Kathy Johnson, some-time pageant beauty judge, mom to a former Miss Vermont — and a prolific poet, has joined forces with “Bat Boy” creator / caricature artist Dick Kulpa to launch her Starlette Universe on the Internet!
Featuring the misadventures of six teen beauties, a lovable pet schnauzer — and a cow — (Yes, a cow!) the Starlettes appeared as a cartoon feature in Pageantry Magazine for 8 years, entertaining female readers of all ages with their sassy ‘tudes, sagacious silliness and sage advice.
Covering topics ranging from shopping and exercise to fast fun, frolic and food, the Starlette Universe is aimed at a pre-teen, younger girl demographic — and enjoyable by all ages.
Stories and quips are presented in pun and verse — and illustrated by Dick Kulpa, famed creator of Weekly World News’ pointy-eared Bat Boy and a formerly thrice syndicated cartoonist (Star Trek, Bruce Lee and Ghost Story Club.) Kulpa also designed the current Starlette Universe website.
Kathy, a prominent Boca Raton, FL attorney, enjoys a tremendous track record of success in her pageant and career endeavors, and possesses a unique passion for puns and poetry, penning prolific and comedic verse with a polish putting many published poets to shame!
While the pairing of a pageant judge with a notoriously “macho” cartoonist on a teen girl feature seemed an unlikely fit — hold on a minute! Since 2005 Kulpa, performing as South Florida Caricature Artist Captain Cartoon, has drawn nearly 25,000 caricature portraits, with at least 15,000 of them for younger girls. “Having drawn so many thousands of young girls, I gained considerable insight into their dreams and preferences,” says Kulpa.
“Younger girls are innocent, albeit mischievous angels,” the father of two daughters says. “They are very much idealists — and rarely shy as to how they want to be caricatured.”
“I’ve drawn them as princesses,cheerleaders, fairies, rock stars, butterflies — even as pets. Kathy Johnson’s Starlettes think along the same lines. It’s zany, seemingly illogical stuff at times — but loaded with idealistic spontaneity,” Kulpa adds.
“My job is to project the Starlettes with pizzazz, something very similar to my former function at Weekly World News. And in all my publication years, I’ve never worked with anyone more in tune with popular girly-girl culture than Kathy,” he says.
“The Starlettes are drawn as chic, fashion aware teen girls, with all the trappings,” Kulpa says. “They seem to project a “sexy” look at first glance, but in actuality, “sex” is not a big theme here.”
“I view these characters similarly to the many dozens of young, pretty teen waitresses at restaurants I’ve caricatured at,” says the artist –“as somebody’s daughters with dreams, hopes and futures, not as sex objects.”
One major underlying theme features sage advice for girls aspiring to be, well, princesses, says Kulpa. “Kathy’s a pageant judge — and her daughter became a Miss Vermont,” he says. “This lady knows her stuff — there’s real meat and potatoes served with the candy in the Starlette Universe. She’s not some bean-counter looking to make a buck.”
In one final revelation here, Kathy has authored a 54-chapter Starlette Universe novel — but that’s all we’ll say for now!
With a team like this one, anything can happen!
Join the Starlettes fan club here!
Watch the Starlettes grow . . . and enjoy the show!