Ira Schnapp in FLIPPITY AND FLOP

Images © DC Comics

Unlike many DC Comics funny animal characters, Flippity the canary, Flop the cat and Sam the family dog did appear in four cartoons from Screen Gems, though they were never as popular or as well-known as Tweety and Sylvester from Warner Bros, or even The Fox and The Crow, also from Screen Gems. Their comic began with a Dec 1951/Jan 1952 cover date and ran to 47 issues, ending in 1960. The characters had already appeared in other DC anthologies. The comic was edited by Larry Nadle. Each issue had several stories featuring the team and usually one starring two mice, Twiddle and Twaddle. Most, or perhaps all, were drawn by west coast animator Jim Davis, not the same man who created Garfield.

Ira Schnapp was the main story letterer for this book, handling about two thirds of the page lettering. He also lettered some covers, but many had no lettering. It’s possible Ira designed the logo, but he did not do the rest of the cover lettering on this first cover. I suspect the logo and lettering might have been done by artist Jim Davis, but that’s just a guess. the blurb in a circle appeared on many later covers.

The first cover I see Ira Schnapp balloon lettering on is issue #12 from 1953, though Ira did not do the balloon shapes, Jim Davis did. Since Davis was in California, I believe his habit was to turn in finished art with lettering pencilled in and inked balloon shapes, and that was done here.

Issue #19 from 1954/55 has some unusual rough display lettering in this balloon by Ira, and by now he was also doing the balloon border.

Issue #37 from 1957-58 is typical of Ira’s balloons at the time on all DC covers, but the round blurb from issue #1 is still the same.

Issue #40 from 1958 has no Schnapp cover lettering, but it does have a new version of the logo I think he designed, with thicker letters and a much heavier outline. There was no new Schnapp work on covers after this. Here are the covers I think Ira lettered: 12-13, 15-16, 19, 23, 27, 33, 35-37, 39, that’s twelve in all.

Here’s a sample of Ira’s story lettering from the first issue. Again, artist Jim Davis put in the balloon shapes, so Ira had to make his lettering fit. His generally small work fit well in some places, but left extra white space in others.

By issue #20 in 1955, Schnapp was doing his own balloon shapes, so something must have been worked out with the artist to allow that, perhaps Davis just left pencilled dialogue and balloon shapes and Ira did them in New York. I think having a letterer do those shapes always looks best.

Twiddle and Twaddle were the other stars of the book. I think Davis always did the character names, as they varied a lot and always look like they were inked with a brush.

A page from the last issue with Ira’s lettering. There was a large gap between issue #46 (Aug-Oct 1959) and issue #47 (Sept-Nov 1960), so the latter was probably issued to use up inventory, though two of the stories in it were reprints. Here are the stories lettered by Ira Schnapp, with FF meaning Flippity & Flop (stories numbered), and TT meaning Twiddle & Twaddle:

#1 Dec 1951/Jan 1952: FF 6pp, 4pp, 3pp (1-3), TT 4pp, FF 5pp (4)

#2 Feb/March 1952: FF 6pp, 6pp, 5pp (1-3)

#3 April/May 1952: TT 3pp, FF 6pp (3)

#4 June/July 1952: FF 6pp (1) Hound & Hare 6pp, FF 6pp (2)

#5 Aug/Sept 1952: TT 6pp, FF 6pp (3)

#6 Oct/Nov 1952: TT 3pp, FF 7pp (2), TT 4pp, FF 5pp (3)

#7 Dec 1952/Jan 1953: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3) TT 6pp

#8 Feb/March 1953: TT 6pp, FF 5pp (3)

#9 April/May 1953: FF 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), TT 6pp

#10 June/July 1953: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2)

#11 Aug/Sept 1953: FF 6pp, 3pp, 6pp (1, 3-4) TT 4pp

#12 Oct/Nov 1953: FF 4pp, 3pp, 7pp (1, 3-4), TT 5pp

#13 Dec 1953/Jan 1954: FF 6pp, 6pp, 7pp (1-3), TT 4pp

#14 Feb/March 1954: FF 4pp, 6pp (2 & 4)

#15 April/May 1954: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 4pp

#16 June/July 1954: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2), TT 5pp

#17 Aug/Sept 1954: FF 6pp, 7pp (1 & 3)

#18 Oct/Nov 1954: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2) TT 5pp

#19 Dec 1954/Jan 1955: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2), TT 6pp

#20 Feb/March 1955: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2), TT 4pp, TT & Fago 1pp

#21 April/May 1955: TT 6pp, FF 7pp, 6pp (2-3)

#22 June/July 1955: TT 4pp, FF 6pp, 6pp (2-3)

#23 Aug/Sept 1955: FF 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), TT 6pp

#24 Oct/Nov 1955: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 6pp

#25 Dec 1955/Jan 1956: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 6pp

#26 Feb/March 1956: FF 6pp, 6pp (2 & 4)

#27 April/May 1956: FF 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), TT 5pp

#28 June/July 1956: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 6pp

#29 Aug/Sept 1956: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 4pp

#30 Oct/Nov 1956: FF 6pp (1), TT 6pp

#31 Dec 1956/Jan 1957: FF 6pp (1), TT 6pp

#32 Feb/March 1957: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2), TT 6pp

#33 April/May 1957: FF 6pp, 6pp (1-2)

#34 June/July 1957: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#35 Aug/Sept 1957: FF 6pp (2) TT 6pp

#36 Oct/Nov 1957: FF 6pp (3)

#37 Dec 1957/Jan 1958: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 6pp

#38 Feb/March 1958: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#39 April/May 1958: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#40 June/July 1958: FF 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), TT 6pp

#41 Aug/Sept 1958: FF 8pp, 6pp (1-2) TT 6pp

#42 Oct/Nov 1958: FF 8pp, 4pp, 4pp, 6pp (1-4), TT 6pp

#43 Dec 1958/Jan 1959: FF 8pp (1)

#45 May-July 1959: FF 4pp, 6pp, 6pp (2-4), TT 4pp

#46 Aug-Oct 1959: FF 6pp (2), TT 6pp

#47 Sept-Nov 1960: FF 6pp, 6pp (1 & 5) (2 & 4 are reprints)

That’s a total of 787 pages on this book. More articles in this series can be found on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

Flippity and Flop on Wikipedia.

Jim Davis information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.