Monday, March 14, 2016

THE LITTLE KING by Otto Soglow and John Stanley

Here's a rather well-loved Dell comic book of THE LITTLE KING. It's actually DELL FOUR COLOR #597, and is copyright 1954.

Although you can see Otto Soglow's signature on the cover, the comic book work was farmed out to Dell's great comic book writer/illustrator John Stanley. Having specialized comic book pros to adapt comic strips and movies was a standard practice. They also did it in secret. I don't think there's any comic book story that Stanley did that bears a "by John Stanley" credit.

John Stanley was best known for adapting Marge's LITTLE LULU for comic books. Stanley also adapted other properties during these years, including HENRY ALDRICH and HOWDY DOODY.

Frank M. Young, of the Stanley Stories blog (see links below) calls The Little King "basically Tubby in a royal robe." Tubby, as you know, is Little Lulu's friend. Full of bravado and a bit pompous, the King character is self-obsessed and mostly concerned with eating strawberry tarts or catching a big fish.

THE LITTLE KING was a mostly pantomime strip. Unlike Soglow's creation, in the Stanley/Dell comic book, the Little King actually spoke, and he liked to talk.

From THE LITTLE KING (Dell Fout Color) #597, here is one of the three stories in that issue, "The Statue." I think it's one of the best stories that Stanley has done. So much fun!


Stanley Stories: Is This Stanley's Work? The Little King, from Four Color 494, 1953

Stanley Stories: "The Little King" Pt. III: Stanley's 1950s Man-Child

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