Monday 4 August 2014
PANEL-BY-PANEL - STEADFAST McSTAUNCH...
STEADFAST McSTAUNCH was originally a dog in KNOCK-OUT comic back in the 1950s. Then, in 1969, BOB PAYNTER, the editor of the embryonic WHIZZER & CHIPS, asked DENIS GIFFORD to revive the character - but as a human. "Children don't like animals in comics" Denis once claimed Bob had told him as the reason for the species-change, though that doesn't quite explain SLIPPY or GINGER'S TUM in the same comic.
I assume Bob must've meant only that kids weren't keen on strips with animals dressed as humans, otherwise MOWSER, DESERT FOX, MOOSE, The CROWS, and a host of other strips wouldn't have graced IPC/FLEETWAY periodicals for decades. However, let's not forget that GUS GORILLA dressed like a human and was quite popular with readers.
(And that's not counting characters like BIFFO The BEAR, KORKY The CAT, The 3 BEARS, BIG EGGO, and loads more in the best-selling D.C. THOMSON titles.)
Steadfast survived in his own strip for the first 11 issues of W&C, before becoming the host of a joke page, something I always regretted as the little jester was a firm favourite of mine. Anyway, here's the last strip from the pages of Whizzer & Chips #11, December 27th 1969.
Update: Reader GEORGE SHIERS originally allowed me to use the published page from W&C #11 on his site devoted to the comic (here), but I've now replaced the strip with a scan from my own personal copy of the issue, having finally managed to track one down.
Posted by Kid at Monday, August 04, 2014