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DARK HORSE COMICS October 15, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in Books and reading.
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     What were your favorite comics growing up? The Lycan Librarian liked LITTLE LULU and NANCY best. Yes, they were the girl comics, but what those who didn’t read them may not know is that there were some rather creepy characters in each.
     Many of the Little Lulu comics dealt with Lulu having to babysit her bratty neighbor, Alvin. To keep him quiet, she had to resort to telling him stories, and in these stories were Witch Hazel and her niece, Little Itch. The stories usually dealt with the poor little girl, a Lulu clone with patches on her dress who met up with the witches, suffered through some terrible transformation or experience, and triumphed in the end. The stories were very imaginative and funny, and reading them in the new reprints of the comic from Dark Horse Press, is every bit as delightful as it used to be. There were a couple special Little Lulu Halloween issues, and this reader’s fingers are crossed with the hopes that Dark Horse publishes them one day soon. Lulu’s friend, Tubby, had his own odd experiences in the Lulu comics when he was visited by little spacemen from Mars, and these tales, too, were a lot of fun to read.
     In the Nancy comics, Nancy’s best friend was Sluggo, an orphan who lived in a junkyard and didn’t have to abide by the rules most children did. Nancy didn’t have parents, either, and lived with Aunt Fritzi, a voluptuous woman with soft dark curls and sultry eyes. (As far as Nancy growing up into the image of Aunt Fritzi, it was hard to imagine that happening when gazing at Nancy’s frizzy hair and thick legs.) Nancy had another acquaintance — Oona Goosepimple, a girl who dressed all in black  and resembled Wednesday Adams. (Today, nobody thinks it odd for a child to dress in black, but at the time these comics were created, a girl had to wait to come of age before getting  her first black dress.) One could hardly call Oona a friend, because Nancy spent a great deal of energy trying to avoid her, but always found herself under Oona’s mysterious spell and at her doorstep before she knew what hit her. Once in the house, Nancy could be confronted by Granny Goosepimple, the guardian of Oona, or the horrible YoYos, a tribe of little yellow men who were always trying to capture whoever they could. Once again, these tales inside Oona and Granny Goosepimple’s gothic mansion were the best of all Nancy’s adventures. I have no idea why none of the kids in the Nancy comics had parents, but I suppose that made them even more enviable for those of us constantly complying to the demands of two parents.
     The season is ripe for creepy tales, but there is no season for comics. They’re always a wonderful way to spend the time and stimulate your imagination. Libraries recognize that, and graphic novels and the Dark Horse comics are beginning to take up more and more shelves at the Moonlit Library, and all others.

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