Teen Magazine. She’s even dabbled in acting: In her youth, Miss Johnson anchored the television series Kid's TV and she’s also starred a series of films called "The Boy in the Golden Kimono." (She played Julie Jones, the hero’s sister, in installments one through nine.) She’s written three books, What's All The Noise About Boys, True Beauty: A Sunny Face Means A Happy Heart and Pearl Of A Girl. Miss Johnson is currently attending law school and hopes to someday have a career in politics.
From that resume, it seems that there’s little this ueber-girl can’t do. However, her website reveals otherwise. The one area where Miss Johnson’s superlative skills have failed to manifest, her one weakness, is art.
Miss Johnson´s art bears a striking resemblance to that produced by every single girl in my second grade art class. To her credit, I have yet to see any smiley suns in her pictures nor has the "Obligatory house with curly smoke and giant flowers in the yard" made an appearance yet. Her art, unpolished as it may be, is not what sinks Pagaent City, rather it´s her bizarre quasi-feminist musings. As far as I can tell Miss Johnson´s writing is either the most ingeniuosly subtle parody of vapid "feelings" philosophy or the laughable result of an overdose on that philosphy. Perhaps bolstered by her success in other arenas, Miss Johnson has taken it upon herself to give something back to the girls of America. Miss Johnson seeks to connect with girls "on their level," speaking through a group of multi-cultural preteens affectionately called the "Starrlettes."
Miss Johnson created her “Character Cartoons,” which we will examine shortly, for her "Crown Tips" column in Pageantry Magazine. They "illustrate moral messages." Her cartoons suggest that her heart is in the right place but she lacks the restraint to convey her message without descending into saccharine sentimentality. Pagaent City seeks to convey a positive, life-affirming message to young girls. It´s not exactly clear what message that is; her entire philosophy is a bizarre hodge podge of contradictory platitudes that claim to promote inner beauty yet mainly consist of tips on make-up and poise. Her counsel is so vague that it is hard to imagine that any young woman could seriously consider even trying to follow it.
To be fair, Miss Johnson’s advice on how to win beauty pageants, an area in which I must admit her expertise far exceeds my own, does appear to be sound. I would suggest that she limit herself to dispensing practical wisdom gained through her years of pageantry rather than trying to force it into a convoluted girl power ideology.
Here are a couple other noteworthy cartoons:
Hur hur. Yeah, you know what kind of balls I like? Hur hur hur. Hur hur hur hur! HUr hur hur hur hur hur hur hur hur hur!!! HUR!!!! Volleyballs. No, wait. I like snowballs.
Miss Johnson also has a mailing list. I couldn´t resist signing up, just out of morbid curiosity to see what sort of news she considered worth sharing. Of course, I couldn´t sign up myself. that would threaten to shatter my already fragile grip of masculinity. So instead I got my good friend Tiffany Ambers of Little Tiffany's Happy Site of Fun to join instead. I figured this was her style. So far there haven´t been any mailings, though. A pity.
UPDATE!! I was a bit surprised to open my inbox and find an email from Miss Johnson. She didn't threaten to sue me, which already puts her in higher esteem in my opinion, and she seems to be a pretty good sport about the whole thing. Anyway, she pointed out that Pageant City is actually intended to appeal to 8 to 12 year olds, which excuses some of its cheesiness. In general, she seems like a good person and I wish her luck in her future endeavors. She also said my site was nice and that she was enjoying it. A real classy lady, that Katy Johnson!
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