Little Lulu. Written and illustrated by Marjorie Henderson Buell, 23 February 1935 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. WikiCommons

The little Lulu comic strip first appeared in 1935 in the Saturday Evening Post. Lulu Moffat was created by illustrator Marjorie Hendersen Buell. From the start Lulu was clearly a headstrong little girl. Her debut comic showed her as a flower girl tossing banana peels down the aisle rather than flower petals.The little Lulu comic ran weekly until 1944.

Lulu is the leader of a group of girls that have formed a kind of club. She is very charming and kind, with the best of intentions, despite her tendencies towards the mischievous. Usually after the gang go on adventures, she saves the day. Lulu is clever and resourceful and typically outwits the boys. She can be feisty and is even an early feminist when confronted with outrages, like the ‘boys only’ club.

In her earliest form, she is a skinny little girl with the head of black ringlet curls, apparently similar to Marjorie Buell when she was a young girl. She is quoted as saying about her creation that she wanted a girl because, “a girl could get away with more fresh stunts that in a small boy would be boorish.” What is interesting is that Lulu is dressed rather skimpily: her dress is very short and held up by tiny, puffy sleeves. It is distinctly feminine, with ruffles around the edges, but almost more appropriate as a baby’s dressing gown than a little girl’s dress. Her long limbs coming forth make the dress appear shorter, but her undefined figure keeps her strictly in the realm of prepubescent childhood.

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