Monday, April 14, 2008

Hi And Lois' Mailman

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

One of the things that seemed to have kept Willie Lumpkin from becoming the success it should have been, is Stan Lee reliance on gags that were just centered around postman Willie. The rest of the town was just that... the rest of the town. There were old ladies and commuters going to work and kids and neighbours... but none of them got any room to develop their own character. There have been strips that take it slow in the first year, to give the audience a chance to get to know the main character. But Willie was depended on his interaction with his small home town - yet none of them stayed longer than one or two gags. It was only near the end of the year that a secondary cast began to emerge. There was a 'young professional' who talked to Willie about his married life. Maybe a bit to close to Hi and Lois in style and subject matter, but it went beyond the simple gag-a-day. Even better were Willie's manager and co-workers at the post office. Now here we started seeing some fresh ideas, such as Willie acting as a mentor to a younger postal worker. But I guess that by then the fate of the strip was already sealed. It was to little, too late. Over the next couple of days, I'll be posting the strips for December 1960 - the second to last month of it's 14 month run. You'll be seeing to good and the bad side of this strip...

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