Monday, April 25, 2016

Number 1884: Ol’ Witch Hazel at the seashore

Regular readers know I love the Little Girl stories told by Lulu to her next door neighbor, Alvin, in Little Lulu comics. The Little Lulu Annual* #3, a 100-page squareback giant comic published in 1955, is not only all-original material, but features four of those hilarious tales pitting the Little Girl against Hazel and her niece, Little Itch.

All stories are written by John Stanley and drawn by Irving Tripp and his assistants.

*Actual title in the indicia is Marge’s Little Lulu and her Special Friends, 1955, No. 3.

In this posting from 2009, Lulu tells a tale to Alvin, and even Tubby chips in with his own monster tale for the neighbor boy. Just click on the thumbnail.


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Those witches are spiteful pranksters, for sure.

But even Lulu played quite a dirty trick on Alvin (and on us), by ending the story in such a sudden, anticlimatic way, without even showing the ferocious Octopus dealing with the bad "girls". I like it!

I wonder why there are so many "Uncle - Nephew" or "Aunt - Niece" relationships in comics... I read it's a Disney thing, and it's because you are supposed not to show mothers / fathers behaving clumsily or doing wrong things like, say, Donald does.
But it doesn't fit with the Big Bad Wolf. Actually, his son is the good guy, and often his "nemesis".

Pappy said...

J D, I hadn't thought about the niece/nephew thing in comic books.

As I recall Donald's nephews were left with him by his sister, who then disappeared and was never mentioned again. I like your explanation that a mother or father should not be shown be doing wrong (but Lulu's dad is often in the wrong, as Tubby will point out). Anyway, another guess would be that up until recently many children were orphaned at early ages, and were raised by family members. It happened to my father-in-law; when he was two his mother died, and his father took his two oldest children and gave my future father-in-law to the boy's aunt and uncle to raise. I guess many of the writers and artists who had grown up in that era had seen this scenario play out, more common than it is today.

Brian Barnes said...

For a children's comic, it's actually pretty menacing in the tunnel of love!

There doesn't seem to be any real plan on the witch's part. What are they going to do when they get Lulu? Slap her around a bit? You'd think she could just use her wand to catch her.

Of course, if that witch was mad at me, I'd cut a bargain. You can slap me around, just first use that glamour spell you used on the life guard earlier. See, easy solution!

Russ said...

I am amazed at how many pages of quality material was turned out by Stanley/Tripp (and other Dell workhorses like Barks and Jesse Marsh). In addition to the regular series, there were all of the Holiday and Summer Camp Giants, some of which were close to 100 pages. I don't know if anyone active today could pull it off.

Pappy said...

Russ, if anything about the inner workings of Dell has ever been published I haven't seen it. I'd be interested to know if the writers or artists got any bonuses for all of that extra work. And you know those 100-page squarebacks would not have been published had they not sold real well. Like you, I don't know if anyone today could do what these people did year after year, and with all that creativity too.

Pappy said...

Gee, Brian, since Lulu is telling the story to Alvin I have no idea. Okay, your questions were rhetorical, but I also think there was a sinister plan by Witch Hazel for the Poor Little Girl. Stanley couldn't come out and say it in a kids' comic book, but Hazel either planned to make her a slave or eat her. You know, like in a wholesome, family friendly tale like Hansel and Gretel.

Mike Britt said...

Most of my collector friends are around my age (72) up to 87. We all were and are still are fans of Barks, Kelly, Lulu and Jesse Marsh's Tarzan. I guess Dell Comics really were Good Comics.

Pappy said...

Mike, I'm with you, adding to your list the EC artists and Kurtzman's Mad, get the picture.

The reason those artists and writers are relevant today is because they were geniuses. They reached millions of people who read and loved their work, and yet they are footnotes in history, known well only to us cognoscenti. We keep them alive in our thoughts, by writing about them, and continuing to tout and show their work. At least I think I'm contributing that way.