Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Little Lulu # 263 Irv Tripp
On Nov. 27th,2009,Irving Bud Tripp passed away. He was the great comic book artist on Little Lulu and other Dell titles. The work he did off of John Stanley's layouts on Little Lulu are fantastic and easy to take for granted. Lloyd White did the same work from layouts by John Stanley on Tubby,another great run of humor comics. However,with Tripp I didn't even know he was still with us in 2009. I hope someone got to interview this man at some point and more than once.
This got me to look at more of Tripp's work outside of Little Lulu. I saw that Frank Young wrote about Four Color #1274 Santa Claus Funnies which had some nice Tripp artwork.
I decided to look at the Little Lulu's after John Stanley had left the book. I guess I took it for granted that many of those issues were filled with reprints and weak work. I had read that Arnold Drake had worked on the book but didn't look to see if Tripp was still on board. So I picked up some issues and they are not anywhere as good as the Stanley issues but it is nice to see how Tripp developed after Stanley. So I decided to start from the last issues of Little Lulu. Again,I was shocked to see that the book ran until # 268 and published in 1984!! Now I was buying lots of comics during those years and even worked at a comic book store in Albany,NY named FantaCo for those later years and I don't recall those books. Maybe they fell off my radar of stuff to look at and those were fun years of looking at lots of new and old comics.
So I got issue # 263 recently and read the issue and saw credits in the issue!! The Little Lulu stories were by Arnold Drake and Irv Tripp and the Witch Hazel and the Little Scarecrow Boy story by Fred Fredericks and Irv Tripp. The credits appear at the end of the stories and the Little Lulu credits only once at the end for all the stories.
The stories are real bland ones and not much depth to them.Really simple and lame in some cases. The real joy is seeing the Tripp art. Some of the panels have plenty of animated multiple figure movement.Tubby coming and going in the same panels and filled with multiple Tubby figures in the same panel really works. The big change is the use of one big panel on many of the pages but not on the first page of a story. It opens the page up more but its not as effective as the grid that John Stanley used. Maybe the larger panels would work better if the stories were better but they aren't. Stanley really had a balance to his stories almost like a cause and effect theme.Even when there was a meanness to the characters or story there was something else that would offset that meanness that was funny and had a logic to it,no matter how twisted.
In these stories you do get to see Tripp draw Tubby in a robot suit and how the Witches interact with the Little Scarecrow Boy. Even his take on other adults is interesting to see,like a business man,secretary,driver just a different feel than what Stanley did. On the page that I scanned with Tubby in his robot costume,if you look at the fifth panel Lulu is in the panel twice,one has the colors of the backgrounds and looks like someone forgot to catch that mistake but when it was colored someone saw it and maybe it was too late to get the extra Lulu out.
This issue has the added contrast of having two short John Stanley reprints from 1954 and its a drastic night/day difference between the writing and pace of the visuals. The use of words and how they are lettered is really forceful and dramatic.I never realized how much the characters yell in a John Stanley story. They are well done and flat out funny stories.
Well,I look forward to seeing more of Tripp's artwork on his later Little Lulu run and anything else he may have done.