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The Eisner Awards judges have selected Little Lulu creator Marjorie “Marge” Henderson Buell and Katy Keene creator Bill Woggon for automatic induction into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame.
Marge debuted the single-panel Little Lulu in 1935 in The Saturday Evening Post. She continued to write and draw the antics of the mischievous little girl until 1947, by which time Lulu was the story of a syndicated strip, comic books and animated shorts. Although Marge stopped drawing the comic, the retained creative control, finally selling Little Lulu to Western Publishing upon her retirement in 1971. She passed away in 1993 at age 88.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
If I had $15,
I’d get volume 13 of 20th Century Boys. This series is fantastic, and I hear there’s a big reveal in this volume.
If I had $30,
I’d add some floppies to the mix. This is a good week for a lot of the series I have been following on and off: Atomic Robo: Deadly Art of Science #4 ($3.50), Sixth Gun #9 ($3.99), Kill Shakespeare #9 ($3.99). Since I have a bit left over, I’ll throw in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #716 ($3.99), because I really have been enjoying that classic Disney.
Comics College is a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the comics medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work.
Shaenon Garrity digs up some of the original Little Lulu comics from the pre-John Stanley days. It turns out that creator Marge Henderson’s vision was a little bit darker and definitely of her time; as Shaenon says,
I admit to being a sucker for 1930s-1940s magazine cartooning, whether it’s the inhuman crispness of Gluyas Williams or the funky scribblings of William Steig–or Marge’s style, which is somewhere in between. I can see why Seth and those guys want to draw like this, but honestly, you can’t fake it with a modern line. It’s about more than men in walrus mustaches and matronly women with triangular noses; you’ve got to capture that understated wit that says, “It’s the Depression, people–we can’t waste a single ounce of comedy. Also, we will be very grey.”
A staff artist for Dell Publishing from 1941 to 1982, Tripp is best known for his work with John Stanley on the popular Little Lulu series of comic books. While Stanley is acknowledged as the author of the series and provided layouts, Tripp was the illustrator for the comic during it’s lengthy run.
In addition to his lengthy time with Lulu, Tripp also worked on Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny comics, as well as several Disney adaptations, including Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon. He also served in the Army during World War II, and was stationed in the Philippines.
According to his obituary in The (Lakeland, Florida) Ledger, Tripp is survived by three sons, one daughter, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Bissette has an excellent appreciation of Stanley and Tripp’s Lulu on the Schulz Library Blog, along with the official announcement from Tripp’s son in the comments. I’ll be updating this post throughout the day as more obits and remembrances start to appear.
UPDATE: Tom Spurgeon has a lengthy and well-considered obit up at his site.
Over in Brazil, apparently the likes of John Stanley, Irving Tripp and Marjorie Henderson Buell aren’t good enough anymore, because they’ve taken the classic Little Lulu character beloved by so many and given here a makeover that, well, see for yourself …
You can see more images and a snippet from the new comic (it’s all in Portuguese) here. According to Cartoon Brew, Tubby has left his violin to lead a rock band, Annie is the gang’s geek and a videogame freak, Gloria is a fashion expert and Alvin has become a skater and surfer.
So … they’ve taken everything that was original and funny about the characters and replaced them with generic cliches? I’m sure that will work well for them.
This is all the fault of that West Side gang I betcha!