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Gang Our

Front cover of the first comic. Left to right: Janet, Mickey, Spanky, Froggy, Buckwheat. Barney Bear is behind camera, and one of the three kittens is on Barney. Jerry the Mouse is on the camera.

Overview

The Our Gang Comics were a series of comic books featuring Our Gang. Created by Walt Kelly, the series stayed popular from its debut in 1942 until its last issue in 1949. Characters featured included Spanky McFarland, Buckwheat Thomas, Mickey Gubitosi, Froggy Laughlin, Janet Burston, and Happy Laughlin. Much like the Our Gang film series, in the comic series the characters age in real time. After Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer finished the film series in 1944, Walt Kelly continued the comic series, dropping older characters and adding newer ones.

Characters

  • Spanky - Spanky is still the leader of the Gang in the comic series. However, he only appeared in the first two issues. After MGM dropped George McFarland from the film series and replaced him with Happy (Mickey Laughlin), Kelly did the same in his series. Spanky's departure from the comic series was never explained.
  • Buckwheat - Buckwheat appeared in most of the comics produced from 1942 to 1947. In the series' earlier years, Kelly gave Buckwheat's character an African American dialect. In an attempt to make the character seem less offensive, Kelly slowly dropped the dialect, and eventually shortened Buckwheat's name to 'Bucky' (ironically William Thomas's offscreen nickname). In one of Kelly's issues, Buckwheat's real name is said to be "Alexander". Like all of the characters, Bucky ages in real time. By the end of his tenure in the comic series, Buckwheat's character becomes a High School track star. Buckwheat's last appearance was in issue #40, released in November of 1947.
  • Mickey - Mickey still appears to be a stereotypical 'little guy' in the first couple of comics, but by the time Spanky departs from the series, Mickey becomes a semi-leader of the Gang. His last apperance was in issue #13, released in October of 1944. Issue #14 opens with the Gang receiving a letter from Mickey, and it is revealed to the readers that Mickey went to military school.
  • Froggy - Froggy was featured strongly in the Our Gang comics, never missing from any of the issues during his tenure in the series. By issue #4, Froggy's name is spelled as "Froggie". It would remain this way for most of his stay in the comics. Froggy's last apperance was in issue #31, released in February of 1947.
  • Janet - Janet appeared throughout a majority of the series. Janet sometimes gets left out of the Gang's fun by the boys, who sometimes view her as a stereotypical female. However, Janet proves to be just as tough and smart as her cohorts, and is usually able to take part in the same tasks that they do. Sometimes, Walt Kelly even gave Janet a chance to be an Our Gang leader, something that few (if any) females ever had the chance to do in the film series. Beginning with issue #33 (released May-June of 1946), Janet's name was shortened to 'Janey'. Like Buckwheat, her last apperance was in issue #40.
  • Happy - Debuting in the third issue, Happy was brought in as a replacement for Spanky, which was also being done by MGM in the Our Gang film series. Happy was often times paired up with Buckwheat, almost acting as his comedy partner. In issue #14, it is revealed that Happy will be moving away. Though he will still be in town, there's no doubt that he will be living too far away to take place in regular activities with the Gang.
  • Red McDougall - One of the handful of characters created by Walt Kelly, Red first appeared in issue #14. Kelly appears to have added Red as a replacement for Mickey. In his first apperance, Red appears to be a mutual friend of the Gang, but joins them in their adventure for that story. With no explanation, he ammediately becomes a regular member of the Gang. Unlike Mickey, Red was more of tough, wisecracking character. He was often time paired up with Froggy, almost acting as his comedy partner. His last apperance was in issue #55, released in February of 1949.
  • Two-by-Two - An original character of Walt Kelly's creation, Two-by-Two was added as a young tag-along for the Gang. His first apperance was in issuse #19, released in the Fall of 1945. In his first apperance, he is introduced when Janet (after growing tired of the boys in the Gang refering to her as a stereotypical female) briefly decides to start her own Gang. Two-by-Two becomes the only other member of Janet's short-lived 'Gang'. He eventually joins the Our Gang group. Two-by-Two continued to appear until the end of the series.
  • Egghead - Also known as 'Eggy', he is first introduced in issue #19 as a member of Feeney's Gas House Gang. Beginning with issue #32, Eggy joins Our Gang, more or less as a replacement for the departed Froggy. His last apperance was in issue #55.
  • Button-Nose - Added as a replacement for Buckwheat in the role of an African American member of the Gang, Button-Nose debuted in issue #42. Button-Nose was paired up with Two-by-Two, echoing the relationship between Buckwheat Thomas and Porky. He remained in the series until it ended in 1949.
  • Anastasia - Debuting in issue #43, Anastasia replaced Janet as the series' leading lady. She remained with the series until its closure in 1949.
  • Julip the Goat - The Gang's pet goat, Julip appeared throughout the duration of the series. Julip had similar qualities to Violet.

Issues

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

  • Our Gang Comics # 21
  • Our Gang Comics # 22
  • Our Gang Comics # 23
  • Our Gang Comics # 24
  • Our Gang Comics # 25
  • Our Gang Comics # 26
  • Our Gang Comics # 27
  • Our Gang Comics # 28
  • Our Gang Comics # 29

1947

  • Our Gang Comics # 30
  • Our Gang Comics # 31
  • Our Gang Comics # 32
  • Our Gang Comics # 33
  • Our Gang Comics # 34
  • Our Gang Comics # 35
  • Our Gang Comics # 36
  • Our Gang Comics # 37
  • Our Gang Comics # 38
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 39
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 40
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 41
  • Boys’ and Girls’ March of Comics # 3

1948

  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 42
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 43
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 44
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 45
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 46
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 47
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 48
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 49
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 50
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 51
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 52
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 53
  • Boys’ and Girls’ March of Comics # 26

1949

  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 54
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 55
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 56
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 57
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 58
  • Our Gang with Tom & Jerry # 59

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