Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rupert Bear

This is going to be pretty inconsequential.

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).


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  2. Did we really need the ins and outs of the Cat's posterior?
    Aka pornographer Richard Desmond.

  3. Signs of insidious Disneyfication here. In E.H.Shepard's original drawings, no one - apart from Christopher Robin - wore anything in 100 Acre Naturist Park except, significantly, Piglet. One wonders what washing it was that Rabbit hung to dry on Pooh's rear quarters when stuck in the hole.

    Next week: The Mekon

  4. Am I being naïve, Chris? What's the significance of Piglet?

    I've always meant to look up the origins of Rupert Bear - at least his name, a cousin of mine having been the wife of Sir Rupert de la Bère. If that's a coincidence, it's rather a splendid one.

  5. (the cousin is a coincidence, I meant the similarity of names, obv. Sorry. I try to be brief and become obscure)

  6. Piglet? Surely it is he who hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows?

    And with his stripes (i.e. on his one-piece garment) we are healed?

  7. I forgot to mention that this wouldn't have been written without the solution to 1 across in the quick crossword that day.

    The Mekon was, I think, nude. I'll check it out.

    As regards Piglet, Chris, I bow to your superior theology.

    Z, it would seem that Sir Rupert is/was our near-contemporary? If so, what were his parents thinking of? Please provide dates.

  8. Correction! The Mekon wore a pretty cool T-shirt. It's hard to tell what he had on below the waist.
    Dan, Digby and Peabody, I'm confident, never got buff.

  9. We had some of the original Rupert Bear books - yellow covers and black and white pen drawings. He was fully clothed then too.

  10. No, it would have been the other way round. He was an MP & Lord Mayor in coronation year when he was about 60.

    Mig's comment reminds me of a scandalous cartoon (which I never saw) in the late 60s I think, headline being 'Rupert Bear having sex with a granny.'. Oz magazine I think? Was there a prosecution for obscenity? I'll google in the morning.