Besides capturing the hearts and imagination of top silent filmmakers, film fans worldwide, and hordes of amorous males, silent screen siren Barbara La Marr has been muse to manifold artists, including two who rendered her in comic strip form.
Celebrated American cartoonist Al Capp looked to Barbara’s curvaceous figure when creating Daisy Mae, the beautiful, busty feminine lead in Li’l Abner, a comic strip that achieved unparalleled global fame during its 1934–1977 run. “When Barbara La Marr inhaled,” said Capp, “boys became men.”
Edgar S. “Ed” Wheelan, another American cartoonist, likewise drew inspiration from Barbara when crafting Minute Movies, a beloved comic strip parody of silent films, throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Endowing one of the strip’s star players with Barbara’s dark tresses, graceful profile, heavily lined eyes, “piquant expression,” and alluring elegance, Wheelan christened her “Lotta Talent.”
Photo collage: Daisy Mae (top), Lotta Talent (lower left), and Barbara (lower right)