When I was going through my retro review for the Skipper annual I picked up, I was reminded of how a lot of the true story articles were put together by D C Thomson and this was due to the article All In A Mountie’s Day.
This article was about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) manhunt to track down and capture Albert Johnson, a man who had killed at least one Mountie and sparked one of the first manhunts to involve aerial support due to the vastness of the North West Territories and the ability of a determined man to be able to hide almost anywhere if he was able to survive the sub zero temperatures that could plunge to 40 below freezing.
If this is perking your interest, there is a great radio programme on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s website that gives you a lot more detail. But what really got me thinking was that I had never heard of the Mad Trapper of Rat River until I had picked up this book and it reminded me of how fickle fame is as this is something that I would never have heard of if it had not been for my interest in comics.
And this move smoothly into my next point. All us good people over on the Comics UK website have been trying to figure out who the famous people in this internal illustration from the 1982 Beano Annual and it has been slowly winding us all up.
Now this is the internal pages from the rear of the book and we are all fairly agreed that the four caricatures are Ken Dodd, Kate Bush, John Cleese and Jimmy Tarbuck. If I need to tell you who the Beano characters are then go to the bottom of the class and put on your dunce’s cap as they are Billy Whizz, Minnie The Minx, Paw Bear from the Three Bears, Rodger The Dodger, Lord Snooty, Rosie and Fatty from Pup Parade.
However, when we get to the front of the book there is a significant issue in that we cannot agree who the blonde runner is with the gold medal.
When it comes to the other famous faces, it is easy to see that it is The Two Ronnies, Henry Cooper and a youthful Bruce Forsyth. Now if anyone wants to throw in a guess, it would be appreciated.
And for those who want me to help them out by naming the characters, we have Dennis The Menace and his Abyssinian Tripehound Gnasher, Walter The Softy, Smiffy from Pup Parade not to mention the Headmaster, the Janitor and Teacher from Bash Street and that is the infamous Class II B on the podium. And we also have Little Plum, Snitch or is it Snatch from Lord Snooty along with Bones and Wiggy from Pup Parade.
However both point to how transitory fame is as almost anyone in 1981 and 1982 would have been able to name the lady in question. I know that I used to be able to, but with the passage of time, that fame has all but disappeared. It makes me wonder how much longer many of the things that are considered to be self evident today will gradually disappear from our collective memories.
If I were better educated, I would make a better point about how everyone was going to get their 15 minutes of fame and whether we would wonder if it was all worthwhile when we have Celebrity shows where we celebrate people for the simple act of being famous, but as I am merely me, I ask that people think about it and advise this humble fan of comics what their thoughts are on the transitory nature of fame.