Ira Schnapp in ANIMAL ANTICS

This and all images © DC Comics

In 1946 National (DC) Comics began this funny animal series. It ran for 23 issues, then the title changed to MOVIETOWN’S ANIMAL ANTICS to suggest the characters had some cartoon connections, but they didn’t as far as I know. The book was edited initially by Bernie Breslauer, then by Larry Nadle. Ira Schnapp was involved from the start, I think he designed the logo and did the cover lettering seen above, including the issue number, date and price. Ira seemed to enjoy working on humor comics, and why not? They were easier than many other genres, often with far less words per page, and probably fun and entertaining too. Ira lettered many of the stories inside, almost all of them at first. His participation fell off starting in 1950 probably because he got busier elsewhere.

ANIMAL ANTICS #2, May-June 1946

The second issue has balloon lettering by Ira in the style he was using at the time, somewhat different from the one he used later. Bouncy captions were often used on humor titles.

ANIMAL ANTICS #4, Sept-Oct 1946

Sometimes Ira went to much bolder and squared-off emphasis to really push the point.

ANIMAL ANTICS #10, Sept-Oct 1947

By 1947, Ira’s cover lettering was starting to settle into the styles he used for the rest of his career. The word FEATURING is a good example.

ANIMAL ANTICS #13, March-April 1948

Some covers had no lettering, or repeated blurbs like the one for the Raccoon Kids here.

ANIMAL ANTICS #18, Jan-Feb 1949

The balloon on this cover is getting closer to Ira’s later style. Note that MOVIETOWN’S has appeared above the logo, but was not used in the indicia for a few more issues.

Some covers on this series had no balloon lettering or captions and were simply sight gags, but later in the MOVIETOWN part of the run more covers have word balloons by Schnapp.

This cover of issue #44 has a typical later Ira Schnapp word balloon.

With issue #50 in 1954 a new trade dress adds a large Raccon Kids logo which is similar to ones on their stories since the first issue, but redrawn by Ira Schnapp. This shows the direction the title was going, and with issue #52 the series was renamed THE RACCOON KIDS and continued for thirteen more issues. I’ll cover those later.

I found Ira Schnapp cover lettering on these issues: 1-13, 18, 20, 23-35, 42, 44, 48-50, a total of 33 in all.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #1, March-April 1946

Schnapp lettered nearly all the stories inside this series for the first few issues, and I’ll show some of them. Generally the character on the cover had the lead spot, and that was Presto Pete for a while. Look at how few words Ira had to add here. Some were in a handwritten style probably close to his own handwriting. It’s hard to know if Ira designed the feature logos or if they were by the artists, but this one looks like Ira’s work to me.

Other features from the first issue, all lettered by Ira Schnapp, and he may also have designed the feature logos. Ira’s lettering at this time was generally wider than what he did later, and look for letter R’s with an upwardly curved right leg.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #3, July-Aug 1946

Another new feature was Walrus Whopper, and this page has some large display lettering.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #9, July-Aug 1947

With issue #9, Presto Pete gained a handsome new logo that I believe is by Ira, though artist Howard Post may have had a hand in it. Notice how Ira’s lettering is getting less wide.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #10, Sept-Oct 1947

This feature with a too-long title was one that lasted for many years.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #19, March-April 1949

By 1949, Ira’s lettering was usually in this style, with nearly every letter fitting into a square.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #20, May-June 1949

Sometimes the artist did the balloon shapes. Ira was good at filling the spaces provided, but at times there are gaps.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #21, July-Aug 1949

The feature logo here does not look like Ira’s work to me, but these balloons are his.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #24, Jan-Feb 1950

In this case the balloon shapes are definitely by the artist, as they are made with a brush, which is something that Ira never did as far as I can tell.

From ANIMAL ANTICS #27, July-Aug 1950

I’m not sure if this feature logo is by Schnapp, but it’s very well done.

On stories written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer, like this Dizzy Dog example from issue #51, sometimes the lettering seems to be all by Mayer, other times, as above, it’s a mix of display lettering by Mayer with regular lettering by Ira Schnapp. Or perhaps Mayer pencilled the large open letters and Ira inked them, it’s hard to say. I still count this as a story Ira lettered.

Here are all the stories I think are lettered by Ira Schnapp. Features are abbreviated after the first appearance.

#1 March-April 1946: Presto Pete 8pp, Sheriff Corky 5pp, Eager Beaver 4pp, The Tortoise and the Hare 6pp, Walrus Whopper 5pp, Itty Biddy 1pp, Goofy Goose 4pp, Raccoon Kids 6pp

#2 May-June 1946: PP 8pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, T&H 6pp, WWh 5pp, GG 4pp, RK 6pp

#3 July-Aug 1946: RK 6pp, ShC 5pp, WWh 5pp, T&H 6pp, EB 4pp, GG 4pp, PP 8pp

#4 Sept-Oct 1946: PP 8pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, T&H 6pp, WWh 5pp, Junior 1pp, GG 4pp, RK 6pp

#5 Nov-Dec 1946: PP 8pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, WWh 5pp, T&H 6pp, GG 4pp, RK 6pp

#6 Jan-Feb 1947: PP 8pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, GG 4pp, T&H 6pp, WWh 5pp, RK 6pp

#7 March-April 1947: PP 8pp, T&H 6pp, WWh 5pp, EB 4pp, GG 4pp, RK 6pp

#8 May-June 1947: RK 6pp, GG 4pp, Crazy Like A Fox 5pp, WWh 5pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, PP 8pp

#9 July-Aug 1947: PP 8pp, GG 4pp, Dusty & Rusty 1pp, EB 4pp, Bippy and His Pals 1pp, CFox 5pp, Sam & Susie 1pp, Ozzie 1pp, ShC 5pp, RK 6pp

#10 Sept-Oct 1947: PP 6pp, CFox 5pp, GG 4pp, Cutter Cat and Cheesy Mouse 5pp, Dusty & Rusty 1pp, ShC 5pp, Benny Bear 1pp, RK 6pp

#11 Nov-Dec 1947: RK 6pp, CCCM 5pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, CFox 5pp, D&R 1pp, GG 4pp, PP 8pp

#12 Jan-Feb 1948: RK 6pp, CCCM 5pp, GG 4pp, CFox 5pp, ShC 6pp, EB 4pp, PP 7pp

#13 March-April 1948: RK 6pp, CCCM 5pp, CFox 5pp, Cagy Clem 1pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, Buster Bronco 1pp, Pete the Pup 4pp, GG 4pp, PP 7pp

#14 May-June 1948: RK 6pp, CFox 5pp, PPup 4pp, ShC 5pp, EB 4pp, CCCM 5pp, GG 4pp, PP 8pp

#15 July-Aug 1948: RK 6pp, CFox 5pp, PPup 4pp, CCCM 5pp, ShC 6pp, Kanga Rudy 2pp, GG 4pp, PP 7pp

#16 Sept-Oct 1948: RK 6pp, CFox 5pp, PPup 4pp, Slopsie 1pp, GG 6pp, EB 4pp, CCCM 6pp, PP 7pp

#17 Nov-Dec 1948: RK 6pp, CFox 5pp, PPup 4pp, GG 6pp, CCCM 5pp, PP 6pp

#18 Jan-Feb 1949: RK 6pp, PPup 4pp, GG 6pp, CCCM 6pp, PP 7pp

#19 March-April 1949: RK 6pp, N&C 7pp, PPup 4pp, GG 6pp, ShC 5pp, CCCM 5pp, PP 6pp

#20 May-June 1949: RK 6pp, N&C 7pp, PPup 4pp, GG 5pp, CCCM 5pp, PP 6pp

#21 July-Aug 1949: RK 6pp, N&C 7pp, PPup 6pp, GG 6pp, Ozzy Owl 5pp, CCCM 5pp

#22 Sept-Oct 1949: RK 6pp, N&C 5pp, CCCM 6pp, GG 6pp, RK 5pp

#23 Nov-Dec 1949: RK 5pp, N&C 6pp, GG 6pp, CCCM 5pp, Plato Platypus 6pp, OO 6pp

#24 Jan-Feb 1950: CCCM 5pp, GG 6pp, Ham Hocks 7pp

#25 March-April 1950: GG 5pp, N&C 6pp

#26 May-June 1950: RK 6pp, HH 7pp

#27 July-Aug 1950: Ruthie Riddles 1pp, GG 7pp, Biggety Bear 6pp

#28 Sept-Oct 1950: RK 6pp, CCCM 6pp, Bo Bunny 6pp, N&C 8pp

#29 Nov-Dec 1950: PPup 5pp

#30 Jan-Feb 1951: CCCM 6pp

#31 March-April 1951: RK 6pp, CCCM 6pp

#32 May-June 1951: Doodles Duck 6pp, GG 6pp

#34 Sept-Oct 1951: RK 8pp

#36 Jan-Feb 1952: RK 6pp, N&C 4pp, Fraidy Cat 4pp

#37 March-April 1952: Dizzy Dog 6pp, RK 4pp

#38 May-June 1952: RK 6pp (2nd)

#40 Sept-Oct 1952: RK 6pp (1st)

#41 Nov-Dec 1952: BB 4pp, RK 4pp (2nd)

#42 Jan-Feb 1953: RK 6pp, N&C 4pp, GG 4pp

#43 March-April 1953: RK 6pp, Doodles Duck 6pp, Fraidy Cat 4pp

#44 May-June 1953: GG 4pp, Dizzy Dog 6pp

#45 July-Aug 1953: Bernard 4pp, Blackie Bear 4pp

#46 Sept-Oct 1953: Fraidy Cat 4pp, T&H 5pp, RK 4pp (2nd)

#47 Nov-Dec 1953: CCCM 4pp, T&H 4pp

#48 Jan-Feb 1954: RK 6pp (1), GG 4pp, Fraidy Cat 4pp, RK 6pp (2)

#49 March-April 1954: T&H 4pp, N&C 4pp, RK 4pp (2)

#50 May-June 1954: Fraidy Cat 4pp, RK 6pp (2)

#51 July-Aug 1954: RK 6pp (1), Dizzy Dog 6pp, N&C 4pp, Bo Bunny 4pp, RK 4pp (2)

That’s a total of 1,139 story pages on this title.

More articles like this can be found on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

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