Sunday, November 17, 2013

John Stanley's Comic Monsterpiece

Sugar & Spike comics By the time I quit collecting comics in 1977 I had practically every Marvel & DC superhero comic from 1965-1975 along with a bunch of other publishers. I wasn't a fan of the humor books but I did enjoy Sheldon Mayer's Sugar and Spike, it was in a league of its own.

But there was a humor comic I bought one time only that I thought was hilarious and clever - but I never saw another issue. I couldn't exactly remember the title, I knew it was about a monster and that the name Stanley had something to do with it. I would occasionally purchase a copy of DC's Stanley & His Monster hoping to find what I was looking for but that clearly wasn't it.

I came to learn decades later that it was Dell Comics' Melvin Monster that I had been searching for. Melvin the Monster
Melvin Monster #8 - 1967

Melvin Monster, written and drawn by John Stanley, ran for 10 issues from 1965 - 1969 (the last issue was a reprint of #1). 10 issues in 4 years is a spotty run for a comic book, it's no wonder I never ran into another issue. There was a 2 year gap between the series ending in 1967 (the comic I bought) and the #10 reprint.

Little Lulu comicsStanley was best known for his Little LuLu comics that began in the 1940s; they are also a delight and are reprinted in paperbacks for your modern reading pleasure. Stanley wrote and drew the early issues and later wrote the fanciful stories for Irving Tripp to illustrate throughout the 1950s while continuing to draw the covers himself. Stanley also wrote and drew many of the classic Nancy & Sluggo comic books although he didn't do the lame newspaper comic strip.

Some artists do their best work in later years, I think that was the case with John Stanley.

melvin monster comics from Dell comics
Melvin Monster #3 - 1965

Melvin Monster comic book #10
Melvin Monster #10 - 1969 / (Same cover as #1)