Sunday, July 4, 2010

Little Lulu Mystery Artist: Bill Williams? From Issue 92, 1956

No fireworks here today... if you wanna see some real comics-related fireworks, go HERE! 

On this 4th of July, I present a curious moment in Little Lulu history. Here's a story from issue 92 that's clearly not drawn by any of the usual suspects: Irv Tripp, Lloyd White or Stanley himself.

I'm just wondering out loud: could this be illustrated by Bill Williams

Despite an excellent "angry hawk" profile on the second panel of p.1, which looks much like Stanley's mid-1950s Lulu artwork, this untitled story has some tendencies of Williams' cartooning style. 

The rounded, sprightly lines and the "bounce" of the figures suggest Williams' hand to me--as does the aggression and vigor of movement. As in Williams' Dunc 'n' Loo and Kookie collaborations with Stanley, the figures here threaten to bound off the badly-printed (and scanned) pages.

I admit, it's odd that a cartoonist of Williams' caliber would do such a short piece--one that is buried in the middle of an otherwise standard issue of Lulu. The figures look a bit awkward, which suggests that the artist was new to drawing Marge's misshapen tots. 

This might suggest another 11th hour rush job. I dunno. I'd like to know what you think.

It's also a quite funny story that presages Stanley's harder-edged humor of the 1960s.

As a bonus, from the same issue is this choice piece of Zen Comix.

1 comment:

Gabriel said...

Good catch, Frank!!
Certainly, seems a Williams' work to me as well (or more accurately, a stiff left-handed Williams).
It might be traced his hand on panels where the west side boys are chasing Tubby.
Also the stylized hands of the characters (page 2 - p5 and p10, page 6 - p8) and how they all are bent over themselves.
But to me, the part where William's art particularities are standing out from the rest is on page 5:
The water splash, The bird's eye angle on panel 3, Lulu chasing doll-in-hand the west side boys, and ABOVE ALL!! that woman in green walking on the street on the last but one panel :)

Always a pleasure dropping by here!
Thanks, compadre!