Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Comics Review: LITTLE LULU: THE ALAMO AND OTHER STORIES (Dark Horse Press, 2009)

After wrapping up its numbered series of LITTLE LULU reprint volumes some time ago, Dark Horse steps beyond the black-and-white boundaries of THE LITTLE LULU LIBRARY and reprints LL #88-93 (1955-56) in color! Unlike the previous LITTLE LULU COLOR SPECIAL, the coloring here appears to be taken from the original comics (you can tell by the "stippled" faces and occasional boundary transgressions), which may tick off some sticklers. The quality of John Stanley's stories remains high, though Irving Tripp's artwork gets a little rougher towards the end (watch for the "non-pointy" noses to begin to appear) and Stanley's "story-telling stories" are now wholly reliant on Witch Hazel and Little Itch. The headlined story "The Alamo" (which concerns depredations done to Davy Crockett coonskin caps -- one of the few times, BTW, that Stanley seems to have paid the slightest attention to pop-culture fads going on around him) is actually buried in the middle of the book; I'd have preferred that Dark Horse continued the "tradition" of generic titles from the numbered issues. This will be a big summer for Stanley fans, as Drawn & Quarterly will soon begin issuing its JOHN STANLEY LIBRARY collections of Stanley's non-LULU work. The fact that Dark Horse will continue to release LULU collections is, of course, the best news of all.

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