Little Lulu Moppet: From Comic Strip to Big Screen
A creation of Marjorie Henderson Buell, Little Lulu Moppet first appeared in 1935 in the Saturday Evening Post as the main character in a series of single panel cartoons. Buell was one of the few female cartoonists in the comic book and cartoon business.
Little Lulu quickly became a public favorite, and continued to grace the pages of the Post for ten years. She also starred in 26 theatrical, animated short films (from 1943 to 1948). A large selection of Little Lulu merchandise was available in the 1940s – coloring books, greeting cards, games, toys and figurines.
Little Lulu was so popular that she was used in Pepsi magazine ads and was the spokesperson, or, “spokestoon”, for Kleenex brand tissues in the ’40s and ’50s. One could see the black-haired girl on tissue boxes, in magazine ads, in New York City billboards and an city buses.
After her long run in the Saturday Evening Post, Little Lulu crossed over to a syndicated daily comic strip that ran in newspapers throughout the country from 1950 to 1969. Adding to her popularity was the television syndication of her animated films in 1963.
In the 1970s, ABC aired two Little Lulu specials on its Saturday Morning ABC Weekend Special. There was even a Japanese anime television series called Little Lulu and Her Little Friends, which is now a very rare collector’s item.
Lulu was also the star of her own comic book. The Dell Comics’ book was named Marge’s Little Lulu before the name was shortened to Little Lulu in 1972. The comic book was sold internationally, and people all over the world enjoyed seeing Little Lulu, her best friend, Tubby, and her other friends get into mischief. While the publisher changed throughout the years, the comic book continued to be published until 1984. In 2004, Dark Horse Comics secured the rights to the Little Lulu comic books and began reprinting and publishing the volumes.
For a little girl, Lulu certainly made a big impression in the world of comics and cartoons. Her cute curls and smarmy attitude are sure to keep entertaining people for years to come.
Do you remember Little Lulu as a child? Share your memories below.