Little Lulu anthologies (and other comics by John Stanley)


20 Responses to “Little Lulu anthologies (and other comics by John Stanley)”

  1. popvoid says:

    Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), John Stanley is also responsible for one of the scariest comics ever written: The Monster of Dread End…. I looked for this one for years, but I couldn’t remember the name of the comic that the story was in.
    Scott Shaw Finally put me out of my misery, by answering the question (Ghost Stories #1). Best Horror Comics has the entire story online as a pdf.

  2. DenisM says:


    Thanks for the link – I have to say that if someone told me I’d see Little Lulu drawn by Daniel Clowes…

    Now THERE’S a story I’m not sure I’d like to read! And I say that as a huge Clowes fan…

    One more thing, Mark (if you’re following this thread ) or anyone else, for that matter. I’ve never read anyone comment (although a thesis could be written about this) about the girls bending over and showing their frilly undies in every story. Clearly this had no sexual overtone at the time – it shows up in some Golden Books that I have as well. It was just considered “cute” I guess. Stanley really took it to extremes, however, with Lulu also being put into situations where’s she’s changing her clothes, etc. None of this registers in the slightest with my son, and I obviosuly don’t call attention to it, but in today’s hypersexualized times, it’s one more sign that things were different then. Or where they? Henry Darger’s stuff was totally influenced by this.

    Now with regards to Stanley, he obviously was plugged into a kid’s head – he has Tubby disrobing all the time too – I think he knew that kids have a fascination with seeing kids in the bathtub, or having someone steal their clothes at the lake.

    I could go on and on about Lulu – like what’s with the adults in the foreground in so many of the pictures of the kids when they’re in town? For no reason he’ll just put a passing grownup smiling to themselves passing by…again, I think it’s kind of wonderful kid’s eye view of the world – grownups are like scenery or something.

    Finally, I wish someone would look at how this had to have influenced Peanuts. From what I know Schultz never mentioned Stanley as an influence, but it seems so clearly a step in that direction. But truthfully, as much as I love peanuts (I grew up on it) I find these characters far more complex than the one dimensional Lucy and Linus, etc.

  3. pjcamp says:

    Oh god!

    The one thing worse than Nancy.

  4. Jesse M. says:

    Crumb also mentions the Carl Barks Donald Duck comics (really the star was Uncle Scrooge, but never mind)–turns out Fantagraphics just announced they are going to be reprinting the complete set! See this article for info.

  5. Ruben Bolling says:

    I agree with Mark that these comics are great. My kids go through these books like candy. The characters are complex, unsentimental and hilarious. (Every time I see Tubby’s little cousin Chubby, I crack up. Tubby refuses to be seen with him because he’s overweight, but not only are they both overweight in exactly the same way, Chubby’s an exact smaller-sized duplicate of Tubby.)

    I would especially recommend the Dark Horse Little Lulu volumes 19-27 and the Little Lulu’s Pal Tubby volumes because they’re in color, and include the comic book covers.

    The Drawn and Quarterly volumes are lovingly compiled and designed, but it irks me that the covers aren’t included. Creators put a lot of thought and effort in these covers because they greatly affect sales; they were intended to be part of the reading experience, and they’re usually the most beautiful artwork done for each issue.

    It looks like the Fantagraphics folks are doing everything right on the Carl Barks library, including coloring, paper, placement (complete issues, in chronological order) and pricing. And they’ve personally assured me that these books will include covers!

    Now we have to get a publisher to reprint the O’Toole/Wiseman Dennis the Menace comic books in the same way, and the essentials of the Golden Age of Kids’ Comic Book re-printings will be complete!

  6. Pip_R_Lagenta says:

    Years ago, I was a regular recipient of the Little Lulu fanzine “The HoLLywood Eclectern”, edited by Ed Buchman. It was a lot of fun. I have not heard from Ed in years, but I find that he has a web site at:

  7. dougr650 says:

    I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it, but I have to agree — Little Lulu comics are pretty sophisticated and entertaining even for readers of modern comics. I discovered this completely by accident when my Mom told me that she used to read Little Lulu comics as a little girl. On a whim, I picked up one of the Dark Horse paperbacks while I was doing my usual Wed. new comics runs to send for her birthday. I started flipping through it just to see what it was like, and before I knew what had happened, I had finished reading the whole thing cover to cover.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Boom! Studios is going to start publishing Don Rosa’s Duck work:

  9. Anonymous says:

    These are beautifully designed objects of course. But when I was a kid I found Lulu frightening, what with black hole eyes and mouth. Eyes and mouths I should say. They were really disturbing to me, but not so much as Little Orphan nnie (NYDN comics) who had blank white eyes. That was worse. But today I appreciate the design of the comics, but still I find a high residual creep factor in them.

  10. DenisM says:

    What a great treat to read this! My six-year-old son started reading the dark horse books (we got the from the library) when a friend at camp this summer turned him onto them. I expected the worst as well, but was amazed at the imagination and depth of the characters. I love that Lulu and Tubby have such a complicated relationship, I try and explain to my son why you don’t fall for girls like Gloria – who is amoral, sadistic, and only has “pretty” going for her.

    I might be in the minority, but I actually prefer Irving Tripp’s wispier inking than Stanley’s broader brush. But I am nuts about these – and also the sociological change in our society – that kids would be playing outside by themselves, or sent to the store, or no one thought anything about leaving kids alone.

    READ THESE. They are wonderful!

  11. david scalzo says:

    Cool! Mark’s got great taste in comics. I have a collection of Lulu sketches I collected from San Diego comic con and MOCCA in New York and I am starting to post more of them on this site.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Tubby Volume 1 is a Drawn & Quarterly book, not a Dark Horse publication. You will need to correct this info.

  13. Anonymous says:

    You should know about a blog devoted to Stanley’s work called Stanley Stories. It’s at

  14. jphilby says:

    I’m shocked to find out that Lulu comics are valuable. They used to be everywhere; they were very “clean”, and she’d been around “forever” (since 1935) so every store that sold comix carried her. As well as her friend Tubby, who got his own comic in 1952.

    Lulu was often featured in very imaginative stories. I particularly remember one in which it snowed so much that when she went outside her whole world was white. For some reason I thought that was -really- funny (the town I grew up in got up to 10 feet each winter).

    I have to agree that they’re highly literate, and therefore it only follows that both Marge’s sons became English (meh, Lit, same thing) professors.

  15. RebNachum says:

    #16 Popvoid: Intrigued by your comment, I chased down TMoDE on It’s the same story which gave me nightmares as a six-year-old, and off and on over the long silent years. Thanks a LOT. ;-) I don’t know much of Stanley’s work, but this story shows his genius: pacing, timing, and a cinematic sensibility.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Carl Barks, William Van Horn, and Don Rosa are all wonderful Donald Duck artist/writers.
    Barks made the characters of Scrooge, Donald, the nephews and the supporting cast very adult and realistic. They are actually nuanced characters who aren’t two-dimensional, yet all have personalities softened enough to be palatable to children.
    The stories are the same way; adventurous enough for a kid, yet they often have elements of realism and adress some more mature topics (like politics or business, etc).
    I would highly recommend people read these comics – they’re like Ducktales that adults can enjoy. I personally think they’re a lot more appropriate for adults than, say, Harry Potter.
    Van Horn and Don Rosa are both modern artists influenced totally by Barks; Don Rosa is a fairly exact replica but furthers Barks’ sight gags and complex storylines and makes the art much more detailed; Van Horn goes the opposite direction and simplifies the art in a more kid-friendly way, while also making the stories funnier and the characters more interesting.

Leave a Reply