Review: Little Lulu: The Fuzzythingus Poopi
Little Lulu: The Fuzzythingus Poopi
Writer: John Stanley
Artist: John Stanley
Drawn and Quarterly; $29.95
First things first: The Fuzzythingus Poopi is the rarest flower in existence, at least according to the pompous botanist who sees Lulu Moppet carrying one and then spends much of the next 40 panels or so trying to trick her into giving it to him without telling her of its importance.
It’s a short and seemingly insignificant comic that comes late in the second big hardcover collection of Drawn and Quarterly’s new series of Little Lulu comics by the great John Stanley, but it’s not hard to see why the book takes it for its subtitle. That is, not only is it a funny word, but the story is somewhat emblematic of the way in which Lulu triumphs over the patriarchy, sometimes through guile and will, sometimes just through childlike naivete (as in this story).
Not that Stanley seems to be trying to tell stories about a little girl tearing down the patriarchy as much as he’s trying to tell funny stories for young readers, but it can be quite remarkable reading these 70-year-old comics in 2020 and seeing how directly Lulu tackles sexism, always couched in a child-like girls vs. boys dynamic. (That Lulu almost always wins, and thus chalks up victories for feminism, is the result of her being a bit more clever and virtuous than foils like Tubby and the neighborhood boys, but it also probably had something to do with the fact that she was the star of the comic.)
And so she leads the neighborhood girls to victory in a snowball fight against the boys, submits to a hazing from the boys in order to join their “No Girls Allowed” club only to give them all black eyes when they try to make her “Vice President In Charge of Keepin’ The Clubhouse Clean,” sinks their boat (similarly emblazoned with the words “No Girls Allowed”), wins the neighborhood soap box derby race, and, when the boys organize a beauty contest, turns the tables on them and organizes a “Prettiest Boy” contest that they are all desperate to lose.
And that’s all long before she even meets the botanist.
About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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