At first, the assignment to review a volume of Dark Horse Comics’
Little Lulu collection seemed a little daunting. While a man who spends a significant portion of his spare time arranging his Black Adam action figures into various Jeet Kun Do positions in order to balance the Feng Shui of his collectibles shelf has no claim on the word ‘cool’, I certainly wouldn’t ever dream to apply it to
Little Lulu. My
Little Gloomy collection might laugh at me, and that would be hard to take. Plus,
The Explorers is volume 15, and having never read a Little Lulu strip in my life, I feared getting left behind by the story. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to be confused by
Little Lulu? That’s like getting lost in the bathroom. And reading the book on the subway made me feel like a pederast. There. I said it.
But, after forgetting about it for a month, and then procrastinating for a month more, I finally got down to picking up the book. Surprisingly, it was an easy read, and it’s going to be an easier review: If you like
Little Lulu, you will like this book. If you don’t, you probably won’t buy it, but if you happen to glance at it, you’ll crack a smile. Even I did, and I usually only laugh at the jokes I make in which I rip off
Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Little Lulu Volume 15: The Explorers reprints issues 64 to 68 of the
Marge’s Little Lulu comic book, which was published between 1945 and 1984, where she was killed by Orwellian dystopia and loss of innocence in the Reagan era. Lulu was created by Marge Buell, but the comic was handled by John Stanley, who wrote the stories and laid out the images to be finished by Irving Tripp. Little Lulu and her cast of supporting characters, like Tubbs the fat kid and the sociopathically violent West Side Boys, engage in adventures and gags that run from one to ten pages. The highlights include the weird Witch Hazel stories, and those in which Tubbs takes on the persona of detective The Spider, and every crime ends up being perpetrated by Lulu’s father. The drawings are clean and consistent, and while it’s written for children, it can be enjoyed by adults of all ages, though I’d still recommend not reading it on the subway.