Wednesday, August 1, 2012
"Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" (Dell) #14, December 1942 "Chester Turtle"
Since it's been a while since the latest update to this page, here's a reward for the patient: a story from "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" (Dell) #14, December 1942. A generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous recently sent me the images from this and several other very early, very rare Looney Tunes comics, and they are full of interesting surprises. Who is Chester Turtle? Well, more than likely he was inspired by Tex Avery's Cecil Turtle, who famously raced Bugs Bunny in "Tortoise Beats Hare" (Tex Avery, 1941). Other than his design, though, Chester bears little resemblance in personality to Cecil, and the story plays more like a cute 1930's Merrie Melodie, the genre Avery rebelled against. There are several of these "loosely inspired" and one-off characters who appear in these early issues and have no correlation to the cartoons whatsoever. More of these to come!