Li'l Bad wolf and dad, from a 1948 comic book.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Dell
Licensed from: Disney
First Appeared: 1945
Creators: Chase Craig (writer/editor) and Carl Buettner (artist)
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Li'l Bad Wolf first appeared in the back pages of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories, where he became a regular with the …

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… 52nd issue (January, 1945). His introductory story was written by Chase Craig, who was also the editor of the comic, and drawn by Carl Buettner, who also illustrated a lot of 1940s Bucky Bug stories.

There are unconfirmed reports of earlier sightings — he is said by some to have appeared in the Disney animated cartoon Three Little Wolves (1936, directed by David Hand) — but anyone who truly knows him realizes he couldn't possibly be one of those nasty little monsters.

No, despite the name, Li'l Bad Wolf is a good little wolf — which is a source of endless vexation for his father, The Big Bad Wolf of Three Little Pigs fame, who wants Junior to grow up just like his old man. Li'l Bad tries as hard as he can to live down to his father's expectations, but can't quite seem to do it.

Complicating the situation is the fact that Li'l Bad's favorite playmates are the Three Little Pigs themselves. It was a situation worthy of the grisliest, most unspeakably gruesome horror comic imaginable — a father constantly trying to eat his son's friends — but it was played for laughs, and as a humor series aimed at young children, it has survived for generations.

Li'l Bad Wolf was never a major star, but continued in the back pages of Walt Disney's Comics & Stories until the 1960s — and probably starred in more stories in that title than anybody else except Mickey and Donald themselves. In 1952 and '54, Dell Comics featured him in two issues of its Four Color Comics series, where characters as obscure as Bongo Bear and as prominent as Bugs Bunny were the stars; but he never moved out into regular publication in his own comic.

Since then, Li'l Bad has appeared in sporadic reprints in America, and steadily but infrequently in new stories overseas. For more than decade, he's been featured in a French children's activity magazine, which is named after him — P'tit Loup.

Back in America, he appeared in animated form as recently as November 3, 2001, in a short segment in the Saturday morning show, House of Mouse. Apocryphal reports to the contrary notwithstanding, it was his very first (and so far only) appearance in that medium.

Amazingly enough, no irate parent groups have ever threatened to boycott Disney products over him.


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