Georgie Goosegog

goosegog
[goo z-gog]
noun, British Dialect
1.
gooseberry.
Origin
1815-25; goose + gog (< ?)

Georgie Goosegog. Artwork by Cyril Cowell, Amex Co. Ltd, London and Letchworth, n.d. [c.1947]. Comic book, printed in colour, 8 pages, size: 240 x 179mm.

georgie01[Please click on the pictures to enjoy them enlarged]

Cyril Cowell (1888-1967) was born in Canterbury, Kent. He was working as an illustrator by 1911. He drew for nursery comics from the 1920s to the 50s, including Fairyland Tales (1924-), Children’s Own Sunday Pictorial (1933-1934), Pip and Squeak Annual (1933), Children’s Holiday Fun (1937-1940) and Mickey Mouse Weekly (1950s). In the 1940s he drew the weekly gardening strip Adam the Gardener, written by Morley Adams, for the Sunday Express. He also illustrated children’s books, including some by Enid Blyton. He specialised in drawing animals and the natural world.

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Georgie Goosegog’s vegetable friends play a trick on Georgie, filling his irritating whistle with ink. But Georgie comes to their rescue later, as he frightens off marauding caterpillars with the spray from his whistle.

The fairly large pages of this comic, with just one picture panel per page, allow the artwork to breathe, a refreshing change from the usual multiple panels being squeezed onto a page. The ‘Competitive Creepy Crawlies’ shown here bring to mind the Fleischer Studios’ animated feature Mr Bug Goes to Town, of about the same period. Cowell seemed especially fond of drawing squirrels, but for me the bright-eyed anthropomorphic vegetables seen in Georgie Goosegog are much more fun than humanised animals – though there’s something rather disturbing about fruity Georgie’s pink human ears, appendages that the veggies seem able to do without. As does Georgie himself, in the final panel. Which is a bit weird. Oh yes, and Cyril – who named the Carrot after himself – forgot to colour in Georgie’s sleeves in the penultimate scene. Seven of the eight panels are shown here.

Georgie05Click on pictures to enjoy – but beware, the caterpillar attack is terrifying when enlarged.

Rarer than Action Comics No.1, an example of which fetched 3.2m dollars on Ebay the other day. And the artwork’s better, too. Microforms from a copy in the Bodleian are kept in some institutional libraries, but you’d be hard pressed to find another copy to buy, at any price.

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Condition: generally good, with minor edge damage. The comic has been folded in half vertically. This barely detracts, being most evident on the back page, where there is some wear in that area.

Price: £12.00 plus postage                 s-herbert@easynet.co.uk