The Looneys

In the weekly newsletter from Comics Kingdom (the King Features site that supplies me with several cartoons every day), this feature on a cartoon from the old days: What a Family!.

Today’s entry is a little-known Sunday series from 1946-54 by gag panelist Colin Allen that covered the doings of the Looney family.  What A Family! bucked the usual trend in family strips, in that most of the time we’d follow what would be the familiar experiences that a normal everyday American would encounter with their growing children, their pets, and the neighbors. The “Blondie” standard is usually sought for family series, but Allen’s family takes the opposite approach.

The Looneys are not normal; they are all impossibly stupid, destructive and obnoxious.  They see themselves as superior to the surrounding populace, and seem to all at once dedicate themselves to one big dangerous or otherwise ill-thought-out project, or they’re scattering in different directions doing  something they shouldn’t.

They all have names beginning with “L”, including the dog. All but the mother have deep red hair, also including the dog.  It’s been said throughout history that “Gingers” have had wild tempers, overactive libidos, and can even have supernatural (evil) powers.  I guess that in Allen’s mind, that adds to the explanation for the brood’s wacky conduct.

Two examples:



I guess the world wasn’t ready for a comic strip about an obnoxious family of incompetent fools.

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