Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Countdown Characters #12

Here is one from my own childhood .....  
Comic character - watercolour and ink sketch - Wilma Simmons 

L is for Little Lulu 
 Little Lulu Little Lulu with freckles on her chin
Always in and out of trouble but mostly always in. 
Using daddies neckties for the tail of your kite. 
Using mommies lipstick for the letters you write. 

Little Lulu first appeared  in 1935 as the cartoon creation of Marge ( Marjorie Henderson Bueli) in the American Saturday Evening Post. Little Lulu was first seen in print  as a wedding flower girl, mischievously strewing banana peels down the aisle, instead of rose petals, so this will give you a little insight into her character. 

I began reading Little Lulu comics in the late 1950s obviously after the syndicated comic Marge's Little Lulu was established in 1948. Lulu was a resourceful and resilient little girl who could hold her own against the boys in the comic,Tubby and his mates.   Marge said she chose a girl for her comic book heroine because 'a girl would get away with more fresh stunt s than in a small boy would be boorish.'  Little Lulu continued in comic form until 1984, followed by the publications of libraries until 1992. I suppose Little Lulu's big break came in 1995 when the Little Lulu Show hit television and  continued to be popular until 1999. Surprisingly Little Lulu made a comeback in 2009 in a Brazilian comic as "Little Lulu Teen and her gang".  
Little Lulu Christmas themed comics were very popular, and the festive season provided plenty of opportunities for childhood adventures, for holiday mishaps and  for considerable problem solving. For example, in "Oh Christmas Tree" , Little Lulu and her father Mr Moppet, go out into the woods to chop down a Chris mas tree - an excursion for Little Lulu and an attempt to avoid paying for a tree.  All is going well, until they meet up with a wolf who chases them up a tree, and they are stuck there until the owner of the woodlot comes along. Of course, he makes his living by felling trees, and this is his Christmas tree supply lot. Needless to say, Little Lulu and her father are saved, but the tree cost a lot more than Mr Moppet bargained for.

 I also love the story entitled "The Snooper" - Little Lulu sneaks a peek at her wrapped presents under the Christmas tree . She finds out they are all boys' toys, and much to no reader's surprise, Tubby's peeks at his, and they are girls' toys. Little Lulu and Tubby then secretly exchange the gifts under their respective trees. Unknown to them, their fathers earlier  organised to swap presents, just in case, their children would be tempted to snoop and then on Christmas Eve, the parents retrieved what they thought were the right presents for their son and daughter respectively. On Christmas morning, Little Lulu is surprised of course, to open "boys''" toys, instead of the girls' ones she knew she had swapped. Of course, another swap had to be done, and Tubby and Little Lulu had a very happy Christmas gift opening.  No matter what the title of the story  or what season , Little Lulu always get into some sort of trouble , sometimes of her own making, sometimes, just pure circumstances but  somehow, she manages to get out of the scrape relatively unharmed, always learning an important life lesson. Such innocent times! 

Post script : Here is a special  Christmas bonus " L"  for my sister. 

L is for Little Owl ... 
It was a silent night.

I sat in my tree,
with a waiting feeling.

On a silent night, a star beckons to Little Owl, and he follows. He flies by three men on camels, plodding through sand and watching the sky. He flies above hills where shepherds keep watch over sheep, who watch too. And finally, in a distant manger, he finds a man, a woman, and the happiest baby - and joy that lights the world. (from  the children's book, "Little Owl and the Star") 

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