Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plunk! Dunk! Yow! "Flip and Dip," from Our Gang Comics #12, 1944

Here's an ultra-obscure Stanley Story. Editor Oskar Lebeck snuck an original feature into the MGM-dominated Our Gang Comics, "Flip & Dip." He held the copyright to it, and perhaps even created it. (Stranger things have happened, y'know.)
The feature lasted over 50 issues, and got more slapsticky and Kelly-esque as time wore on. (I think Dan Noonan may have written and drawn some of the later episodes.)

I've suspected Stanley's hand in some of the lesser Our Gang backup features. A few other non-"Tom & Jerry" stories, throughout the early run of the title, have Stanleyesque qualities, but don't truly feel like his work to me.

Not this story! It's very clearly Stanley's creation. Replace the simians with Lulu, Tubby, and company, and this story would neatly fit into the first few Little Lulu one-shots.

Stanley invokes Comedy Rule #337-C (cute character who's seemingly innocent, but is, in reality, a hellion), as Flip and Dip are forced to wear their best clothes and visit with their blood-thirsty Cousin Mimi.

Stanley's humorous dialogue (tell-tale lack of punctuation runs rampant) and inventive sound effects distinguish the story. As does the glorious moment when fed-up Flip and Dip decide to exact deadly revenge--little realizing they've been mind-fudged by brutal Mimi.

By no means a major work in the Stanley canon, this early piece has its charms, and shows that Stanley could bring an edge to otherwise-harmless kiddie fodder. Think of it as an unplanned warm-up for "Little Lulu."

1 comment:

Doug Gray said...

I have a copy of Our Gang #16...besides the Walt Kelly and Carl Barks stories, it has Flip & Dip, Tom & Jerry, Johnny Mole, and a 1 page Barney Bear gag. I'm not great at spotting early Stanley work (I need really obvious stanleyisms) but the T&J story looks like a good candidate...almost like someone just inked over Stanley layouts. I'll scan them for you, no problem.