Flook by Wally Fawkes Trog
Flook was a cartoon strip which ran from 1949 to 1984 in the Daily Mail. It was drawn by Wally Fawkes, who signed the strips as "Trog". The central characters were a young boy called Rufus and his magical animal friend, Flook. According to the strip 'The Coming of Flook', which forms part of the cartoon book Rufus and Flook v. Moses Maggot, we learn that Flook, who vaguely resembled a furry pig walking on his hind legs, was a creature from the age of the dinosaurs whom Rufus, in a dream, rescued from cavemen and who then came back to waking reality with him. Flook was able to talk (in seven languages) and was blessed with a fine sense of irony with which to temper Rufus' innocence and enthusiasm. He was also able to change shape into all manner of objects, though not much was made of this power after the first couple of years of the strip. They inhabited a satirical and socially-perceptive fantasy world populated by larger-than-life characters, mostly bearing a striking resemblance to leading politicians and celebrities. Many of their adventures starred their principal adversaries, the villainous Moses Maggot and his sidekick the gaolbird Douglas Bodger, whose sister – the overweight teenage witch Lucretia Bodger, with her cat, Gobstopper – also appeared quite frequently, as did a mad retired colonel. Storylines were written by the singer and writer George Melly, the comedian Barry Took, the musician Humphrey Lyttelton and the film critic Barry Norman. Several book-length episodes and compilations were separately published, and the Daily Mail also marketed a Flook toy. The ironic and bohemian ethos of the strip became notably at variance with the conservatism of the Daily Mail, which finally discontinued, reportedly because the editor objected to its repeated jabs at the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. (though she is said to have enjoyed it). After it was dropped by the Mail, Flook ran in the Daily Mirror in 1984–85, scripted by Keith Waterhouse.