At Last, the Scrappy Comic Strip Part Four

You’ve been waiting for this for almost five years–or, in a way, more than 80. Or maybe not. But I hope you’ll enjoy these four examples of the ill-fated Scrappy newspaper comic strip, which seems to have failed to … well, appear in any newspapers.

Though Will Eisner and Jerry Iger couldn’t get U.S papers interested in the strip in 1937, they did sell it to comics publications overseas, including France’s Bilboquet and the U.K. and Australia’s Wags. Eventually, they lightly retouched it and ran it as “Shorty Shortcake” in Wonderworld comics. The strips below are from Wags, and as far as I know they haven’t been reprinted anywhere since their original appearance in 1938.

If you need to catch up on your Scrappy adventures, just read our earlier installments: Here are parts one, two, and three. Here’s a post in which I tried to figure out who drew the Scrappy strip. Here’s another in which I decided that Will Eisner probably had his hand in it, at least at first.

By the time the strips below appeared, the style had morphed and I don’t have any bright ideas about who drew them–could be Eisner, could be somebody else. The one person whom we can be positive had nothing to do with them is the guy who signed them: Charles Mintz.

Except for starring Scrappy, Margy, and Yippy, these comics have almost nothing to do with the Scrappy theatrical cartoons. By this point in the chronology, even the fact that Scrappy is a small boy has stopped making sense. But whoever was drawing the strip by this point had fun and deserves at least a little belated glory. So I hope the mystery artist doesn’t remain a mystery forever.

How did the Scrappy comic strip come to be? Did Columbia approach Eisner and Iger, or did they come up with the idea? How hard did they try to sell it to newspapers before shipping it overseas? We’ll probably never know, and I’m just sorry I didn’t ask Will Eisner, who was still attending comics conventions I was also at in this century. (Don’t blame me for not seizing the opportunity: I didn’t know of his Scrappy connection at the time.)

I still have some more Scrappy strips to run, but for now, I’ll leave you with this page from Wonderworld #3 (July 1939), which repurposed the above material and claimed it involved Shorty Shortcake, Suzy, and Woofy.

2 comments on At Last, the Scrappy Comic Strip Part Four

  • Mark Kausler

    Thanks for putting these up, Harry. They are well drawn and fun to read! The evil guy in the first strip reminds me of the “Phantom” character in the Oswald cartoon: “Spooks”. The revamped “Shorty Shortcake” looks a lot like Buddy. These also show a little Dick Huemer influence, don’t you think? The story is pretty good, too bad they didn’t finish it.

  • Harry

    Thanks, Mark! I’ll try to run the remaining strips I have soon. They did complete the story. And then continued to do new “Shorty Shortcake” ones.

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