Doodles Duck with nephew Lemuel. Artist: Sheldon Mayer.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1952
Creator: Sheldon Mayer
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Some of Sheldon Mayer's contributions to DC Comics are as important as The Justice Society of America. Even before he worked there, he was largely responsible …

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… for talking the company into investing in Superman. But there were also some small fry among his credits there — small fry such as Bo Bunny, Dizzy Dog and Doodles Duck.

Those three characters were denizens of DC's funny animal anthologies, but only in the back pages. In fact, even there, they didn't have regular, dependable positions, where readers could count on seeing them every issue, but turned up only sporadically, shoehorned in whenever the cartoonist turned in a story or two. Bo and Dizzy were mere dimwitted victims of their scheming, more aggressive foils (Skinny Fox and Amster the Hamster, respectively), but Doodles, who was every bit as dimwitted, often served as the scheming aggressor who got the action rolling. He also had a temper like Donald. While he wasn't any masterpiece of subtly nuanced characterization, he was noticeably more complex than the other two.

Doodles wasn't connected to an earlier DC character with the same name, who was created by Howard Post (Jimminy & the Magic Book, Anthro), and who had enjoyed about the same level of prominence. This Doodles lived with his nephew, Lemuel, who was a good deal smarter and usually came out on top (if either did) at the end of the story. Lemuel was his only supporting character. The two first appeared in Animal Antics #40 (September, 1952), where the cover stars were The Raccoon Kids.

Doodles, always with Lemuel, turned up at unpredictable intervals, and in unpredictable places, for the next several years. In the latter part of the decade, DC's funny animals faded almost to oblivion, and Doodles faded along with the rest. The occasional reprint is all that's left of any of them.

But the stories and artwork of Sheldon Mayer still have their appeal. All of the DC funny animals are mere memories now, but to those who knew him, Doodles Duck is a much more cherished memory than The Dodo & the Frog, Peter Panda, Nutsy Squirrel and the rest.


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Text ©2004-05 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.