Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rufus and Flook Versus Moses Maggot

I've finally gotten my hands on a Rufus and Flook collection!
rufusflookVmoses001
I've been curious about this English daily strip since I read its intriguing entry in Maurice Horn's WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMICS. The cartoonist and jazz musician Wally Fawkes (using the pen name Trog) drew it from the 50s through the 80s, with various writers. According to what I've gleaned online, it was inspired in part by Barnaby and began as a whimsical mid-century "kid and magical pal" adventure strip. It grew to resemble Pogo in that it mixed humor with social and political commentary. Readers from the UK will please excuse my having to put everything in terms of American comics.

As for this book, which hails from the earlier period, it's pretty good! Eccentric characters having lighthearted fantastic adventures--not as dry and witty as Barnaby, but probably a better attention-grabber for kids. The drawing is pretty great in a style I can only call "British" (because it reminds me of other Brit comics I've seen--if anyone knows what specific tradition/influences Fawkes came out of, please post a comment and let me know!)

Mr. Fawkes recently retired from professional cartooning (he was an editorial cartoonist too).

Would folks be interested in scans of the entire book? I can post over a few weeks. Let me know after you get a taste!

Nice endpapers...

rufusflookVmoses002
rufusflookVmoses003


The collection starts with a collection of strips retelling how Rufus met Flook.

rufusflookVmoses005
rufusflookVmoses006

And now I'm a blogger!

24 comments:

David King said...

Wow! I'd like to see more of this stuff if you have time. That cover is beautiful.

I like seeing great UK / Euro stuff that never made it over here

Rod McKie said...

Hey Chris,


I have a fascinating little mini of Flook and the Peasants Revolt. Tiny little thing about 6"x2". I'll post some of it and send you a link.

Chris Duffy said...

Thanks, Rod!

K. Thor Jensen said...

Yes, please post more of this. I love the drawing style.

Osprey said...

Yes, please.

Dustin Harbin said...

HAW! "Now I am a barometer!"

How could anyone NOT want more of this bizarre weird comic. Reminds me some of Moomin.

Jurgen Wolff said...

Yes, more please!

Hurk said...

Please post more, i'd totally forgotten about Flook. My parents used to buy the 'Daily Mail' (though neither were Tories!?)when i was a kid and i used to read it everyday. Can't remember a thing about it but the design of Flook himself is unforgetable. It seems wierd that i can't find any old books, reprints or collections here in the UK.

Don Cox said...

There was a first book of reprints, probably strips 1 to 167, which I no longer have.

I do have the Moses Maggot story, as shown here (strips 168 to 285), "Rufus and Flook at School" (strips 522 to 697), "Flook by Trog" (1958, strips 2523 to 2574, and 2266 to to 2385); and "Flook Flook by Trog (1970, selected 60s strips).

All are rare. Most of the run has never been collected in book form. Unfortunately there is no UK equivalent to Fantagraphics or Checker.

Les Curtis said...

Hi,
Has anyone heard of a book called; "Rufus and Flook in Umbridge"? I had it for Christmas about 55 years ago. I have tried to trace it but no-one seems to know of it. it had a pale blueish-green cover with a line drawing on it. I would love to track a copy down.
Many thanks,
Les Curtis

David Coates said...

Flook was a well known daily strip in the Daily Mail newspaper from (I think) the late 40s until the 80s. It started out as a kids strip but gradually morphed into a fantasy/political strip that had its finger on the social and economic pulse, taking fun out of politicians of all persuasions. It was entertaining and inventive. The scrip was generally very strong and original and the drawings delightful, and I always remember reading it with anticipation in my parents copy of the Daily Mail. In fact I started cutting out the strips for about 8 years from the early 70s but I can't remember whatever happened to them!! There have been very few examples of the daily strips being published in book form. There were a couple of books published in the 50s, and in 1970 "Flook's Eye View of the Sixties" was published, which brings together a number of stories over that decade. Fascinating stuff! Shame that Associated Newspapers have never seen fit to publish the complete run in book form. It's a gem!

Dave W. said...

Hi Les,
The Daily Mail had several titles each year and although I only have one with a Flook story there were others I'm sure. This one has a balloon on the cover boards with various characters including Flook and Rufus and the text story is: 'Rufus and Flook in the County of Umbridge'. Its a 7 pager, illustrated by Trog. No date but Prince Charles picture has him at age 4 so I guess this was the 1953 Annual? - The Daily Mail Annual For Boys and Girls.There are several nice copies on eBay under Daily Mail Annual with blue/purple covers - the balloon image is also on the d/j. Hope that helps, best wishes, Dave

Les Curtis said...

Hi Dave W.
Sorry I have not thanked you before, I had forgotten about this!
(Me age...)
This is the clue which will enable me to solve the puzzle.
Very many thanks,
Les

Zoe Grace said...

We had a copy of the Daily Mail Children's Annual and that had the story of Rufus and Flook in the County of Umbridge and also one I think called, "The Mystery of the Missing Santa."

Zoe Grace said...

We had a copy of the Daily Mail Children's Annual and that had the story of Rufus and Flook in the County of Umbridge and also one I think called, "The Mystery of the Missing Santa."

flookster said...

I have an original Flook rubber toy. Anyone know where I can sell it?
Thanks
HG

flookster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flookster said...

I can email a picture of my Flook toy if anyone would like to see it...

Fierlants said...

I'd definitely like to see a scan of flookster's Flook toy.

f said...

Can't tell you how chuffed I was when I found this and was able, after so many years, to once again see pictures of the wonderful Flook, Rufus and Moses Maggot. I had this very same book and was greatly saddened when it became apparent my Mum had chucked it out. Admittedly it looked a bit tatty because it was so loved. I also had a rubber Flook toy but this went all sticky and I knew that he had to go! Heartbreaking!! Would dearly love to get hold of the book.

f said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Hamilton said...

very good drawings

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Warn said...

Would love as much of Flook as possible. I grew up with these in the 'Sunday Mail' (Adelaide, South Australia Sunday paper). I have a hard copy of 'Flook' by Trog ... Would like them all!