Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Napoleon and Uncle Elby was a syndicated comic strip created by Clifford McBride.  The character of Elby, based on McBride's uncle (a Wisconsin lumberman) was introduced in various features that McBride drew from 1927 to 1932; Elby's dog Napoleon was soon added  to the strips.  In 1932 Napoleon began its run as a daily strip.  A Sunday strip was added in 1933, and the name of the strip was changed to Napoleon and Uncle Elby the following year.  The strip ran until 1961.

Napoleon was a large, clumsy, good-hearted mut with a happy-go-lucky attitude.  Uncle Elby was an overweight, older bachelor who patiently put up with Napoleon's antics.  The gentle humor and distinctive artwork made the strip highlly popular.  Hardcover reprint books began to appear, followed by a Big Little Book.  The strip was reprinted in Eastern Color Printing's Famous Funnies, eventually leading to the one-shot comic book linked below.

Comic historian Don Markstein credits the technique used on Napoleon's facial expressions as a direct influence on Bob Clampett's Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent.

The sole issue of Napoleon and Uncle Elby reprinted 64 of the Sunday strips.


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