Wednesday, 27 August 2008


I have always been very fond of Disney stories where characters of disparate origin interact, such as Donald Duck accompanying Mickey Mouse and Goofy in early US newspaper strips and subsequently in some post-war Italian comics, or those X-mas/New Year's stories where everyone comes together around one table. In similar vein, Gil Turner introduced well-known Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as guest stars into a succession of 'Li'l Bad Wolf' stories in 1950. I do not yet have the issues with Mickey appearing in 'Li' Bad Wolf', but here is an extensive coverage of the encounter of the Big Bad Wolf with Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories no. 118.
This story starts with the Big Bad Wolf failing miserably in an attempt to swipe chicken and grunting in his customary manner:

Li'l Bad Wolf's despair is depicted in such a wonderful panel:


Jiminy's above reaction to his new duty is soon justified:

The following plot point takes its cue from the 1934 short cartoon where the Big Bad Wolf goes drag as a fairy to catch the Red Riding Hood:

Jiminy's new tactic turns out to be..

Sunday, 24 August 2008


There have been a few instances where the Big Bad Wolf has went out of his character and acted nicely towards the Three Little Pigs, but, in most cases, these were either due to a spell or some other involuntary situation. In one story from the early works of Gil Turner, however, he really means to be nice, 'though his good intentions do not last very long.
In Walt Disney's Comics & Stories no. 100 (dated Jan. 1949), to the suprise of his son who knows his father's aversion to Christmas, the Big Bad Wolf, for some inexplicable reason, finds himself caught up with the "Christmas spirit". After a few funny instances where forest animals are equally amazed at the Big Bad Wolf's good manners, he even....

The real strength of this story (scripted by artist Turner himself) with a simple plot lies in its wonderfully worded lines written for the wolf, as in the above panel with phrases like "joyous yuletide season", which, arguably, hint at the phony nature of the nice manners that the Big Bad Wolf usually represents the other of.
Despite his good intentions, the pigs do not welcome him, and the wolf quickly gets over the Christmas spirit. However, in the meantime, Li'l Bad Wolf persuades the Practical Pig that his dad had meant no harm -and hence:

PS: This post with scans of images with a snowy setting was written with the hope of feeling a refreshment in this burning-hot summer day..

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Gil Turner was the most durable artist responsible for the 'Li'l Bad Wolf' comics series in the main US Disney comics magazine Walt Disney's Comics & Stories. For a period of ten years (1947-57), he drew around one hundred comics featuring the Big Bad Wolf. The above scan is of the first panel depicting the Big Bad Wolf in his first take on the series, published in no. 85 of WDC&S.
Over the course of the years, his art would evolve and the wolf's features become relatively more sedate (as will be seen in future posts in this blog), but here the Big Bad Wolf is depicted in a markedly 'toothy' manner in this initial take, as seen in the below sample:
This is an interesting story (writter unknown) where Big Bad Wolf compels his well-meaning son to join him in robbing an eagle's nest, an attempt visualized by Turner with a dynamic panel format:
While the story seems to end in the banal twist of 'it was all a nightmare of Li'l Bad Wolf', there is a further and genuinely unexpected second twist in the very last panel where it is revealed that...
... the Big Bad Wolf had also seen the same nightmare!

Sunday, 10 August 2008


This porcelain figurine, issued to mark the 60th anniversary of the short cartoon Three Little Pigs (1933), was recenty sold at an ebay auction for an amazing price of 266 US dlrs!..

Sunday, 3 August 2008


After Carl Buettner, the first artist on Li'l Bad Wolf comics at Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, left the series in 1946, several different artist tried their hand on it for about a year before Gil Turner became the main artist of the series. George Waiss was one of these artists who temporarily worked on Li'l Bad Wolf in the post-Buettner/pre-Turner bracket era. Below are scans from his first try, published in no. 70 of WDC&S:

This is actually a very nice story (writer unknown). Li'l Bad Wolf reminds his pop his promise to get him a cat on his birthday, but the Big Bad Wolf refuses to honor his promise. Coincidentally, a witch turns him to a cat on the same day!, with the below consequences:

In the end, it fortunately turnes out to be..

The artwork of Waiss (who was the inker of Donald Duck newspaper comics at the time) is decent enough 'though not perfect. His rendering of Big Bad Wolf's face is OK, but the shape of the wolf's body is somewhat skewed with much narrow shoulders and a much wide waist.
Nothing can compare to ugliness in former animator Paul Murry's work on the series (who would later be a prolific artist on Mickey Mouse), as can be seen in the below scan from WDC&S no.84, his thankfully last before Turner took over:

Incidentally, the plot of this story (writer unknown), even though mediocre, carries an interesting self-referential joke in terms of Disney productions: Note how Big Bad Wolf reacts to his son promoting the book Jack and the Beanstalk, which happened to be the basis of a segment of the movie Fun and Fancy Tree that was released in the same month (Sept. 1947) this comics was published and promoted on its back cover: