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Little Lulu
Firstlittlelulu022335.jpg
The first Little Lulu cartoon from February 23, 1935 issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Author(s) Marjorie Henderson Buell
Current status / schedule Ended
Launch date February 23, 1935
End date December 30, 1944
Publisher(s) The Saturday Evening Post
Genre(s) Humor

Little Lulu is a comic strip created in 1935 by Marjorie Henderson Buell. The character, Lulu Moppet, debuted in The Saturday Evening Post on February 23, 1935, in a single panel, appearing as a flower girl at a wedding and mischievously strewing the aisle with banana peels. Little Lulu replaced Carl Anderson's Henry, which had been picked up for distribution by King Features Syndicate. The Little Lulu panel continued to run weekly in The Saturday Evening Post until December 30, 1944.

Little Lulu was created as a result of Anderson's success. Schlesinger Library curator Kathryn Allamong Jacob wrote:

Lulu was born in 1935, when The Saturday Evening Post asked Buell to create a successor to the magazine’s Henry, Carl Anderson’s stout, mute little boy, who was moving on to national syndication. The result was Little Lulu, the resourceful, equally silent (at first) little girl whose loopy curls were reminiscent of the artist’s own as a girl. Buell explained to a reporter, "I wanted a girl because a girl could get away with more fresh stunts that in a small boy would seem boorish".

Characters and story

Comic strips and comic books

Littlelulu72
John Stanley's Little Lulu No. 72 (June 1954).

A daily comic strip, entitled Little Lulu, was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate from June 5, 1950, through May 31, 1969. Artists included Woody Kimbrell (1950–1964), Roger Armstrong (1964–1966), and Ed Nofziger (1966–1969).

Little Lulu appeared in ten issues of Dell Comics' Four Color comic book series (#74, 97, 110, 115, 120, 131, 139, 146, 158, 165), before graduating to her own title: Marge's Little Lulu in 1948.

With the Dell Comics/Western Publishing split that created Gold Key Comics, Little Lulu went to Gold Key with issue No. 165. Tubby got his own comic series from 1952 to 1961, first appearing in Four Color No. 381, 430, 444, and #461; then his own title Marge's Tubby from No. 5 thru 49. In this series, Tubby had his own adventures without Lulu, especially with the Little Men from Mars.

Upon retirement, Marge sold Little Lulu to Western Publishing. The comic was re–named Little Lulu with No. 207 (September 1972). Publication of the comics ceased in 1984 (with issue No. 268, the last few under the Whitman Comics name), when Western discontinued publishing comics. Artist Hy Eisman retained stories intended for #269–270 (scripted by Paul Kuhn) because the artwork was returned to him after the comic was cancelled. Three of these are to be reprinted in the Lulu fanzine The HoLLywood Eclectern (HE). "The Case of the Disappearing Tutu", slated to be the lead story in Little Lulu No. 270, appears in HE No. 47 (2008).

There were also two giant-sized Annuals (#1–2, 1953–1954), 14 Dell Giants (with seasonal and other themes), a regular-sized unnumbered special on visiting Japan and three Gold Key Specials (two with Lulu on Halloween and summer camp and one with Tubby and the Little Men from Mars). Lulu also appeared in 20 issues of March of Comics and was reprinted in several Golden Comics Digests.

Between 1985 and 1992 Another Rainbow Publishing published a hardbound 18-volume set, the Little Lulu Library, collecting the stories in the Four Color issues, plus the regular series through No. 87.

John Stanley

Writer/artist John Stanley's work on the Little Lulu comic book is highly regarded. He did the initial Lulu comics, later working with artists Irving Tripp and Charles Hedinger (Tripp inking Hedinger before eventually assuming both duties), writing and laying out the stories. He continued working on the comic until around 1959. Stanley is responsible for the many additional characters in the stories. After Stanley, other writers produced the Lulu stories for Gold Key Comics, including Arnold Drake.

Advertising and merchandising

Little Lulu was featured on numerous licensed products, and she was the centerpiece of an extensive advertising campaign for Kleenex tissues during the 1940s–50s, and she was also seen in Pepsi-Cola magazine ads during that period. Kleenex commercials featuring Little Lulu were regularly seen in the 1950s on Perry Como's television show. Buell played an active role in merchandising Little Lulu, often taking a hands-on role in terms and negotiations. Today the trademarks on Little Lulu are held by Universal Studios (which manages the properties of DreamWorks Classics, as well as its parent company, DreamWorks Animation).

Theatrical shorts

La Pequeña Lulú en una escena de 'A Bout With a Trout'
Screenshot from the 1947 short "A Bout with a Trout"

In the 1940s, Lulu appeared in a series of theatrical animated shorts produced by Famous Studios for Paramount Pictures from 1943 to 1948, which replaced the Superman shorts of the 1940s. In all, 26 Little Lulu cartoons were released in a period of less than five years. A similar character, Little Audrey, was then created after Paramount failed to renew the Lulu license (and therefore avoided the payment of royalty fees). The voice of Little Lulu was performed by Cecil Roy, and Tubby was performed by Arnold Stang.

The theme song for the shorts was written and composed by Buddy Kaye, Fred Wise, and Sidney Lippman but performed by the singing group Helen Carroll and the Satisfiers. Finally, Winston Sharples and Sammy Timberg did the musical arrangements.

In the early 1960s, Paramount and Famous Studios produced two new Little Lulu cartoons, "Alvin's Solo Flight" (a Noveltoon), and "Frog's Legs" (a Comic Kings cartoon, which is also the first), both based on two of John Stanley's comic stories. Cecil Roy reprised her role as Lulu, but Arnold Stang did not return as Tubby, because he was working, then, to voice the Top Cat character in the famous Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

Little Lulu's filmography

Some of the shorts listed below were released into the public domain, and are marked with an asterisk (*) in the original release date column.

No. Title Directed by Story by Animated by Scenics by Original release date
1 "Eggs Don't Bounce" I. Sparber Carl Meyer, Jack Mercer, and Jack Ward Nick Tafuri, Joe Oriolo, Tom Golden, and John Walworth Robert Little December 14, 1943 (1943-12-14)
Lulu buys some eggs for Mandy, but when they end up broken, she tries to borrow eggs from Henrietta.
2 "Hullaba-Lulu" Seymour Kneitel Joe Stultz and Graham Place Graham Place, Abner Kneitel, Gordon A. Sheehan, and Paul Busch Shane Miller February 25, 1944 (1944-02-25)
Lulu sneaks into the circus, where she disrupts every performance, but saves the ringmaster from a lion.
3 "Lulu Gets the Birdie" I. Sparber Carl Meyer Dave Tendlar, Morey Reden, John Walworth, and John Gentilella Robert Connavale March 31, 1944 (1944-03-31)
When Mandy scolds Lulu for making a mess because she heard from "a little bird", Lulu decides to literally go after the bird.
4 "Lulu in Hollywood" I. Sparber Joe Stultz and Dana Coty Nick Tafuri, Tom Golden, John Walworth, and Joe Oriolo Anton Loeb May 19, 1944 (1944-05-19)
Lulu receives a telegram from a director and she is brought to Hollywood where he plans to make her famous.
5 "Lucky Lulu" Seymour Kneitel Carl Meyer Graham Place, Abner Kneitel, and Gordon A. Sheehan Robert Connavale June 30, 1944 (1944-06-30)
Lulu resolves to be good to avoid another spanking, but Mandy tells her it is Friday the 13th. She convinces Lulu to carry a good luck charm, so she obtains a horseshoe to keep out of trouble.
6 "It's Nifty to Be Thrifty" Seymour Kneitel Carl Meyer Orestes Calpini, Reuben Grossman, Otto Feuer, and Frank Little Robert Little August 18, 1944 (1944-08-18)
Lulu's dad tells the story of The Grasshopper and the Ant, and Lulu swears that she will be good with her money, then gives in to temptation at a candy store.
7 "I'm Just Curious" Seymour Kneitel William Turner and Jack Ward Graham Place, George Cannata, Lou Zukor, and Sidney Pillet Robert Connavale September 8, 1944 (1944-09-08)
Lulu sings "I'm Just Curious" after being scolded by her father, then she encounters a chicken hawk.
8 "Lulu's Indoor Outing" I. Sparber Joe Stultz and Carl Meyer Nick Tafuri, Tom Golden, John Walworth, and Gordon Whittier Anton Loeb September 29, 1944 (1944-09-29)
Lulu has a picnic in a haunted house, much to Mandy's dismay. After eating the food, the ghosts reveal themselves to be hungry and Lulu invites them home.
9 "Lulu at the Zoo" I. Sparber Seymour Kneitel Nick Tafuri, Tom Golden, John Walworth, and Gordon Whittier Robert Connavale November 17, 1944 (1944-11-17)
Lulu wreaks havoc at the zoo where she feeds the animals, to the zookeeper's chagrin.
10 "Lulu's Birthday Party" I. Sparber Bill Turner and Otto Messmer Dave Tendlar, Morey Reden, Joe Oriolo, and John Gentilella Robert Little December 1, 1944 (1944-12-01)
Lulu accidentally spoils her birthday cake as Mandy is making it; later she is greeted by a wonderful surprise.
11 "Magica-Lulu" Seymour Kneitel Jack Ward Graham Place, Lou Zukor, George Cannata, and Gordon Whittier Anton Loeb March 2, 1945 (1945-03-02)
Inspired by a magician's act, Lulu decides she wants to be part of the show.
Note: In the U.M. & M. TV Corporation version, this cartoon is titled Magical Lulu.
12 "Beau Ties" Seymour Kneitel Joe Stultz and Carl Meyer Orestes Calpini, Reuben Grossman, Otto Feuer, and Frank Little Shane Miller April 20, 1945 (1945-04-20)
Shocked that Tubby (named "Fatso" in this cartoon) has started hanging out with Gloria, (named "Fifi" in this cartoon) Lulu gets mad at him. He promises to put a carving on a giant tree saying that he will marry Lulu. Tubby then dreams that he is grown up and married to a henpecking Lulu.
13 "Daffydilly Daddy" Seymour Kneitel Joe Stultz and Carl Meyer Orestes Calpini, Reuben Grossman, Otto Feuer, and Frank Little Anton Loeb May 25, 1945 (1945-05-25)
The plant Lulu guards for her dad ends up in the park, where a bulldog watches over it.
Note: In the U. M. & M. TV Corporation version, this cartoon is titled Daffy Dilly Daddy.
14 "Snap Happy" Bill Tytla I. Klein Orestes Calpini, Reuben Grossman, Otto Feuer, and Frank Little Robert Connavale June 22, 1945 (1945-06-22)
Lulu pesters a photographer to take her picture, ruining his chances to get good scoops.
15 "Man's Pest Friend" Seymour Kneitel I. Klein and George Hill Graham Place, Gordon Whittier, Lou Zukor, and Martin Taras Shane Miller December 7, 1945 (1945-12-07)
Lulu helps her dog, Pal, evade the dogcatcher.
16 "Bargain Counter Attack" I. Sparber Bill Turner and Otto Messmer Nick Tafuri, John Walworth, and Tom Golden Anton Loeb January 11, 1946 (1946-01-11)
Lulu wants to exchange her doll for another toy at a department store. She has fun looking for something to exchange, but the store manager is annoyed with her indecision.
17 "Bored of Education" Bill Tytla I. Klein and George Hill Nick Tafuri, John Walworth, Tom Golden, and Frank Little Shane Miller March 1, 1946 (1946-03-01)
Confined to the corner in history class, Lulu dreams of chasing Tubby through history, until she gets a splash of the Fountain of Youth.
18 "Chick and Double Chick" Seymour Kneitel Carl Meyer and Jack Ward Graham Place, Martin Taras, and Lou Zukor Robert Little August 16, 1946 (1946-08-16)
Lulu and her dog closely guard some eggs in an incubator from a sneaky black cat.
19 "Musica-Lulu" I. Sparber Bill Turner and Otto Messmer Myron Waldman, Gordon Whittier, Nick Tafuri, and Irving Dressler Anton Loeb January 24, 1947 (1947-01-24)
Lulu wants to play baseball instead of her violin. After a knock on the head, she dreams that she is on trial for disregarding her violin.
Note: In the U. M. & M. TV Corporation version, this cartoon is titled Musical Lulu.
20 "A Scout with the Gout" Bill Tytla Joe Stultz and Carl Meyer George Germanetti, Tom Golden, Martin Taras, and Irving Dressler Anton Loeb March 24, 1947 (1947-03-24)
Lulu's dad teaches her how to be a Girl Scout, but a hungry raccoon gets him into a dangerous predicament.
21 "Loose in a Caboose" Seymour Kneitel Bill Turner and Larry Riley Myron Waldman, Gordon Whittier, Nick Tafuri, Irving Dressler, and Wm. B. Pattengill Robert Connavale May 23, 1947 (1947-05-23)
Traveling by train for a holiday, Lulu tries to avoid the conductor, who thinks she boarded without a ticket.
22 "Cad and Caddy" Seymour Kneitel Bill Turner and Larry Riley Myron Waldman, Gordon Whittier, Nick Tafuri, Irving Dressler, and Wm. B. Pattengill Robert Connavale July 18, 1947 (1947-07-18)
A golfer hires Lulu to be his caddy, promising to pay her a big juicy red lollipop. But she disappoints him, so she tricks him with the help of her pet frog, Quincy.
23 "A Bout with a Trout" I. Sparber I. Klein and Jack Ward Myron Waldman, Gordon Whittier, Nick Tafuri, Irving Dressler, and Wm. B. Pattengill Robert Connavale October 30, 1947 (1947-10-30)

Lulu decides to skip school and go fishing, but her guilt for truancy gets the better of her.

Features the song Swinging on a Star, from the film Going My Way.
24 "Super Lulu" Bill Tytla Joe Stultz and Carl Meyer Steve Muffatti, George Germanetti, and Bill Hudson Robert Connavale November 21, 1947 (1947-11-21)
Lulu likes super hero stuff over Jack and the Beanstalk. She then dreams of rescuing her dad from the giant's castle as Super Lulu.
25 "The Baby Sitter" Seymour Kneitel Bill Turner and Larry Riley Dave Tendlar, Al Eugster, Martin Taras, and Tom Golden Robert Little December 12, 1947 (1947-12-12)
Lulu opens a babysitting service, but the child she looks after (Alvin Jones) hits her on the head and she dreams that she is chasing the baby through town.
26 "The Dog Show-Off" Seymour Kneitel I. Klein and Jack Mercer Myron Waldman, Gordon Whittier, Nick Tafuri, Irving Dressler, and Wm. B. Pattengill Lloyd Hallock, Jr. January 30, 1948 (1948-01-30)
Lulu helps a little boy enter his dog in the Annual Dog Show and tricks the judge into giving it first prize.
27 "Alvin's Solo Flight" Seymour Kneitel John Stanley Nick Tafuri and I. Klein Robert Little April 1961 (1961-04)
Tubby and Lulu try to enjoy the beach while looking after little Alvin, who gives them a hard time.
28 "Frog's Legs" Seymour Kneitel John Stanley Nick Tafuri, Jack Ehret, and Wm. B. Pattengill Anton Loeb April 1962 (1962-04)
Tubby takes Lulu to catch some frogs to sell at the restaurant for money, but the frogs only cause chaos in the restaurant.

Television and films

Little Lulu has starred in several TV series and specials.

ABC aired two half-hour live-action specials based on the character on Saturday morning as part of ABC Weekend Special series in the late 1970s. In both Little Lulu and The Big Hex of Little Lulu, Lulu was played by Lauri Hendler. The cast also included: Kevin King Cooper as Tubby, Lulu Baxter as Annie, Robbie Rist as Iggy and Annrae Walterhouse as Gloria.

In 1976–1977, Lulu appeared in Little Lulu and Her Little Friends (produced by Japan's Nippon Animation) on ABC, voiced by Eiko Masuyama in the first three episodes and Minori Matsushima for the remainder. An English-dubbed version of the anime was made for the American market by ZIV International in 1978.

In 1995, Lulu appeared in The Little Lulu Show on HBO, voiced first by Tracey Ullman and then by Jane Woods. The series was produced by Canada's CINAR after Marge's death in 1993. The series ended in 1999 but continued to air on Family Channel in Canada. It is currently seen on Teletoon Retro in Canada.

As a cameo appearance, Little Lulu was planned for the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but rights to the character could not be obtained in time. She was relegated to appear in the planned sequel, which has been indefinitely delayed. She eventually makes a cameo appearing on a comic cover in The Simpsons episode "Husbands and Knives" (2007), being read by Alan Moore.

Lulu fans hold an annual gathering at the San Diego Comic Con in which they perform a play adapted from a classic Lulu story.

Japanese-style Brazilian comic book

As of 2009, a new revival of Little Lulu happened with the launch of Luluzinha Teen e sua Turma (in English: Little Lulu Teen and her Gang), a Brazilian comic book series depicting Lulu and her friends as teenagers, with a manga style art. The book was created in an attempt to rival Monica Teen, another comic book which also adapts a popular franchise (in this case, Brazilian Monica's Gang) to manga style and presents its characters as teenagers.

Luluzinha Teen e sua Turma became very popular in its debut, being one of the best-selling comics in Brazil for a while, second only to its "rival". Nevertheless, unlike Monica Teen (which is still being published), Little Lulu's teen spin-off was canceled in 2015 due to low sales, reaching 65 editions released.

Little Lulu in other languages

  • Arabicلولو الصغيرة (Lulu al-Saghyrah)
  • BulgarianМалката Лулу (Malkata Lulu)
  • CatalanLa petita Lulú
  • Chinese小露露 (Xiǎo Lùlù)
  • DanishLille Lullu
  • DutchLieve Lulu
  • EnglishLittle Lulu
  • FinnishPikku Lulu
  • FrenchPetite Lulu
  • GermanKlein Lulu
  • GreekΗ Μικρή Λουλού (Ee Micrí Lulú)
  • Hebrewלולו הקטנה
  • HungarianKicsi Lulu
  • IcelandicLitla Lulu
  • ItalianLa piccola Lulù
  • Indonesia-Lulu Kecil
  • Japaneseリトル ルル (Ritoru Ruru)
  • Korean리틀 루루 (Liteul Lulu)
  • LatvianMazā Lulu
  • NorwegianLille Lulu
  • PolishMała Lulu
  • Brazilian Portuguese – Luluzinha
  • PortuguesePequena Lulu
  • RussianМалышка ЛулуMalish'ka Lulu
  • SwedishLilla Lotta
  • SpanishLa pequeña Lulú
  • Thaiลิตเติ้ล ลูลู่Litteîl Lūlū
  • TurkishKüçük Lulu
  • UkrainianМаленька Лулу (Malenʹkа Lulu)
  • VietnameseChút Lulu

Reprints

The Little Lulu Library

Published by Another Rainbow Publishing, were a series of six-book box sets released from 1985 to 1992. They were published in reverse order, with Set VI being released first, then counting down to Set I. Each of the six sets contains three volumes, each with about six comics. The comics are printed in black and white; however, the covers are printed in full color. The books are about 9" by 12", with the pages being larger than the original comic book pages.

Dark Horse reprints

In 2004, Dark Horse Comics obtained the rights to reprint Little Lulu comics. Eighteen black and white volumes, plus an unnumbered color special, were published through early 2008. After a short hiatus, the series resumed in mid-2009 in full color. Volumes 4 and 5 were originally published before the first three volumes, as it was felt that their content was more accessible.

Little-lulu-1943-marge
Little Lulu panel from March 20, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.
  1. My Dinner with Lulu (reprints Four Color Comics No. 74, 97, 110, 115, 120)
  2. Sunday Afternoon (reprints Four Color Comics No. 131, 139, 146, 158)
  3. Lulu in the Doghouse (reprints Four Color Comics No. 165 and Little Lulu #1–5)
  4. Lulu Goes Shopping (reprints Little Lulu #6–12)
  5. Lulu Takes a Trip (reprints Little Lulu #13–17)
  6. Letters to Santa (reprints Little Lulu #18–22)
  7. Lulu's Umbrella Service (reprints Little Lulu #23–27)
  8. Late for School (reprints Little Lulu #28–32)
  9. Lucky Lulu (reprints Little Lulu #33–37)
  10. All Dressed Up (reprints Little Lulu #38–42)
  11. April Fools (reprints Little Lulu #43–48)
  12. Leave It to Lulu (reprints Little Lulu #49–53)
  13. Too Much Fun (reprints Little Lulu #54–58)
  14. Queen Lulu (reprints Little Lulu #59–63)
  15. The Explorers (reprints Little Lulu #64–68)
  16. A Handy Kid (reprints Little Lulu #69–74)
  17. The Valentine (reprints Little Lulu #75–81)
  18. The Expert (reprints Little Lulu #82–87)
  19. The Alamo and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #88–93 in full color)
  20. The Bawlplayers and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #94–99 in full color)
  21. Miss Feeny's Folly and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #100–105 in full color)
  22. The Big Dipper Club and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #106–111 in full color)
  23. The Bogey Snowman and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #112–117 in full color)
  24. The Space Dolly and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #118–123 in full color)
  25. The Burglar-Proof Clubhouse and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #124–129 in full color)
  26. The Feud and Other Stories (reprints Little Lulu #130–135 in full color)
  27. The Treasure Map and Other Stories (reprints Dell Giant/Marge's Little Lulu and her Special Friends No. 3 and Dell Giant/Marge's Little Lulu and her Friends No. 4 in full color)
  28. The Prize Winner and Other Stories (reprints Dell Giant/Marge's Little Lulu and Tubby at Summer Camp No. 5 and Dell Giant/Marge's Little Lulu and Tubby Halloween Fun No. 6 in full color)
  29. The Cranky Giant and Other Stories (reprints Dell Giant/Marge's Little Lulu and Tubby at Summer Camp No. 2 and Dell Giant/Marge's Lulu and Tubby Halloween Fun No. 2 in full color)
  • Little Lulu Color Special (reprints a selection of stories from Little Lulu No. 4 through No. 86 in full color)

Dark Horse later began issuing Giant Size volumes; each collects three of their reprint books.

  1. Giant Size Little Lulu Volume 1 (reprints Four Color Comics No. 74, 97, 110, 115, 120, 131, 139, 146, 158, 165 and Little Lulu #1–5)
  2. Giant Size Little Lulu Volume 2 (reprints Little Lulu #6–22)
  3. Giant Size Little Lulu Volume 3 (reprints Little Lulu #23–37)
  4. Giant Size Little Lulu Volume 4 (reprints Little Lulu #38–53)

In 2010, Dark Horse reprinted the companion Tubby series (Little Lulu's Pal Tubby) in volumes similar to their Lulu volumes.

  1. The Castaway and Other Stories (reprints Four Color Comics No. 381, 430, 444, 461 and Tubby #5–6 in full color)
  2. The Runaway Statue and Other Stories (reprints Tubby #7–12 in full color)
  3. The Frog Boy and Other Stories (reprints Tubby #13–18 in full color)
  4. The Atomic Violin and Other Stories (reprints Tubby #19–24 in full color)

Drawn & Quarterly reprints

In May 2018, Drawn & Quarterly announced that they will be reprinting John Stanley's Little Lulu comics in a multi-volume series, beginning in spring 2019. Drawn & Quarterly reprinted a selection of John Stanley's stories for Free Comic Book Day 2019.

  • Marge's Little Lulu in World's Best Comic Book (reprints a selection of stories from John Stanley's tenure on Little Lulu in full color for Free Comic Book Day 2019)
  • Little Lulu: The Little Girl Who Could Talk To Trees (scheduled for August 2021),pl:Mała Lulu
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