"At the south end of Whatalow Valley lies the small but important Kingdom of Saucerville. . . ."The story was originally written for the September 1941 issue of KING COMICS, No. 65. Thompson edited this comic book series from the mid 1930s until the late 1940s, as well as editing ACE COMICS and MAGIC COMICS, all for the David McKay publishing company. KING COMICS was a comic strip compilation book, reprinting popular newspaper strips. This issue of KING includes "The Lone Ranger," Popeye's "Thimble Theatre," "Red Men," "Bringing Up Father," "Private Buck," "The Phantom," "Sappo," "Barney Baxter in the Air," "Flash Gordon," "Brick Bradford," "Little Annie Rooney," "Mandrake the Magician," "Sergeant Pat of Radio Patrol," "Sentinel Louie," and "Henry." It was a pretty full book!
Ruth Plumly Thompson gave the comic a personality by writing a full-page Letter to the Readers on the inside front cover, under the guise of Jo King (a name she also used for the King of the Gillikins!) The whole tone of these "letters" is pure Thompson. They're fun, a little goofy, and often very surreal. She's created a universe where all the comic strip characters live in the same neighborhood and interrelate with each other when they're not having adventures. She describes parties where the Lone Ranger and Henry and Popeye all come over for cake and ice cream! As in the Oz books, she encouraged the readers to correspond with her. She ran drawing and poetry contests, she wrote a "Pet Post" column under the byline "Arty" (her initials R. and T.) and she seemed to have a lot of fun.
But her most enduring contribution (and the real reason she was on staff) was the two page story she wrote for almost every issue. To get the cheapest postal rates, a comic book needed to have at least two pages of "text." So Thompson wrote a short story for nearly every issue. Sometimes the stories were standalone tales; other times she would serialize novels. Her 1936 fairytale book, King Kojo, was originally serialized in KING COMICS.
So, that's a little background on a little-known part of Ruth Plumly Thopmpson's career and where this month's Tiger Tale came from.