Monday, July 11, 2016

"Lifesaver" AROUND THE BLOCK WITH DUNC AND LOO by John Stanley

Here is a four page story by John Stanley, with art finished by Bill Williams, from the short-lived AROUND THE BLOCK WITH DUNC AND LOO Dell comic book series. (It was later shortened to DUNC AND LOO.) This has to be the most action-filled, hilarious four pages of fun comics I have seen in a long time. And the whole series is pretty much forgotten, except among us comics nerds.

The reason I wanted to post this was to show just how much story with character motivation you could stuff into such a short story. This is comics at its kinetic best by the master, John Stanley. And just look at the issue that I bought: its spine is rolled and there are tears along the staples. This is one well-read comic book!

Who are Dunc and Loo? Don Markstein puts it best:

Dunc was "classically handsome", with regular features and neatly-combed black hair, and always well dressed, with a coat and tie. He focused on girls, practically to the exclusion of everything else. His main lust object was Beth O'Bunnion, whom he met in the first issue (Oct-Dec 1961). Much of the action involved him trying to avoid Beth's protective father or appease her hulking, brutish brother, Buddy. 
Loo was Dunc's best pal. He was also obsessed with girls, but not so monomaniacally. He had unkempt red hair and usually dressed sloppily, in jeans and T-shirts. Loo had a kid brother, Joey, who sometimes had separate adventures, opening the comic to young kid humor as well as the teenage variety. All of the regulars lived in the same New York City apartment building. 
Readers seem unanimous in their opinion that every page of every issue of Around the Block with Dunc & Loo was hilarious. Still, it lasted only eight issues. The final one was dated Oct-Dec 1963.

Here's "Lifesaver," the four page opening story from DUNC AND LOO No. 5. September November 1962. It's copyright Dell Publishing.

Related: CartoonSnap has more DUNC AND LOO

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