COMIC REVIEW: Wallace and Gromit – The Complete Newspaper Comic Strip Collection Vol 1: 2010-2011


All the Cheese & Trousers in One Book, Gromit!

Years & years ago, I was a sales engineer for an audio-visual electronics company in Sherborne, Dorset, selling all sorts of professional A-V equipment in the South-West UK region. One of customers, Aardman Animation, was an animation start-up in the Bristol area…. little did I know…

It’s hard to believe that Wallace & Gromit have been on our screens for nearly 25 years now, and this excellent compilation captures the plasticine pair in a different medium – off-the-page cartoons from your family-loving Sun newspaper! According to the Foreword by Nick Park, the pair’s creator was a big fan of comics, newspaper strips and those under-the-Christmas staples – the Christmas Annuals, and so this book ingeniously incorporates all three! It’s essentially a collection of the best of the daily strips that ran in The Sun; the format was pretty simple: a six strip storyline (published Mon-Sat), with each strip a stand-alone gag in the traditional format (three panels: Set-up, Delivery, Punchline!)

I soak tested this on my two sons, and its family friendly pages are full of what we love about these two: all the established characters, weird science, weirder inventions and corny wise-cracks – you can almost hear Peter Sallis’ voice coming off the pages amongst the cheese & trousers.

The titles of each weekly story are equally inventive: ‘The Tooth Hurts’, ‘Hear Muffs’, ‘Knowing Bee, Knowing You’, ‘Jurassic Lark’‘Raiders of the Lost Bark’, ‘Life’s a Beach’, ‘The Edam Busters’, ‘It Had to be Zoo’, ‘A Fridge Too Far’, ‘Sweet Dreams are made of Cheese’, and ‘Hook, Line and Stinker’. The cartoons are also interspersed with several double-page spread photo pin-ups taken from the original animated features.

There’s also plenty of delightful in-jokes scattered throughout the strips such as Gromit’s reading habits: The Dog Delusion by Richard Pawkins, Paws by Peter Barkly, Cracking Cakes by Nigella Pawson or On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwinalot.

If you (or your parents) were one of those who deliberately avoided the strip because of the paper which it appeared in, you no longer have that excuse and can now consider this annual collection a “must have” for your family collection.

Source: Titan Books

Rating: 4/5

Reporter: SilverFox

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