Jings! Crivens! and Help ma bob! It's Oor Wullie!
It occurs to me that over the past few years I've posted from American comics, French bande dessinée, Japanese manga and an English comic, but I've never actually posted a Scottish comic... As a proud Scot myself, this needs to be rectified!
But what to showcase? What epitomises a Scottish cartoon strip? Well, luckily a random visit to the clearance section of a local bookshop provided what I needed, a collection "Oor Wullie" strips.
"Oor Wullie" was created as a newspaper strip for DC Thompson's The Sunday Post in 1937 by an editor named RD Low, who used his son Ron as the model for our eponymous hero.
The other talent behind it was the wonderfully named Dudley D. Watkins who actually wrote and drew the strip, but more about him in a future post.
It has been running, uninterrupted weekly ever since (Though with a good chunk of reprints between the time of RD Low's death and the appointment of a replacement). In terms of hardcore investigative journalism, The Sunday Post is, politely, better compared to a sedated St Bernard than to say, a Rottweiler or bloodhound. It covers some national news, but is mostly homey, feelgood stories, recipes submitted by readers, and the like.
"Oor Wullie" (Our William) is a ten year old (well, around that age) living in an unnamed town which was sort of Glasgow, and sort of Dundee (60 years later it would be given the fictitous name Auchenshoogle), and was a lad of simple tastes, happy to wander the streets in his dungarees, hang around with his friends, Wee Eck, Fat Bob and Soapy Soutar, and was usually to be found sitting on his trademark upturned bucket at the start and end of each story.
Simple humour, some occasionally deft wordplay and a strong local accent were the order of the day. Originally he sounded a lot like he came from Dundee (Where DC Thompson, the print media giant) as in this example from 1942 highlights.
I'm tempted to hunt out the issue of Grant Morrison's JLA where the Injustice League attempt to understand the Glaswegian Mirror Master and Luthor says "let us be charitable and call it a brogue" but nah...
Since those days, his accent has become a little more generic, though just as hard for foreigners to understand at times.
A 99 is NOT a 69 gone wrong, but an ice cream cone with a chocolate flake stuck in it, the height of decadence in my youth, until the development of the choc ice! :)
Here are three more recent examples;
Gusher Hall - Usher Hall, a famous concert Hall in Glasgow. A mouthie is a mouth-organ, A "sook" is a suck-up "Blaw aboot yerself '" is to brag.
"Glaikit" = Clueless "Aykier" - Just say it aloud and guess the rest! :) "Haggis" - Look, if you have to ask, I'm not going to be the one to tell you, but we do feed a lot more of it to suckers tourists, than we eat ourselves! But it is rather good when prepared properly, and is at least a damnsight more honest about it's ingredients than your average sausage ever is.
To see more samples of Oor Wullie, and companion strip in The Sunday post; "The Broons", check here!