A Second Helping of Elza Poppin

Elza Poppin, though supposedly written by the comedy team of Olsen & Johnson, was more likely written by the cartoonists who drew the feature. The first artist on the strip was Ving Fuller, a cartoonist who drifted in and out of syndicated newspaper strips on several occasions. His more famous strip, Doc Syke, was definitely straight out of the screwball school, so Elza Poppin was a good outlet for his talents.

However for reasons unknown Fuller left the strip after just six months, and his replacement was another cartoonist noted for his screwball strips, George ‘Swan’ Swanson. Swanson created one of the first, and best, screwball strips, Salesman Sam for NEA in 1921. He handled the strip until 1926, then switched over to the Central Press Association where he started the daily panel Nonsense and the comic strip High-Pressure Pete. Both features folded in 1937 after respectable runs. In 1940 Swanson returned to a byline on the comics page by taking over Elza Poppin, a perfect fit for his talents.

In 1943, with the pay for Elza Poppin probably slipping, King Features had him start The Flop Family, a Sunday only at the beginning. The new strip added a daily when Elza Poppin finally burst its bubble in 1944. The Flop Family continued on a monumental run that ended in 1982

5 comments on “A Second Helping of Elza Poppin

  1. Any idea what Ving’s real first name is?
    I have always assumed Ving was a
    Actor Ving Rhames(sp?) name is actually
    Irving, is that possible for Fuller?


  2. I am Swans nephew. I have over 200 pcs. of original strip art in good condition draw by George Swanson.Iremember Swan coming to Cleveland from New York in the summers to draw his strip w/ me sitting on his lap.

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