Ira Schnapp in FUNNY STUFF

Funny Stuff 1 cover
This and all images © DC Comics

FUNNY STUFF was a funny animal title from All-American Comics, the sister company of National (DC) Comics. Their editor-in-chief, Sheldon Mayer, was a funny animal artist and writer himself, and I think he designed this logo, but I don’t know who did the rest of the cover lettering, which is quite good. It’s nothing like the work of Ira Schnapp, who did no work for All-American titles until after the company merged into a shared office with DC around 1946. Mayer probably continued to edit for a while, and after he left staff to do freelance work, it would have gone to Larry Nadle, who edited all the DC humor books at the time. The title ran from Summer 1944 to issue #79 dated July/August 1954.

Funny Stuff 51 cover

Many FUNNY STUFF covers had no lettering. The first one I think has lettering by Ira Schnapp is issue #51, above, dated Nov/Dec 1949. It’s not completely typical of Ira’s cover work, but uses all Ira styles, and the handling of the word YOU convinces me Ira did it.

Funny Stuff 53 cover

The cover of issue #53, March/April 1950, has a more typical Ira word balloon, though still not quite in the familiar style of his later work.

Funny Stuff 68 cover

By issue #68, Sept/Oct 1952, Ira’s cover balloon style was well established, though his use of bold emphasis here is still not quite the usual one.

Funny Stuff 73 cover

Issue #73, July/Aug 1953 is very much in the typical Ira Schnapp cover balloon style familiar on many titles through the 1950s and early 1960s. Ira’s work on covers was larger and more carefully done than his interior page lettering, and always appealing.

Here are all the covers I see Ira’s lettering on: 51, 53, 59, 61, 66, 68, 70, 72-73, 75-79, that’s 14 covers.

Funny Stuff 44 page

All-American had their own regular letterers, none of whom I can name, some quite good. After the companies merged, their work continued for a while and was gradually replaced by DC’s regulars including the unknown person I’ve nicknamed Proto-Schnapp because I think his work inspired Ira’s own style. The first story I think was lettered by Ira is this one featuring Ozzy Owl from issue #44 dated April 1949.

Funny Stuff 49 page

From issue #49, Sept. 1949, Ira’s story lettering began appearing regularly on about a third of the stories in each issue. This coincides with his increased workload around that time on many other DC titles. Proto-Schnapp’s lettering vanishes by 1950, so I think he either retired or died, and that’s when I think Ira replaced him as a regular staff person, coming in to work in the offices every day, and also taking on much of Proto-Schnapp’s workload. The lead feature on FUNNY STUFF at the time was The Dodo and The Frog, and Ira lettered many of their stories like the one above from issue #52.

Funny Stuff 68 page

Ira lettered many other short stories, some with scripts and art by Sheldon Mayer, as in this page from issue #68. I think the POW! sound effect here is all Mayer’s work, as it’s not typical of Ira’s sound effects. After leaving staff, Mayer seemed to be happy doing funny animal stories like this, and he continued to work on them and other features he created like Scribbly and Sugar & Spike the rest of his life.

Funny Stuff 79 page

The final issue, #79, has a Dodo and the Frog story where all Dodo’s word balloon are upside down, which must have been an interest lettering challenge for Ira, and for the readers too. FUNNY STUFF continued for a while as the title DODO & THE FROG, and I’ll look at that later.

Here’s a list of all the stories lettered by Ira Schnapp in this title:

#44 April 1949: Ozzie Owl 7pp

#49 Sept 1949: Blabber Mouse 6pp, Blackie Bear 6pp, Ozzie Owl 6pp

#50 Oct 1949: Rufus Lion 8pp

#51 Nov 1949: Blackie Bear 6pp, Dodo & Frog 2pp, Rufus Lion 7pp

#52 Jan/Feb 1950: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Rufus Lion 7pp, Blackie Bear 6pp, Bernard 6pp, Dodo & Frog 6pp (2nd)

#53 March/April 1950: Blabber Mouse 6pp, Dodo & Frog 2pp

#54 May/June 1950: Blabber Mouse 6pp, Rufus Lion 7pp, Blackie Bear 6pp

#55 July/Aug 1950: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Blabber Mouse 7pp, Dizzy Dog 5pp, Dodo & Frog 2pp (2nd), Dodo & Frog 8pp (3rd)

#56 Sept/Oct 1950: Dodo & Frog 6pp, Dodo & Frog 3pp

#57 Nov/Dec 1950: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Blabber Mouse 7pp, Dizzy Dog 5pp, Rufus Lion 3pp

#58 Jan/Feb 1951: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Blackie Bear 6pp, Doodles Duck 7pp, Dodo & Frog 8pp (last)

#59 March/April 1951: Dodo & Frog 8pp (1st), Blabber Mouse 6pp

#62 Sept/Oct 1951: Blabber Mouse 6pp

#63 Nov/Dec 1951: Chip & Nip 6pp

#65 March/April 1952: Rufus Lion 4pp, Blabber Mouse 5pp

#66 May/June 1952: Dodo & Frog 12pp

#67 July/Aug 1952: Dodo & Frog 6pp, Dodo & Frog 6pp

#68 Sept/Oct 1952: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Blabber Mouse 5pp, Doodles Duck 6pp

#69 Nov/Dec 1952: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Chip & Nip 4pp, Biggety Bear 4pp

#70 Jan/Feb 1953: Bernard 4pp

#71 March/April 1953: Blackie Bear 3pp, Fraidy Cat 4pp, Chip & Nip 4pp

#72 May/June 1953: Dodo & Frog 3pp, Biggety Bear 4pp, Doodles Duck 6pp

#73 July/Aug 1953: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Blackie Bear 4pp, Chip & Nip 4pp

#74 Sept/Oct 1953: Chip & Nip 4pp, Custer Cat & Cheesy Mouse 4pp

#75 Nov/Dec 1953: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Bo Bunny 4pp, Blackie Bear 4pp, Pinky & Winky 5pp

#76 Jan/Feb 1954: Custer Cat & Cheesy Mouse 4pp, Dodo & Frog 5pp

#77 March/April 1954: Bo Bunny 4pp, Dodo & Frog 4pp

#78 May/June 1954: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st)

#79 July/Aug 1954: Dodo & Frog 6pp (1st), Blackie Bear 4pp, Doodles Duck 4pp, Dodo & Frog 4pp

That’s 391 story pages by Ira on this book. More articles in this series can be found on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

More about Sheldon Mayer at Wikipedia.

2 thoughts on “Ira Schnapp in FUNNY STUFF

  1. Lou

    Enjoying the Ira Schnapp series you’ve been doing–interesting to see titles that are rarely looked at in any sort of historical context.

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