Identify an old newspaper comic strip?
August 6, 2014 12:42 PM   Subscribe

My dad has been trying to track down an old (1950s/60s) newspaper strip that sounds a lot like a Dennis the Menace kind of thing. He swears it was called "Wilbur," and that it was about another kid like Dennis who gets into mischief. One strip he described is a car with a guy under it, and "Wilbur" (or whatever his name was) is standing nearby with black stuff all over his face. Wilbur is thinking, "Never give a hot-foot to a guy with a grease gun." Could he be thinking of Wilbur Wilkin, from "Wilbur Comics"? That was a comic BOOK, not a newspaper strip, right? And he seems more about womanizing than pranks..? I don't see any likely candidates online under the name "Wilbur," are there any classic comic strip experts who know what may dad is thinking of?
posted by ktoad to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Googling "never give a hot foot to" let me to this page from the 1954 Lincoln Star, and it looks like the full "grease gun" bit does appear there. You can view the full page by signing up for a free trial.
posted by jessicapierce at 12:56 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Might it have been "Will-Yum" (1953-1966)? A cursory GIS didn't bring up a comic specifically talking about a grease gun, but the era is right, the name is similar, and there's a striking resemblance to Dennis the Menace.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:07 PM on August 6, 2014

Looks like @jessicapierce has it! Wow, seems like a pretty obscure strip. I signed up for the free trial and even now that I know the creator's name is Gill Fox, there's still not much out there in the ether. Thanks for the help, dad will be most pleased!
posted by ktoad at 1:12 PM on August 6, 2014

Gill Fox has an entry in the Comiclopedia, where the kid's name is shown as "Wilbert."
posted by Carol Anne at 1:46 PM on August 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Carol Anne has it! This google image search for Gill Fox + Wilbert brings up a bunch of comics which look super Dennis the Menace-y. Show this to your dad!
posted by jessicapierce at 1:55 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

This blog also has a bunch of them that don't appear in that google image search.
posted by jessicapierce at 2:07 PM on August 6, 2014

Woah, thanks for the follow-ups, folks! The strip must have gone by different names at different times, because it was Wilbur in some cases as well.
posted by ktoad at 6:09 AM on August 7, 2014

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