Looney Tunes comics offered a different take on Bugs Bunny and other famous cartoon characters

Characters who rarely interacted in cartoons went on many adventures and the Road Runner had kids!

Comics have always been a popular way to expand fictional universes and continue telling stories using characters who originated in other mediums, usually on TV or in movies. In fact, many classic shows had comic book counterparts, including Gunsmoke, Adam-12 and The Twilight Zone.

Cartoons are perhaps the easiest thing to adapt into a comic strip because the character designs are already done. And with characters as popular as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, a Looney Tunes comic was a no-brainer.

But the thousands of classic Dell and Gold Key issues published from the 1940s to the 1980s that featured Bugs, Daffy, Porky and many more weren’t just rip-offs of the cartoons. They told their own unique stories, often in totally different ways than anything seen in animation.

The biggest immediate difference between the moving Looney Tunes characters onscreen and the one’s drawn in panels was the number of people featured. Once stars like Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Sylvester and Wile E. Coyote were established, the bulk of Warner Bros.’s animation efforts were focused on them. Directors also had their favorites and rarely worked outside of the characters they created or liked most.

But in the comic books, writers and artists used every conceivable character ever seen in a cartoon and invented new ones. Petunia Pig was a consistent presence in the comics, as was Beaky Buzzard.

The Looney Tunes characters on the page also interacted with each other in a wide variety of ways compared to those on the screen. It was not uncommon in the comic books to see Bugs and Porky, Bugs and Sylvester or Bugs, Porky and Sylvester all in the same story! There were also inspired combinations like the Tasmanian Devil vs. Foghorn Leghorn and Bugs Bunny with Porky, Elmer and Sniffles the mouse (in a story where they battle sentient shadows).

The dynamic of Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner through the desert was kept the same for the comics, but many featured three Road Runner kids who tagged along with their father. They also all spoke in rhyme.

Along with colorful comic books came a daily Bugs Bunny newspaper comic strip that ran for decades starting in the 1940s. With only a few panels to tell each story, the strip didn’t have the same wackiness or creativity seen in the comic books and cartoons. It often showed Bugs interacting with other characters in typical city surroundings with jokes centered around everyday life. In a franchise like Looney Tunes, something that normal seems strange.

Do you remember reading any Looney Tunes comics? Better yet, do you still have some in your collection?

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JDnHuntsvilleAL 14 days ago
"...many featured three Road Runner kids who tagged along with their father" (AND mother). "They also all spoke in rhyme." That's what I remember most about the comics -- them speaking in rhyme.
RichLorn 17 days ago
I had a comic book with Petunia Pig in the centerfold that I kept hidden under my bed until I was 12.
Amalthea 17 days ago
I ended up in the hospital when I was about 6, and a lot of people gave me "Big Little Books" to keep me occupied. I definitely remember getting some Bugs Bunny ones, and ones with the Road Runner & his 3 kids.
RichLorn Amalthea 17 days ago
If they are illustrated, and I assume they are (?), they might be worth something. Maybe we'll see you on Antiques Roadshow.
Michael Amalthea 14 days ago
The only one I remember having was the Major Matt Mason one. And I don't know where it went.
JosephScarbrough 17 days ago
Even the Cartoon Network shows that I grew up with were like this with their comic book adaptations - one thing that really got me was how Courage the Cowardly Dog eventually stopped talking on his own show, yet he continued to talk regularly in the comic books.
Stardust_Memories 17 days ago
I have Porky Pig #45 from Dell 1956 graded 9.6 NM+ by CGC. A beaut.
Wow, that's a good one. Hard to find near mint comics from that long ago.
Patsy 18 days ago
I used to read these in the seventies when I was a kid.
MichaelSkaggs 18 days ago
Born in 1959. I remember Bugs, Tweety, Road Runner, and Daffy. I only remember one comic book where they were all featured. Maybe 1965?
Snickers 18 days ago
Think one of the things I liked about the old comics were the ads. Just think, for a 1.25 you could buy a pair of x-ray glasses or own your very own sea monkey colony just for a dollar. And then if you wanted some extra cash you could always sell seeds, just return the money and you would get cash or your pick of great prizes.
Michael Snickers 18 days ago
You actually ordered that stuff? A few years ago, someone said the full size submarine was just vinyl cloth.

I got my "seamonkeys" with my microscope kit.
Snickers Michael 18 days ago
Yea, as a kid I ordered sea monkeys and the itching powder. Really disappointed to find out my monkeys were just brine shrimp.
Snickers 18 days ago
Still Have Road Runner comics in my collection, as well as Chip and Dale, Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Hot Stuff the Little Devil. My favorites are the sci-fi comics like Magnus the Robot Fighter and Space family Robinson: Lost in Space which is nothing like the T.V series was. Big fan of the Dell publishing comics, They did comic versions of T.V shows Like Adam-12, The Flying Nun and Rifleman to name a few.
Michael Snickers 18 days ago
And didn't a lot of the tv or movie comic books use a still for the cover, rather than a drawing?
Snickers Michael 18 days ago
Yes, most if not all used a still from the series on the cover.
Susan00100 19 days ago
I've read that roadrunners are NOT flightless birds--that they can fly short distances.
I've always wished that the cartoons and comics depicted the roadrunner (and his kids) taking wing, like Daffy and Tweety.
But, I suppose--considering their design (large heads and feet, small wings and torsos)--that would have been impossible.
Michael Susan00100 19 days ago
The Taxmanian Devil is a real thing, but when I saw a picture in National Geoographic, I was shocked. Kind of mean looking, but small.
Susan00100 Michael 18 days ago
I know it's just a typo, but the "Tax man" just might BE the Devil!
LOL
Runeshaper 19 days ago
I don't think I had any comics, but I sure enjoyed the cartoons!
Michael 19 days ago
No streaming, no videotapes or DVDs. Comic books (and little Golden Books) were a way to give permanence to TV.

I bought some Star Trek comic books, new stories. Space Family Robinson wasn't quite like Lost in Space, only in the internet age do I see why. l

But yes, DC and Marvel were about their own creations, Gold Key and the like often bought rights.

I remember some Jerry Lewis comic books. And completely unrelated, Classics Illustrated. I remember in 1980 they tried to transitiin to TV, the Jeff Goldblum Sleepy Hollow movie, and maybe that one about the Donner Party.
Andybandit 19 days ago
Wow. I didn't know Adam-12 had a comic book.
Snickers Andybandit 18 days ago
It was published by Dell comics and yes I have two of them.
Michael Andybandit 14 days ago
It was easy marketing. The kids would visit the comic rack at the nearby soda fountain, see a comic for a familiar show, and spend their 15 cents.

I don't know how I did my selection. I certainky got some Star Trek, and Space Family Robinson. I don't think I bought Caspar and Little Lulu, so I guess my sister bought those. The only Classics Illustrated I remember was "Around the World in 80 Days", the main character was "Phineas". I bought mostly Superman, but that constituted a whole universe. Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, all the associated characters had their own comic, or specials.
LowSparkofLyman 19 days ago
The 1975 Road Runner comic story "The Greatest of E's" gave Wile E. Coyote's middle name as "Ethelbert". The story was written by Mark Evanier, later of Groo the Wanderer and Garfield and Friends fame.

Also, the Road Runner was known in the comic books as "Beep Beep".

On a different note, I noticed a commercial on this site which gave "Green Acres" as the next Sunday Block Party show. I had thought it was going to be Bugs Bunny, going by the next Collector's Call focusing on the character and Toon in with Me celebrating his birthday (it'll soon be 82 years since A Wild Hare debuted in theaters).
Michael LowSparkofLyman 19 days ago
No, the two Green Acre quizzes was the giveaway.
Bugs Bunny cartoons will be shown ALL next week on "Toon In With Me".
It's called "A Bugs Birthday Bash".
I'm glad for the advance notice, so I could tune in to something else; I'm SICK of so many Bugs Bunny toons on that show!
texasluva 19 days ago
I had many of those Dell and Gold Key comics. I sold all of them around 8 to 12 years ago. Along with 3,000 other comics. The main one being ASM (Amazing Spider-Man) first issuing. Those I sold numbers 6-500. Some I sold as singles while others up to a couple hundred. One guy in MA paid me $1000 for 6 of them. Of course they were by Marvel. 2 hard drives ago I had pics of everyone of my sales. I still have the selling portion in my email file but Ebay does not keep the photos after so many months. I do have a few of the Cartoon ones which I will show a couple here I used to own. I wish I still had all those comics.
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texasluva LoveMETV22 18 days ago
I know there was a list I had used maybe half dozen moves from but not sure of the uploaders name the address lists had hamburger Hill on it like this one Patton which is also gone. https://archive.org/details/h-4m-burg-3r-h-1l-1_202205/P4tt0n.mp4 It is the same for Sully https://ia802502.us.archive.org/22/items/h-4m-burg-3r-h-1l-1_202205/Su11y.mp4 Which means I might still have their site name and it will be blank. I have like 3 dozen of those plus hundreds of singles. I do not think it is Mike kino World because he's still there and he sent email yesterday saying he was putting up more movies. Here I go on my adventure to figure things out
texasluva LoveMETV22 18 days ago
It could be this one. He had an old movie one and movie one which I think were newer movies. fatsidechatoldermovies - and- fatsidechatmovies which are now both empty. It was not long ago and I think only been on 3 months but I just copied Sully and Patton to my lists in the past couple of weeks. I can not remember how he labeled them though. He could have just quit or they knocked him off IA. Only uploaders can get banned or those that are not above board. You still lose the movies.
texasluva LoveMETV22 18 days ago
Saving Pvt Ryan- Kill Bill 1 and 2 gone also. If it was Friday I'd call it Black Friday 😧
LoveMETV22 texasluva 18 days ago
Lol.. IA was having issues earlier in the week. The search pane on the left wouldn't let you expand any categories, some type of bug. They have resolved w/e the reason was. speaking of Sully, perhaps it was....
KJExpress 19 days ago
I think I had only one or two comic books as a kid, but one of them featured Bugs Bunny. I wish I had saved it. 🙁
MrsPhilHarris 19 days ago
I have a vague recollection of a Road Runner comic. 🤔
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Snickers MrsPhilHarris 18 days ago
I have a few of them, they were more like a paperback book. Not sure the reason they were printed that way but one story going around is they used less paper and were cheaper to produce.
MrsPhilHarris texasluva 18 days ago
Wow! Unfortunately these were well read and loved and no Spider-Man’s. 🤨
MrsPhilHarris Snickers 18 days ago
I found them hard to read. The print is kind of small. 🤓
texasluva MrsPhilHarris 18 days ago
Actually it could have been anyone of the superhero comics that started in the 1960's Iron Man-The Hulk-X-Men-Batman Superman some which started way back before 1960. Even Flash. Off shoots like Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Tales to Astonish with hundred other types.
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