John Stanley used certain themes and plots over and over. One for instance is that Lulu would be the victim of a theft and Tubby, as The Spider, would disguise himself and go after the perpetrator, who, as Tub instinctively knew, was none other than Lulu’s dad >
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I came into a whole whack of reading copies of old John Stanley stories, great stuff like Little Lulu, Dunc ‘n’ Loo and Thirteen Going on Eighteen. I hadn’t read Thirteen Going on Eighteen since I was -- well-- thirteen; an awful age. I still loved comics but dreaded having my peers spot me leaving the L&J newsstand with the latest batch of “kid stuff”. Sliding into the alley I would tuck them under my shirt and into my pants where they stayed until I was out of sight of prying eyes and hecklers.
Another well-used gag involved story-telling, most evident in the Witch Hazel and Little Itch stories but used in various other titles to good effect also >
Stanley left his autograph on a story in another way through the use of sound effects. There was “OW!” >
And there was “YOW!” >
Even the use of recurring characters was sometimes mirrored from one title to the next >
Stanley’s style helped to identify him in the minds of readers; we may not have known John Stanley by name between 1950 and 1964 (or that other great cartoonist/storyteller, Carl Barks) but we knew he was the same creator as that working on Kookie, Dunc ‘n’ Loo, Nancy and Sluggo, and Melvin the Monster, his “footprints” were all over the comic books.