Sunday, 1 March 2015

HERE, HAVE SOME GINGER...



GINGER from THE BEEZER comic always struck me as the
'English' equivalent of OOR WULLIE from The Sunday Post.
Both were published by D.C. Thomson and drawn by DUDLEY
DEXTER WATKINS, but whereas Wullie was distinctly Scottish,
Ginger wasn't geographically-confined to any one area of Britain.

Dudley D. Watkins was one of those artists that made drawing
look easy, pencilling out 'sausage' figures and inking in the detail
as he went along - essentially doing the actual drawing with a pen
or brush.  He was a complete natural, and no artist since has drawn
any of his strips with the same skill, style or verve as he himself,
with the only exceptions being the late CHARLES GRIGG
and the mighty KEN H. HARRISON.

However, don't take my word for it.  Here are four Ginger
strips drawn by D.D. Watkins to demonstrate precisely what
I'm talking about.  Superb stuff indeed!  Enjoy!



26 comments:

John Pitt said...

Brilliant stuff, Kid. Yeah, if you take the colour out of him in those corner frames, he IS Oor Wullie!
I actually learnt to read with a Ginger strip from a Beezer annual.
Yep, Ginger taught me to read!

Kid said...

Strangely, I don't remember ever NOT being able to read. Funny, that.

baab said...

Wonderful stuff.

'I don't remember ever NOT being able to read.'
Now that is an interesting concept.

Ditto.

Kid said...

It either means I've got a lousy memory or I was a child prodigy - I wonder which?

Colin Jones said...

My father always said that he taught me to read before I started school - I don't remember if that's true or not. In my mind The Beezer and The Topper are interchangeable as I was reading both every week from about 1971 till I discovered Marvel in late '74. My favourite character was Nick Kelly but I don't know which comic he was in.

Colin Jones said...

By the way, talking of ginger - ginger cake and ginger biscuits are lovely but ginger marmalade is foul, one of the worst things I've ever tasted !

Kid said...

Nick Kelly (and his assistant Cedric) was in the Topper, CJ. The strip was called Send For Kelly (for most of its run anyway) and was drawn by George Martin. In Scotland, we tend to refer to all fizzy drinks as 'ginger' - as in "Run down to the shops and get me a bottle of ginger." "What kind?" was the inevitable reply.

moonmando said...

Loved the Topper and the Beezer as a kid growing up in the sixties. Fond memories of lying in front of the fire with both comics spread out in front of me.They were easier to read that way as they were both at one time,if I remember rightly,in broad sheet form. Funnily enough though,I never made the connection between Oor Wullie and Ginger. Looking back now though it is pretty obvious.
I never was the brightest kid on the block.

Kid said...

They may have seemed broadsheet to a small boy, Moony, but they were actually tabloid-sized, similar to the Daily Record and similar newspapers. You should have bought The Best of The Beezer and The Topper Annuals, which were on sale at Christmas.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Great stuff , I loved Dudley Watkins art on anything he drew but Ginger and Oor Wullie were my favourites he just made it look so easy no matter what he drew - I recall asking for a bottle of Irn Brun when I was in a newsagent in England (Blackpool) around 1971 and being told I would have to go to a hardware shop for that, so I said it wasnt a hardware item its "ginger I want" I got a vacant look back so next I said "er well in that case can I just have a bottle of lemonade please" (ie a clear bottle of ginger/pop) only to be asked "ok what flavour of lemondade do you want" (they/he called it "orange lemondade" etc) talk about a country divided by the same language - saying that when I gave him a Clydesdale Bank Scottish pound note to pay for it he really went dolally at me lol!

Kid said...

I sometimes think that some English people enjoy ripping the p*ss out of we Scts by pretending not to understand us, McScotty. Whether it's our terminology or our accents, they always plead incomprehension at what we're asking for. When I used to go down to London every week, I slowed down my speech and made sure I enunciated every word extremely precisely. Guess what? Some people still made out they couldn't understand what I was saying.

Colin Jones said...

I've never heard of orange lemonade before !! All this talk of pop and ginger made me think of ginger ale which is also very nice. I don't remember my father saying that people couldn't understand his Scottish accent but it happens to other accents too - some people in the south of England claim they can't understand Geordie accents or the accents on Coronation Street. Some people complain about too many regional accents on the BBC - they seem to forget that everybody in Britain has to pay the licence fee and we don't only want to hear the Queen's English from the Home Counties. Those kind of people are just stupid, stuck-up bourgeois snobs though.

Kid said...

What McScotty is referring to, I believe, CJ, is that some people (Scots included) use the word 'lemonade' in a generic way for all soft drinks (in the same way as 'ginger'), so they'll say "Get me a bottle of orange lemonade", etc.

On the subject of accents, I prefer to hear TV presenters (not actors playing a regional part, obviously) speak the 'Queen's English' as it just sounds better. So, for example, John Noakes may have had an accent on Blue Peter, but it didn't come across as a comedic caricature of a Yorkshireman. I certainly don't regard myself as a stupid, stuck-up bourgeois snob 'though.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I always refer to soft drinks as 'pop' - as kids we'd say 'bottle of pop' or 'pop man' (the man who came around in a van selling bottles of pop - my favourite was Dandelion & Burdock). And you've misunderstood what I meant about accents - I'm certainly not opposed to speaking properly and clearly but the 'bourgeois snobs' I was referring to think the BBC belongs to the South East and only 'the right sort of people' should be on it. I was listening to 'Feedback' on Radio 4 a couple of years ago and a certain stuck-up b*tch complained there were too many Scottish accents on Radio 4 - do you agree with that ??!! The problem with people like her is that they still think it's the 1950s.

Colin Jones said...

By the way, one thing that really bugs me on Radio 4 is the way EVERYBODY pronounces 'room' as 'rum' - even the presenters you know are not posh say it so I can only assume they are taught to speak in a certain way before they are allowed on air.

Kid said...

I actually don't care whether or not I hear Scottish accents on the radio or TV - it's not an issue for me. Just so long as the presenter speaks properly and can be clearly understood, that'll do for me. I'm not into this 'positive discrimination' malarkey - so that absolutely every kind of minority is represented or has a 'voice' - I think that's all a lot of p*sh. Personally, I liked the 1950s. The world's gone to hell since then.

As for pronunciation, former PM John Major says 'wunt' instead of 'want', and a lot of presenters say 'drawring' instead of 'drawing' - we all have our little ways of speaking, I suppose.

Colin Jones said...

I suppose you'd like the radio presenters to wear bow ties and dinner jackets too, Kid ? Sorry, but everybody has to pay the licence fee and it's only right we hear a variety of voices, I don't see it as positive discrimination just more reflective of society - it doesn't mean society has to go downhill because of it. When radio started only posh voices were allowed on it but now they wouldn't let you on air with a plummy accent. Those early radio voices sound utterly ridiculous now - I've seen a clip of the first BBC TV broadcast from 1936 where a frightfully posh woman in a ballgown says "We are coming to yoo from Elexendra Pelace" - even the Queen doesn't speak like that now.

Kid said...

You're shifting the goalposts, CJ. I've already said that I'm NOT against accents ('though I don't insist on them), only that the presenter is well-spoken. However, regarding the first BBC TV broadcast, only posh people could afford TVs back then, so it's hardly surprising that the presenters reflected that. To insist that TV reflects society is what leads to programmes about minorities that nobody's interested in. Gaelic, anyone? As long as I can understand presenters and they don't come across as comedy caricatures, I don't care what their background is, just as long as they can do the job well. Inverted snobbery is just as bad as the type you seek to condemn, CJ. And yes, let's have more bow ties - used to wear one myself when I was a kid.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, we are really saying the same thing - I want people to speak properly too but there's nothing wrong with a slight accent. My criticism was of the sort of people who were complaining they couldn't understand your accent even though you were speaking clearly - and I've seen you speaking on YouTube and I understood every word perfectly (I thought you sounded a bit like Midge Ure by the way). I detest the sort of petty-bourgeois snobs who live in the South East of England and think James Naughtie or John Humphreys shouldn't be on the BBC because they're not from the Home Counties. By the way, your criticism of Gaelic made me chuckle as I once asked my father if he felt less Scottish because he couldn't speak Gaelic - he looked at me like I was half-witted.

Kid said...

I actually think John Humphries is an excellent broadcaster, so I'm with you on that one, CJ. Midge Ure? Someone once said I looked like him back in the early '80s, but I wasn't that flattered, to be honest. I've got all my hair and I'm a lot taller than him.

John Pitt said...

I tell you what made ME cringe! - the other night on the Brits, -both Ant AND Dec were (falsely) saying, "....sponsored by MARSTERcard...."!!
Ah sez to wur lass, "What's a maRstercard, pet? They divn't tark like that! They gans doon sooth an' they comes back, tarkin' posh! Ah didn't knah!"
And Ant & Dec, if you're reading this, ( as I know they're fans ), it's fecking "MASTER" card, without the extra "R"! - Or we winner let yooze back up here, reet?

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Sadly Colin not all petty,bourgeois snobs live in the South East of England , you should hear the way some folk from Morningdside (Edinburgh) and Kelvingrove (Glasgow)areas go on. Personally I like a wee accent in my TV presenters etc (no matter where they are from)my favourites being Scottish TV weather lady Judith Ralston and Countdown babe Rachel Riley although that may be due to more than their accents ! - Kid idea for a new "Babe" Judith Ralston the wider UK should be aware of her.

Dunsade Dave said...

I think my user name gives away what my favourite type of ginger was...

There's a (probably apocryphal( story about a Glasgow man being a witness in court and saying he didn't see the alleged crime because he'd gone to the shops 'to get ginger and crisps', and the posh lawyer replied 'Ginger and Chris - can we have these gentlemen's full names?'

Kid said...

JP, I'd really hate to hear a BBC newsreader or presenter talking like that - I don't even like some Scottish accents.

*****

McScotty, Judith will be making her debut in our Babe of the Day feature later this evening. (Better have your box of 'tummy wipes' handy.)

******

Good one, DD. I remember asking for some tomato sauce in a hotel restaurant in Portsmouth back in 1978 and I was brought some tartar sauce.

Dunsade Dave said...

Colin- I loved Nick Kelly too! One of my earliest memories of school is being in primary 1 and re-enacting the Kelly story from that year's Topper annual (1981, I think) in the playground. I can vividly remember looking up to the sky and saying 'airship crooks, Mr Kelly' while my pals, who clearly didn't read the Topper, the philistines, looked on in puzzlement.

Kid said...

I remember playing at Superman in my primary school playground and some other kids wanted to join in. I said they could be Superman robots, but despite my explanations, they insisted on walking around with stiff arms and legs in what they imagined was a robotic fashion. Not regular readers of Superman comics, I guess.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...