Peter Porkchops puts one over on Wolfie — again. Artist: Probably Otto Feuer.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1947
Creator: Otto Feuer
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Leading Comics, an anthology title DC Comics published during the 1940s and early '50s, didn't actually lead the field in popularity, quality, or by any other …

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… criterion — but it did live up to its name in at least one way. When superheroes, hitherto the most popular genre in comic books, began to fall out of favor, Leading Comics led the pack as the first DC title to abandon them. With its Summer, 1945 issue, Leading dropped The Seven Soldiers of Victory, which had occupied most of its pages since the beginning, and switched to funny animals.

Another switch occurred in the 23rd issue (March, 1947), when Nero Fox (the Jive-jumping Emperor of Ancient Rome) lost his position as the cover-featured first story of each issue, and was replaced by Peter Porkchops. That fun-loving pig was destined for success — about as much success as any DC funny animal ever had, unless you count The Fox & the Crow (which DC didn't own).

The fun Peter especially loved was playing merry pranks on his next-door neighbor. "A. Wolf" was the name on the neighbor's mailbox, but Peter called him Wolfie. Of course, Wolfie usually merited Peter's unkind treatment because he was sneaky and underhanded and always trying to get away with something dishonest. But at least, unlike many of his brethren at Disney and Warner Bros., he never tried to eat his succulent little pal. (Well, seldom, anyway.)

Peter Porkchops was created by Otto Feuer, for years one of the mainstays of DC's funny animal line. Feuer is also known for Raccoon Kids and The Dodo & the Frog. The story may have been written by Sy Reit (Three Mouseketeers, Casper the Friendly Ghost), but this is less certain. Feuer, at least, stayed with the character for years, not just in Leading Comics but also in Peter's own comic book, which started with a December, 1949 cover date. Feuer also did several one-page public service ads with Peter as their star, which ran throughout the DC line during the 1950s.

As the '50s wore on, DC's funny animal line ran out of steam. Leading Comics (retitled Leading Screen Comics in 1950) ended with its 77th issue (September, 1955), and Peter Porkchops with its 62nd (December, 1960). Except in very occasional reprints, the character wasn't seen again for a couple of decades.

When he did come back, he was completely different. In a free promotional insert in DC's Teen Titans #16 (February, 1982), he became a superhero — Pig Iron, a member of Captain Carrot's Amazing Zoo Crew. The Zoo Crew, with Peter "Pig Iron" Porkchops in every issue, remained in production for a couple of years. Even Wolfie turned up once, as a villain.

But Captain Carrot, too, has been gone for a couple of decades now. DC doesn't seem interested in Peter Porkchops in either of his forms, nor in any of its other funny animal properties.


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Text ©2003-09 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.