Update #15 – January 5, 2017 – Writing about the great John Stanley

Posted by Bill Schelly on January 5, 2017

Happy New Year!!!


Yes, it’s been a looooooong time since my last update, in July, when I won the Eisner Award for my biography of Harvey Kurtzman. It’s because, you guessed it, I’ve been busy—busier than ever. After the win, I was offered some nice book contracts, some for books that I want to write. But, in the process, I got a little over-committed. Plus, I still had to finish work on my John Stanley biography.


Yes, I “finished it” back in July, but turning in the completed manuscript guaranteed a lot more work down the line. Once the good people at Fantagraphics Books had edited it, and began the design work on JOHN STANLEY, GIVING LIFE TO LITTLE LULU, then I had lots more to do: find more illustrations to fit various parts of the book, review the design work to make sure the images were in close proximity to the relevant text, and to write a zillion captions. This book has about 350 illustrations, and all but a few needed captions. A HUGE job!!


The book went to the printer in the last days of December 2016, so we are on track for the announced May 2017 release. The oversized (10” x 13”) hardback book, with my 60,000 word complete biography of John Stanley, is already up for pre-order on Amazon.com, and there will be a quick link there from this site, or maybe it’s already been done. Find it under the “Books” section.


I think back to December 2014, when I committed to writing a biography of the elusive, even mysterious, John Patrick Stanley, the man whose work on Little Lulu from 1945 to 1958 is so incredible that it, alone, qualifies him as one of “the gods of comics.” Stanley did a lot of other things, as you’ll find out in this book, and of course there were his self-created comic books THIRTEEN “GOING ON EIGHTEEN” and MELVIN MONSTER in the 1960s. What a job it was to pull together every available fact, to interview his son and his niece for his family background, and to work with Stanley expert Frank M. Young whose help was vital. Suffice it to say that there is a TON of info about John Stanley in this book that has never been known before.


I enjoyed the challenge, and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of this book coming out and being read by folks like Y-O-U! Let this be the author’s plea that you order your copy right now. A lot fewer people have heard of John Stanley than Harvey Kurtzman, so we need the support of everyone who has read my books and enjoyed them. Maybe you aren’t a Little Lulu fan. It’s still a fascinating story, and I’m betting by the time you finish it, you’ll be a convert. There’s lots of Lulu artwork in there, and there’s also artwork (sketches, proposed newspaper strips, and other fascinating items) that his son Jim found in his late father’s files. It’s all been gathered together in this tome. Plus so many never-before-seen photographs… You WON’T be disappointed. That’s a promise.


Meanwhile, I’m hot-and-heavy into my NEXT book….. More on that before long. I promise!


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