Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Lulu # 247-Irv Tripp and Taxes

I got a chance to read some more of the final issues of Little Lulu. I started to do this to get a look at Irv Tripp's artwork without John Stanley scripts. Little Lulu # 247 from 1978 seems to be a better than average issue. Tripp's artwork is rock steady through most of the run. Irv Tripp does all the art in this issue. Arnold Drake did the Little Lulu stories and Fred Fredericks wrote the Witch Hazel and the Little Scarecrow Boy story. Drake starts off the issue with "A Taxing Day" and its an odd story for kids but funny because of it. Snobbly the Butler is not himself and reveals that he has tax problems. Wilbur's Uncle Thaddeus decides to do battle with the IRS. So Thaddeus and Mr. Smith from the IRS do battle over the phone over a bill for $3.27!!!! Its a pretty cool story and shows how this government agent (who has a Hitler mustache) is wasting tax dollars on this and building a toy model at work!!! A little dig at the IRS?? The next IRS agent takes over and wants to deport Snobbly... The story has a nice end to it but I wonder how many kids thought it was funny or how many kids today would think its funny. I do think some adults would see the humor in it.

The next Lulu story is "Friends To The End" and its got a Peanuts feel to it. Its all about friendships and how Annie's actions teach her fellow classmates and even the adults what friendship is all about. A bit corny but if you're in the mood its well done.

The Witch Hazel and Little Scarecrow Boy story is titled "Wail Of A Sale" and not much to say about this bland story. Its nice just for the Tripp art. It seems Fredericks had a hard time coming up with different stories for these characters over time. It must have been restricting due to the formula of Little Itch always hating Little Scarecrow Boy. The worlds of the witches and Little Scarecrow Boy never really blend well together. There are exceptions here and there. Also,its great to see Tripp's art on characters outside of Little Lulu.
The last story is with Lulu and its titled "Charmed Lives" and its okay but if John Stanley had this in his head it would have really been funny and more depth to it.
As is its got a very weak ending. This issue has credit boxes for all stories. I wonder if this was done on many of the Gold Key/Whitman issues during this period.

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