Saturday, August 11, 2012
TONY’S BACK PAGES: LULU AND TUBBY IN JAPAN
Marge’s Lulu and Tubby in Japan [Dell, May-July 1962] is the latest
treasure to emerge from my Vast Accumulation of Stuff. I probably
bought it via eBay, intrigued by the title characters going to one
of the countries I would most like to visit.
The creative team of John Stanley (writer and possibly layouts) and
Irving Tripp (pencils and inks) is one of the most underrated teams
in comics history. They blended their strengths so well their many
collaborations feel like the work of a single creator.
In this one-shot, Lulu’s efficiency expert father is hired by a toy
company in Japan to advice on their latest item, which they believe
will appeal to American children. Lulu’s dad invites her and her
friends to join him, thinking they will be helpful in testing this
The lead-up to this invitation is hilarious as Lulu and her friends
open fortune cookies. Every cookie has the same fortune, that the
person holding it will be taking a trip. Lulu is ready to complain
to the fortune cookie factory that the box is defective until her
dad springs his big news on her.
The rest of the issue’s several stories touch on various aspects of
Japanese society - kimonos, rice fields, kites - but focus more on
humorous situations than facts. It’s a different approach than we
saw in those great Dennis the Menace travel specials, but every bit
The big finish and one of the funniest stories in this comic book
has Lulu and the kids testing the new toy. Some of the humor comes
from Lulu’s dad and the toy makers having quite different notions
of how to market the toy. From cover to cover, this 36-page issue
is a delight. Worth searching for in the back issue bins.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2012 Tony Isabella