Thursday, September 15, 2011

Comics Review: TUBBY: THE ATOMIC VIOLIN AND OTHER STORIES by John Stanley and Lloyd White (2011, Dark Horse)

I'm cleaning up a few loose ends here, as I wait for the bugs in my new computer (and have there ever been bugs -- verily, they are the size of pigeons!!) to be worked out. I sense a little bit of weariness in this newest collection of stories from the 1950s TUBBY title, a little less willingness to go far afield from the templates of the "typical" LITTLE LULU stories. Stanley's resorting to dream-dodges to explain a few of the more fanciful tales is actually rather disappointing. This collection also features more appearances by Iggy's "comically senile" Gran'pa Feeb, the first LITTLE LULU character whom I can say that I actively dislike. Joshing forgetful seniors is a staple of comedy from way back, of course, but the conceit seems a little more distasteful in an era in which we know more about the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. The ALVIN backup stories begin to include more dialogue, and there's an anticipation of the JUDY JR. tales from THIRTEEN GOING ON EIGHTEEN in the battles of wits between Alvin and a little girl named Kathy. These stories, however, are more palatable, less cruel, and give Alvin more interesting things to do than are his standard wont in LULU stories.

Apropos of the book's credits, I wish that someone would explain to me how Lloyd White "finished" Stanley's stories. I understand Stanley's partnership with Irving Tripp, but what made White's participation different enough that a different word had to be used? Here's where I miss ancillary commentary in these volumes...

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