As I've said before, we are big Little Lulu fans around my house. I read the comic anthologies to my kids all the time. Even though the stories are 50 years old, they're fun and fresh and the characters -- Lulu, Tubby, and Alvin -- behave like real kids.
(Dark Horse has published the complete run of John Stanley's Little Lulu series as reasonably priced paperback anthologies. Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5, Vol 6, Vol 7, Vol 8, Vol 9, Vol 10, Vol 11, Vol 12, Vol 13, Vol 14, Vol 15, Vol 16, Vol 17, Vol 18)
The main writer of Little Lulu was John Stanley. He also wrote a number of other comics, but I've seen just a few, because they're hard to come by. Drawn & Quarterly has corrected that problem by launching the John Stanley Library. The second book in the series is Nancy, Volume One.
Created by Ernie Bushmiller, the beloved Brillo-headed Nancy starred in her own comic book series for years, written by arguably the greatest children’s comics writer of all time, John Stanley. Most famous for scripting the adventures of Marjorie Henderson Buell’s Little Lulu, John Stanley is one of comics’ secret geniuses. He provided a visual rough draft for all the comics he wrote and then handed off these “scripts” for someone else to render the finished art. No matter what comic he was writing, he breathed life into his characters. In Stanley’s comics, Nancy is no longer a crabby cipher but a hilarious, brilliant, scheming, duplicitous, honest, and loyal little kid—a real little kid. Her adventures with her best friend, the comically destitute Sluggo, involve moneymaking schemes to afford ice-cream sodas, botched trips to the corner store for Nancy’s Aunt Fritzi, and comically raucous attempts to remove loose teeth.Nancy, Volume One
Drawn & Quarterly is launching several kid-friendly volumes of Nancy and Nancy and Sluggo as companion volumes to Melvin Monster and Dark Horse’s Little Lulu volumes. The books are designed by Seth (The Complete Peanuts; Melvin Monster; Clyde Fans; It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken).
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.