Tuesday, 8 July 2008


The below scan from an Italian publication of 1949 is one of the earliest comics covers where the Big Bad Wolf is featured without the three pigs:

The Big Bad Wolf had effectively receeded from public sight in the war era after appearing in several short cartoons as well as in illustrated story books and newspaper comics continuities in the 1930's; but he would make a come-back in 1945 in the pages of the US publication Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, this time accompanied by his benevolent son, the Li'l Bad Wolf.
This new series, composed of short adventures of usually 8 pages in each issue of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, was the brainchild of Chase Craig (1910-2001), a former animator who had picked up a comics writer career in the late 1930's working first for newspapers, and then for the Western Publishing, which held Disney's license in for the comics magazine media in the US. In addition to creating the L'il Bad Wolf, Craig would also script some Brer Rabbit comics for Western and would eventually rise to the rank of editor. The first artist on the series was Carl Buettner (190?-1965), another former animator who had incidentally collaborated with Craig in newspaper comic strips work in the late 1930s. Besides more than one year on Li'l Wolf, his output for Western included several covers and he was the main artist for Bucky Bug for several years. He seems to have quit comics work after getting a job as editor for the Little Golden Books series of illustrated story books which would include several Disney titles as well.
The series featuring the Li'l Bad Wolf would be sufficiently popular to continue incessantly for 20 years in American Disney comics. It would also be quite popular in Europe. Beginning with 1949, several issues of two different series of Italian comics weeklies, the oblong-format Albi tascabili di Topolino and the standart-format Albi d'oro, would be devoted exclusively to the L'il Bad Wolf comics. Actually, in the Italian editions, it would usually be the Big Bad Wolf who would get the star billing in the title and not his son, a trend which would be followed in several other European countries. In any case, the pigs had clearly been overshadowed by the wolves.


ramapith said...

I love reading this Zeke history you've been coming up with... please don't think I've been overlooking it. Keep the stuff huffing and puffing!

Kaya Özkaracalar said...

Thanks again for the encouragement.. yep, I still have lots of more stuff to share.