LOAC Essentials Vol. 4: Alley Oop
Written and illustrated by V.T. Hamlin
In 1939, Vincent Trout Hamlin had been writing and drawing the successful Alley Oop for more than five years. The prehistoric series was set in the kingdom of Moo and starred Alley Oop, the club-wielding caveman, his girlfriend Ooola, friends Dinny the dinosaur and Foozy, plus Oop’s rival, King Guz, and Guz’s Queen Umpateedle.
Yet Hamlin knew that the strip’s horizons in Moo were limited. When in early 1939 King Guz steals Dinny’s egg and has Oop and Ooola cornered in the jungles of Moo, what starts out as just another prehistoric adventure is turned upside down. Oop and Ooola see a mysterious box and, to the utter amazement of Guz and his minions, promptly fade from view. That Saturday, April 6th strip ends with a caption: “Dear Reader: you must now say goodbye to Moo…if you are to follow Alley Oop in this strangest of many strange adventures. — V. T. Hamlin”
Guz wasn’t the only one who was amazed. Readers also wondered what happened to their favorite caveman, only to shockingly discover that Oop and Ooola had entered a time machine and were now living in the modern day 20th Century! Their host was the inventor of the time machine, Dr. Elbert Wonmug (a clever reworking of “Albert Einstein”—”one mug” being coloquial English for the German “ein stein”). And the series became more popular than ever!