Josie McCoy is the titular lead of the Josie and the Pussycats series and among the most enduring characters of Archie Comics. She was created by Dan DeCarlo in 1958 and named after his wife. Dan tried for a few years to sell the character as a comic strip star but eventually settled for offering her to his regular employers at Archie Comics. She was introduced in " Archie's Gals 'n' Pals #23" (Winter, 1962). She got her own magazine in February, 1963.
Portrayed as a sweet, attractive, and level-headed teenage girl, Josie was often dismissed as a female version of Archie Andrews. Her supporting cast included best friends Pepper and Melody, (respectively a bookish brunette and blonde bombshell), boyfriend Albert and his pal Sock. Sock was soon paired up with Pepper. The cast was rounded up by resident rick kid Alexander Cabot (who romantically pursued both Josie and Melody) and his twin sister Alexandra.
The series was a minor hit. In 1969. With Archie Comics having licensed both the Archie cast and Sabrina to Filmation Studios for "The Archie Show", Hannah-Barbara Productions approached them with an offer to license one of their remaining properties. Josie being the most successful of them was the one the two companies settled on. They decided to retool the comic book series and focus both it and the new television series on a Josie's new music band, the Pussycats.
Josie was a cast as the lead vocalist and guitar player of the new group. Melody was cast as the drummer and new character Valerie Brown as the bass player. Alexander was cast as their manager and financial backer, Alexandra as their rival and prospective fourth Pussycat. Alan Mayberry (nicknamed "Alan M") was introduced as their roadie and a love interest to both Josie and Alexandra. Not fitting the new premise were Pepper, Albert and Sock. Consequently they were soon written out.
The Pussycats' series was a hit and outlasted the animated cartoon. Continuing to 1982. Some stories focused on the band and its various gigs and travel destinations, some on the everyday lives of the the six main characters. While their magazine ended, new Pussycats stories have continued to be published over the decades in various anthologies. The age of Josie and her friends has varied on depiction over the years, from high school kids living with their parents to young adults with their own residence.
Josie was ranked 77th in Comics Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list. She was the third-sexiest Archie Comics character to appear on the list, after Katy Keene and Betty Cooper.