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..


ramapith said...

Not only does Zeke's costume recall his 1930s role, so does his behavior; it's quite uncommon for the mature Zeke to consider eating a victim raw, without cooking first — yet here it's quite obvious that he bit straight into Pinocchio, and would have done so, too, had the expected Red Riding Hood been the victim.

By later humanizing Zeke just enough to make him a gourmand, interested in the finer aspects of preparing and eating his victims, Turner and others made him more sympathetic in spite of his villainy, an important turning point, I think. Here that has yet to take place: the Bad Wolf is still genuinely scary at times, and for one of very few moments in Turner's oeuvre.

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

Have you seen the cut Gil Turner halfpage from WDC 137 that I have?
You can see it on my blog:

And a "restored" version with the missing panel here:

Kaya Özkaracalar said...

to Joakim:
Thanks for sharing the material you have! I always admire your blog..

Kaya Özkaracalar said...

To ramapith:
yes, indeed the story is unusual in that BBW attempts to bite into his victim.
On the other hand, let's remember that, in cartoons, the gourmand angle had already been introduced into his character with 1936's THREE LITTLE WOLVES and the SS Sunday comics from the same year. Actually, I think I like *that* BBW of circa 1936 the most.. He is both a refined, high-calibre character AND scary at the same time.
It seems to me that from 1951-52(roughly corresponding to the first OS -and the wheaties premiums) onwards, Turner didn't do a good job with eliminating all scariness from BBW. It seems around those times, BBW begins to get sedatives or something... I don't know whether I made myself clear 'though (writing on this first day back at work after vacation!)