Pam’s Pictoram Photo Post: For those of you who follow on Kim’s Facebook page, you know I have a deep affection for the once hugely popular British comic strip Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. Admittedly, my fascination with the strip mystifies even Kim a bit, although he acknowledges the merit of the drawings. While best experienced today in the wonderful, robust Annuals, it was a daily strip that ran in Britain’s Daily Mirror from 1919-1956. It was the brain child of Bertram Lamb who took the persona of Uncle Dick and illustrated by A.B. Payne. It follows a family of (interspecies) animals – mom, Squeak, a penguin; dad, Pip, a dog; and Wilfred, their child, a rabbit.
The Annuals were issued from 1923-1939. In addition, Wilfred had his own, aimed at the younger set, for many years as well. Much to my extreme pleasure, the Annuals are chocked full of strips and are light on filler, puzzles and the like. They have limited color and a few full color illustrations in each. I own a short run of them. They are a bit pricey but can be found for somewhat less if one shops around and is patient. I am sure the Annuals will be a future post of their own some day.
I am still filling in the story of the doings of the Mirror however. There is evidence that models of the family home was created and photographed for postcards, which can be easily found. In addition, there seem to be performances, as photographed here. These appear to have been wildly popular. There are two very short films, live action, on Youtube that I have included here. I believe I have seen at least one more. Both of these show the family home, Mirror Grange, but the second has the live animals as well:
The merchandising was wonderful and sells very high today. (Hopefully a future post will show me owning all three stuffed animals!) The popularity cannot be underestimated – even war medals were named after the characters and the strip. Wilfred had a popular fan club of his own – the Mirror would send birthday cards to you on behalf of the animals.
While the strip’s stories are very simple, they are quirky and the characters drawn expressively. I include a sample page below – hopefully to beguile you with!