Ira Schnapp in THE FOX AND THE CROW

Images © DC Comics

The Fox and the Crow were cartoon characters from Screen Gems originally based on the Aesop characters, but developed in a much more modern way for most of their cartoons, with streetwise, Brooklyn-accented, cigar-smoking Crawford Crow pitted against upper-crust but gullible Fauntleroy Fox in an eternal battle for laughs where the Crow won most often. They began appearing in REAL SCREEN COMICS from DC in 1945 and COMIC CAVALCADE in 1948. Their own title began with a Dec 1951/Jan 1952 cover date and ran for 108 issues, though from issue #95 on the title was gradually taken over by a new feature, “Stanley and His Monster,” and that became the title for issues 109-112. The book was edited by Larry Nadle for years, then taken over by Murray Boltinoff with #86.

Ira Schnapp might have created this logo, or it might have been done by artist and animator James Davis (not the creator of “Garfield”) who certainly did the characters in the logo. I’m leaning toward Davis because the script words in the logo are not in Ira’s style. The word balloon and caption are probably by Ira. He lettered many of the covers, though a fair amount had no lettering, or just repeated lettering. Inside, Ira lettered lots of stories, about half of them I think, until the book was usurped by Stanley and His Monster.

Most covers on this series were simple gags. The second issue has one that required some extra lettering by Schnapp.

Issue #35 from 1956 has more balloon lettering than most of the covers, and contest lettering by Schnapp that ran on all DC titles for a few months.

Generally there were several Fox and Crow stories with one featuring The Hound and the Hare, but other humor features showed up occasionally, like Twiddle and Twaddle, with a blurb picked up from another James Davis comic FLIPPETY AND FLOP, and not by Schnapp, though he lettered the rest.

Issue #58 from 1959 shows a revised logo by Ira Schnapp without the characters in it and using typical Schnapp letters for the small words, as well as a caption for Hound and Hare that would be used on many issues. This logo began with issue #56, but was used intermittently with the old one.

By issue #86 in 1964, promotional blurbs by Ira began to appear, perhaps suggesting that sales were slipping. The title had moved from eight times a year to bimonthly in 1959. Or this might just have been the preference of new editor Boltinoff.

The sell was pushed harder by issue #93 in blurbs probably written by Boltinoff.

Something else was needed to sell this title, and a new feature, The Brat Finks, was tried for a few issues beginning with #94, lettered by Ira.

But the real success came with Stanley and His Monster, which started in issue #95.

By issue #102, Stanley had a large second-billing logo by Ira Schnapp and was featured on the cover.

By issue #106 from 1967, the Stanley logo by Schnapp was as big as the Fox and Crow one, and he continued to dominate the covers. I like the different size word balloons by Schnapp here.

With issue #109, the title had been renamed and Fox and Crow were gone. This logo and cover lettering are by Ira, the last he did for the series. The word STANLEY is type, though, perhaps press-down type, something Ira is not likely to have done. I suspect it was added after Ira had completed the logo. Perhaps the editor didn’t like Ira’s handling of the word. By 1968, Ira’s work was considered old-fashioned, and he was let go that year and died in 1969. This newly named title only lasted four issues, the last three with another logo probably by Gaspar Saladino.

Here are the covers I believe have Ira Schnapp lettering, not counting repeats: 1-4, 6, 8-18, 20-21, 24-26, 28-29, 31-36, 38-45, 47-49, 51-52, 54, 58, 66, 86, 91, 93-109. That’s 54 in all.

Like FLIPPETY AND FLOP, the Fox and Crow stories were pencilled and inked by California artist and animator James Davis before he sent them to DC in New York, probably with the lettering pencilled in. Ira Schnapp lettered many of them starting with the first issue. Davis put in his own balloon shapes with a brush, and Ira was usually able to make them work, but some, like the first two balloons, were not a good match for the lettering. I think Davis also did all the story logos, which were mostly different every time and often also inked with a brush.

In issue #2, a special style was needed for the Fox trying to hypnotize the Crow. Ira went with a squared style that looks more like robot speech to me.

Ira also lettered some of the Hound and Hare stories like this one from issue #10, which includes lots of signs and some typically odd Schnapp music notes.

The series went on unchanged for years, but by issue #55 in 1959, Ira was adding his own balloon borders, making for a better match to the lettering.

Issue #94 from 1965 had a new feature with a logo and lettering by Ira, though again the balloon shapes were done by the artist. Brat Finks only ran a few issues, but I like the logo.

Stanley and His Monster began as the new lead feature with issue #95, and none of those were lettered by Ira. He didn’t do the logo either. It seems to be an amusing concept by writer Arnold Drake about a boy and his pet monster, which no one else can quite see as he and the readers do.

Until the title change, Fox and Crow stories continued as backups, though many were reprints. The last new story lettered by Ira was this one in issue #102 from 1967.

Here’s a list of all the stories lettered by Ira Schnapp. Fox and Crow (hereafter FC) had multiple stories in each issue and are numbered. Hound and Hare (hereafter HH) usually had just one.

#1 Dec 1951/Jan 1952: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp, 5pp (1-4), HH 4pp

#2 Feb/March 1952: FC 4pp, 1pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#3 April/May 1952: HH 4pp

#4 June/July 1952: HH 6pp

#5 Aug/Sept 1952: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#6 Oct/Nov 1952: FC 6pp (2)

#7 Dec 1952/Jan 1953: FC 6pp, 2pp (2 & 4), HH 5pp

#8 Feb/March 1953: FC 6pp (1)

#9 April/May 1953: FC 6pp (2), HH 6pp

#10 June/July 1953: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), HH 6pp

#11 Aug/Sept 1953: FC 5pp, 5pp (2 & 4)

#12 Oct/Nov 1953: FC 6pp, 6pp, 5pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#13 Dec 1953/Jan 1954: FC 6pp, 4pp, 4pp, 4pp (1-4)

#14 Feb 1954: FC 6pp, 4pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#15 March 1954: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 4pp

#16 April 1954: FC 6pp, 6pp (1-2), HH 5pp

#17 June 1954: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#18 Aug 1954: FC 6pp, 3pp, 7pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#19 Sept 1954: FC 6pp, 5pp (1-2), HH 6pp

#20 Oct 1954: FC 7pp, 6pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#21 Dec 1954: FC 6pp, 5pp, 4pp (1, 3-4)

#22 Feb 1955: FC 6pp, 7pp (1 & 4), HH 6pp

#23 March 1955: FC 7pp, 6pp (2-3)

#24 April 1955: FC 6pp, 1pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3, 5)

#25 June 1955: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-2, 4)

#26 Aug 1955: HH 6pp

#27 Sept 1955: FC 6pp, 6pp (1-2), HH 6pp

#28 Oct 1955: FC 6pp, 6pp (1-2), HH 6pp

#29 Dec 1955: FC 6pp, 6pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#30 Feb 1956: FC 6pp, 6pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#31 March 1956: FC 6pp, 1pp, 1pp (1-2, 4) HH 6pp

#32 April 1956: FC 1pp, 6pp (3-4)

#33 June 1956: FC 6pp, 1pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#34 Aug 1956: FC 6pp, 1pp, 6pp (2-4)

#35 Sept 1956: FC 6pp, 5pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#36 Oct 1956: FC 6pp, 6pp (2-3), HH 4pp

#37 Dec 1956: FC 6pp (1), HH 6pp

#38 Feb 1957: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), HH 6pp

#39 March 1957: FC 1pp, 6pp (3-4), HH 6pp

#40 April 1957: FC 6pp, 1pp, 6pp (1, 3-4)

#41 June 1957: FC 1pp, 1pp (3-4), HH 6pp

#42 Aug 1957: FC 6pp (2), HH 6pp

#43 Sept 1957: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3)

#44 Oct 1957: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3)

#45 Dec 1957: FC 6pp, 6pp (1-2)

#46 Feb 1958: FC 6pp, 1pp, 7pp, 6pp, 1pp (1-5), HH 6pp

#47 March 1958: FC 6pp (2), HH 6pp

#48 April 1958: FC 6pp, 1pp, 5pp (1-2, 4)

#49 June 1958: FC 1pp, 6pp, 1pp, 6pp (2-5)

#50 Aug 1958: FC 6pp, 6pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#51 Sept 1958: FC 8pp, 6pp (1 & 3)

#52 Oct 1958: FC 8pp (1), HH 6pp

#53 Dec 1958: FC 6pp, 4pp (1 & 3)

#54 Feb/March 1959: FC 4pp, 6pp (1 & 3), HH 6pp

#55 April/May 1959 FC 8pp, 4pp, 4pp, 6pp (1-4), HH 6pp

#56 June/July 1959: FC 4pp, 4pp (3-4)

#58 Oct/Nov 1959: FC 8pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#59 Dec 1959/Jan 1960: FC 6pp, 8pp (1 & 3), HH 6pp

#60 Feb/March 1960: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp, Three Mouseketeers 3pp

#61 April/May 1960: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), HH 6pp

#62 June/July 1960: FC 6pp, 4pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#63 Aug/Sept 1960: FC 6pp (1)

#64 Oct/Nov 1960: FC 6pp, 4pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#65 Dec 1960/Jan 1961: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#66 Feb/March 1961: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp, Twiddle & Twaddle 4pp

#67 April/May 1961: FC 6pp, 6pp (1-2), HH 6pp

#68 June/July 1961: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp, Flippety & Flop 4pp

#69 Aug/Sept 1961: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-2, 4), HH 6pp

#70 Oct/Nov 1961: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp, HH 6pp

#71 Dec 1961/Jan 1962: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#72 Feb/March 1962: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#73 April/May 1962: FC 6pp, 6pp, 1pp, 6pp, 1pp (1-2, 4-6), HH 6pp

#74 June/July 1962: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp, T&T 4pp

#75 Aug/Sept 1962: FC 6pp, 6pp (2-3), HH 6pp

#76 Oct/Nov 1962: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), HH 6pp

#77 Dec 1962/Jan 1963: FC 6pp, 6pp, 1pp, 6pp (1-4), HH 6pp

#78 Feb/March 1963: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp, T&T 4pp

#79 April/May 1963: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#80 June/July 1963: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#81 Aug/Sept 1963: FC 4pp, 4pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#82 Oct/Nov 1963: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 4)

#83 Dec 1963/Jan 1964: FC 6pp, 5pp, 4pp (1-2, 4), HH 6pp

#84 Feb/March 1964: FC 6pp, 6pp, 4pp, 4pp, 6pp (1-5)

#85 April/May 1964: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 4), HH 6pp

#86 June/July 1964: FC 6pp, 6pp (1-2)

#87 Aug/Sept 1964: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#88 Oct/Nov 1964: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3), HH 6pp

#89 Dec 1964/Jan 1965: FC 6pp, 4pp, 4pp, 6pp, HH 6pp

#90 Feb/March 1965: FC 6pp, 6pp, 4pp (1-3)

#91 April/May 1965: FC 6pp (1)

#92 June/July 1965: FC 4pp (2), HH 6pp

#93 Aug/Sept 1965: FC 6pp, 6pp, 6pp (1-3)

#94 Oct/Nov 1965: FC 6pp, 6pp (1 & 3), Brat Finks 8pp

#95 Dec 1965/Jan 1966: FC 6pp (2), Brat Finks 6pp

#96 Feb/March 1966: FC 4pp (2)

#97 April/May 1966: FC 4pp (2)

#99 Aug/Sept 1966: FC 6pp (2)

#102 Feb/March 1967: FC 6pp (2)

That’s a total of 1,628 pages on this title, a large amount of work. More articles in this series are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

The Fox and the Crow on Wikipedia, with cartoon info.

Stanley and His Monster on Wikipedia.

3 thoughts on “Ira Schnapp in THE FOX AND THE CROW

  1. Steven Rowe

    Davis packaged comics for Richard Hughes to send to ACG, DC, and Standard-Pines from 1945 to c1948. I’ve seen a Hughes record of what he (Hughes) sent one month to the various companies. Davis was getting stories from other folks in the LA area animation studio. “Tubby” Mel Millar was the main letterer. DC would use NYC artists for covers and text stories. Millar also drew the “Talking Komics” , which may include his lettering. I look forward to seeing your Real Screen Comics listing of Schnapp.

  2. Todd Klein Post author

    Thanks, Steven. I hadn’t heard the name Mel Millar before. I’ve done Real Screen, look for it on the Comics Creation page of my blog under “Ira Schnapp in…”

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