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When my druggie lover was still alive I found myself selling my old comic books to have money with which to pay the bills.
I didn’t want to part with those decades old pages of the adventures of Billy Batson (Captain Marvel), Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel, Jr. - prettiest twink in comic book history). Much less my issues of Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space.
I was trading my childhood in hope of a happy adulthood.
Anyone who has cared deeply about comic books - especially those of us who are aware of the history - has a list of the creative folk they think the best.
Alex Toth, who just passed away, was an example of technical excellence.
My own core - they both wrote and drew - of the earlier cartoonists who produced work for comic books:
- Carl Barks
- Robert Crumb
- John Stanley
For me they are the exemplary workers (understand I’m ignoring comic strips and contemporary artists like Chris Ware).
I never read Little Lulu as a child. I don’t really remember seeing the comics.
I did read some of Stanley’s later work, Melvin the Monster.
How I read a Little Lulu I can’t recall. But the moment I did the distinctive storytelling rhythm that I recalled from reading Melvin the Monster as a kid was instantly familiar.
Ordinarily I don’t care about stories for or featuring children. But Stanley’s idiosyncratic view, singular “panelogical” visual idiolect made me an instant fan as an adult.
Luckily I have the Little Lulu Library that came out years ago.
But to save myself from financial doom I’m selling the issues of Little Lulu and Tubby (her pal/arch foe) that weren’t included in the library.
I’d always hoped to keep and enjoy them for the rest of my life. But if they can get me out of the seemingly bottomless pit of debt I’ve fallen into I can part with them peacefully.