A Pip, Squeak and Wilfred gem is currently being offered on eBay – a small booklet starring the Daily Mirror‘s long-running and once very popular characters on a short adventure, featuring a quite vicious penguin fight after Squeak misunderstands a conversation about who will be Queen of the May!
Offered by King’s Lynn-based seller Paws and Ponies, The Adventures of Pip, Squeak and Wilfred booklet, measuring about 4 x 7 cm, was published by Home Publicity Ltd., and while undated it’s probably from the early 1920s.
The small 12-page booklet was published as part of a series called Merry Miniatures, and illustrated by the strip’s co-creator, signing one of the illustrations as A. B. Payne.
The Daily Mirror strip Pip, Squeak and Wilfred is surely a classic example of a lost comic treasure – characters who had such a following they inspired the creation of three World War One medals, and their own fan club – in the 1920s.
Launched in 1919 and running in the Mirror through the 1920s and 30s, the strip was created and written by one of the paper’s journalists, Bertram J. Lamb (who signed himself as Uncle Dick), and beautifully drawn by the cartoonist Austin Bowen Payne (A.B. Payne).
The strip centred on the adventures of an orphaned family of animals and friends: the Father figure, Pip the dog; the Mother, Squeak, a penguin; and Wilfred the young child – a rabbit with very long ears, who all lived at “Mirror Grange”. (A book about this fictitious property, Mirror Grange, The book of the Daily Mirror’s house for Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, was published in 1929 and is a popular item among dolls house and model collectors).
The strip not only had a huge following, and its own club, but there was plenty of tie-in merchandise, too, and there are a lot of avid fans of the strip who are keen to collect it. This despite the fact that the characters haven’t featured in the Daily Mirror for decades. (As we noted previously here on downthetubes, sadly, a proposed revival in the 1990s by Tim Quinn and Nick Miller proved an unsuccessful pitch).
Paws and Ponies specialises in vintage and antique paper ephemera, such as postcards, greetings cards, photographs, magazines, booklets, guides and leaflets, advertising and travel related memorabilia, and second-hand books.