LOAC Essentials Vol. 3: Polly and Her Pals 1933
Written and illustrated by Cliff Sterrett
By the early 1930s Cliff Sterrett had transformed Polly and Her Pals into the world’s premier surrealistic comic strip. Polly debuted in 1912 as one of the earliest “pretty girl” strips, but it was in 1925 that Sterrett entered his peak period, developing a new style replete with Art Deco decorations, abstract backgrounds, and distinctive surreal perspectives—all within the context of a down-right hilarious situation comedy. Sterrett’s Sunday pages (also being published by The Library of American Comics) have long been hailed as individual masterpieces, but his daily strips—due to their rarity—have eluded archivists for the past ninety years. The discovery by the Library of American Comics of syndicate proofs for some early 1930s dailies—plus new information about Sterrett’s involvement with a Maine-based artist colony—fills a major hole in comics history. The strips reprinted here—the complete year of 1933 dailies—show Sterrett at his most inventive, building gags upon gags within one- and two-week continuities, culminating in a spectacular holiday story in which the entire cast—Polly, Maw and Paw Perkins, cousin Ashur, Neewah, and the rest of the outrageous Perkins household—is transfigured into living, breathing Christmas dolls.