Readers Write

There’s nothing better than getting mail from you blog readers, and it’s an extra special treat when you send me neat stuff . Here are some wonderful Christmas presents received this past week.

First, DD Degg sends this sample of a photo-comic strip (known as fumetti to those folks on the other side of the pond) called Says Who. DD says that it was produced by none other than Stan “The Man” Lee and it ran for a short while in 1976. This is by far the most recent American photo-comic series I’ve seen. This genre of comics never caught on in the U.S. and most of the strips I’m aware of were from the 1920s and 30s. Can anyone supply additional info on the running dates? DDs sample (the only one he has) came from the Modesto Bee. I’ll see about getting the microfilm one of these days…

Second, celebrated cartoonist and comic strip historian Alfredo Castelli responds to my Doings Of The Van Loons post by supplying independent confirmation of the starting date based on a run that began at the same time in the Trenton Evening Times. What’s particularly neat is that Alfredo’s first strip has additional panels missing from the one that ran in the Louisville Courier-Journal. How cool is that? I guess it didn’t occur to the brainiacs at the McClure Syndicate that strips can be resized for various column widths, so in order to give their clients the option of running this strips at different widths, they had the cartoonist create drop panels. Now drop panels are a standard practice in Sunday comics later on, but they’re practically unheard of in dailies of any era. Wow! I guess I have to reappraise Leipziger’s strip in light of the fact that he had to pad his strips every day. That’s a tough row to hoe!

And back to DD Degg, he also tells me that Leipziger’s first name is Fred and even supplies a link to a caricature of the man here at the Library of Congress website.

Thanks to all who take an interest in the blog, and especially to those who take some of their precious time to comment and contribute!

5 comments on “Readers Write

  1. I am reading through the backlogs and hope this comment will be noticed. Says Who was not Stan Lee’s only comic strip, of course. Over at the Timely/Atlas Yahoo group (that’s comics, you know) we have been discussing his comics credits. Maybe you can throw some light on that.

    Says Who was an outcome of something Stan Lee had done earlier in a series of magazines from Marvel’s magazine department in the early sixties. They had a similar title (Who Said That) and contained one photograph per page with a word balloon added. This daily has the advantage of having two ‘panels’, which seems better.

    Before that, both Harvey Kurtzman and Nigel Rees (or was ot Roger Price) had been doing similar books. Kurtzman’s books are the most famous and can still be found every once in a while. He ‘started’ doing fumetti in his last satirical magazine Help. The most famous of those, by the way, is the one where John Cleese plays a man in love with his daughter’s Barbie (which was where he and Terry Gilliam met – way before Python). But I digress.

    Before that Stan Lee had done photo’s with humorous balloons in his own sairical magazine Snafu. So he may have been the first all along.

    Here’s our list of Stan Lee comics.

    In the early fifties he is mentioned as the writer of the second year of Howdy Doody. In the late fifties, he started Mrs. Lyons Cubs with Joe Maneely. Maneely sadly died and Al Hartley took over. Examples of this strip are very rare. The only one I have seen are from originals owned by Doc Vasalis (article here: So anything you can give us on that, would be great. Samples, paper names. If your records arn’t complete I can probably russle up someone to do some research.

    I am in the process of collecting more information for an article about Stan Lee’s comic strip work, so more on Who Says would be welcome too.

  2. Hi Ger –
    I would add to your list that Stan Lee is believed to have written the final year’s worth of “My Friend Irma” comic strips.

    Regarding “Mrs Lyon’s Cubs”, I have quite a few examples of the Sunday, but they are all just clippings with no indication of the paper(s) they came from. Sorry!

    Best, Allan

  3. Allan,

    Well I hope you’ll come aorund to showing some of them. Are they Maneely’s or Hartley’s? I suspect Joe Maneely didn’t really do to many of them. It may have been a sunday only, as I never saw any dailies.

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