One day, I discovered a whole bunch of old Raggedy Ann Dell comics from 1946
. I didn't expect them to be any good, let alone ever be able to find scans of them, but I liked a lot of the covers and thought the drawing style of the dolls was different, but enjoyable. Nice and simple. Cue me googling about and that's when I discovered several of the RA&A comic strips... specifically the ones by a man named John Stanley.
Rather than taking the sugary, cheery and moralistic route commonly associated with the dolls, Stanley's stories were... dark. And damn, I can whole-heartedly say they're actually pretty good.Stanley puts these mild-mannered dolls through hellish scenarios in these 1949 stories. One might assume he disliked doing this series, and took it out on the cuddly-wuddly characters. Whatever the case, Stanley's Raggedy stories are the creepiest, most compelling comic book versions of this ever-popular licensed property.Issue #32, 1949
- Did you know that eldritch abominations existed in the RA&A universe long
before the Greedy in the 1977 movie? Meet the One-eyed Wobblies!
You know what's a stupid thing to do when you meet an eldritch abomination? Kick dirt at their eyes.
Raggedy Andy, you are Darwin's Next Tentacle Rape victim. Issue #34, 1949
- I play drinking games with Raggedy Ann books, which includes instructions such as "Take a sip if Raggedy Ann & Andy stop to eat sweets with friends and woodland creatures, especially a mix of soda water/cream puffs/lady fingers." This comic deconstructs this device with a steamroller.
Raggedy Ann & Andy get sick of eating candy, and fast.
Also, the panel with Andy carving a slice out of a talking marzipan pig
is one of the most disturbing things I've seen in a while. D:Issue #35, 1949
- OM NOM NOM RAGDOLLS ARE DELICIOUS.
Good ol' traditional fairy-tale danger in this one! For once Andy's got brain cells and fights to save himself and Ann, so major kudos to that. INTELLIGENT!ANDY IS SOMETHING I'D LIKE TO SEE MORE OFTEN, PLZ.Issue #36, 1949
- Raggedy Ann & Andy DIE and become ghosts.
Nope, I'm not kidding about this. Raggedy Andy is a brainless moron again and he shares pink
poisonous mushrooms with his hungry sister. They try to fly their way up to Heaven, and it turns out Heaven has its fair share of assholes, namely two cherubs that pluck all the feathers off the dolls' wings just for shits and giggles.Issue #38, 1949
- The two living dolls ramble into a quiet existential hell--a highly symbolic castle not easily exited. It's a scenario worthy of mini-comix legend Steve Willis. The loose, spontaneous and quite pleasing artwork strongly shows Stanley's hand--in the layouts, if not in the finishes.
At least it wasn't this castle.
I'm kind of amazed Raggedy Andy and the 100-year-old man didn't die of dehydration. Pfft at Andy being pissy about his hat getting smushed. :P
In short, creative stuff! Short and worth looking at if you've got a spare couple seconds.
OT: While I was googling for Raggedy Ann stuff, a picture of Kyubey showed up on Image Search. Turns out it was me posting a macro on a friending meme while casually mentioning I was writing a novel about Ann & Andy. I wonder if it's saying something about me.