I don’t know why, and I’m wary of delving too deep – but I was instructed the other day to write about this Rupert. I think it was a ploy to distract me from the other one. I don’t really have much to say on the subject, to be honest. Comics weren’t big in our household when I was a child, and Rupert wasn’t even a character in the forbidden Beano or Dandy, never mind the permitted Eagle and Girl, neither of which as I remember were heavy on anthropomorphism. In fact I don’t think R. B. figured in any comics at all. It seems (from my exhaustive research, which is technically limited, like a high end BMW, by my attention span of 155 seconds per subject on Wikipedia) that he was a daily strip in the Express, which certainly never crossed the threshold.
And yet I had no trouble picturing him. Even before Rog kindly pointed me towards some visuals, that red sweater, those yellow and black chequered trews, that scarf and those bovver boots, it all sprang into sight. His mates were a pretty oddly clad bunch too. Looking at the pictures, I think they’re the Bullingdon Club in mufti – but at least they’re all clothed from neck to toe. Unlike some of their colleagues in toonworld:
· Bugs Bunny, Korky the Kat, Tom and Jerry are all nude, but don’t have genitals or, mostly, posterior cleavage.
· Mickey Mouse wears shorts, sometimes with braces, but is usually topless. American abroad. Minnie is a flapper.
· Donald Duck and, more worryingly, Winnie the Pooh, wear tops but are naked from the waist down, reminding me of certain German tourists in Fuerteventura.
· We won’t go into Fritz The Cat, if you don’t mind.
· And we will draw a veil over Tinkerbell’s famous flash too.
Incidentally, the collective for bears is ‘a sleuth’, which I don’t think Rupert was. That was Tintin, who was a human (of sorts).