Ernie Bushmiller’s Fritzi Ritz comics are a strange mixture of the truly bizarre and completely pedestrian. Fritzi Ritz started as a comic strip about a young single flapper girl from the Jazz Age of the 1920’s, created by Larry Whittington. When Whittington left the strip, Fritzi Ritz was taken over by his young assistant, Ernie Bushmiller.
Ernie Bushmiller introduced the character of Phil Fumble, Fritzi’s boyfriend and funnyman. Many of these strips start with a bizarre close-up on Phil as he utters a single line as the launching pad for the rest of the strip. Looking at the pages on this post alone shows him using this technique 75% of the time!! It’s a very artificial (but extremely economical) way of getting a gag rolling.
Ernie Bushmiller later added a little girl character to the strip… Fritzi Ritz’s niece, Nancy. Eventually, Nancy and her friend Sluggo took over the strip, and those are the characters that brought long-time fame to cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller.
These Fritzi Ritz newspaper strips were later reformatted and published in comic book form. These pager are from Fritzi Ritz Comics #3 from 1949
More on Fritzi Ritz and Ernie Bushmiller at:
Nancy comic strip scans – BIG archive online at:
Link to 1965 Fritzi Ritz Sunday comic strip original art