Monday, June 10, 2013

Running on Sheer Chutzpah: Little Lulu Four-Color One-Shot 158, 1947

One thing I must finish on this blog, as it reaches its end, is the remarkable run by John Stanley, Charles Hedinger and others on the one-shot issues of Little Lulu that precede its regular run.

This is the only Lulu one-shot that I own, although my copy is nothing to brag about. It is one of the worst-printed 1940s comics I've ever seen. When colors aren't wretchedly out of register, the black lines are fuzzy, clogged with ink, and otherwise bear all the signs of the end of a print run.

Thank goodness, I'll spare you a look at my version--these are top-drawer scans done by some anonymous kind soul a few years ago.

Many of the scans I've shared here, over the years, have come from such sources. I feel that I've never properly thanked these folks for all their hard, painstaking work in making these rare old comics available for study, reading and sharing (as I have done here with you).

These early Little Lulus suffer terribly when seen in black and white, as I've said before. Their simple contour lines were meant to be filled with the flat pastels and blunt primary colors of 1947 comics. Western's self-printed titles had a color palette all their own. After 1948, they are consistently well-printed comics. From 1943 to '47, buyer beware! Unless you somehow score a copy from the start of a press run, chances are the Dell title of this era will be a blurry, mis-registered mess.

But enough of that. Let's get down to brass knuckles, er, tacks. I usually choose a percentage of the stories in each of these one-shots. This book is so consistently great that I've opted to share the whole thing here today.