Willy-Nilly

Today’s Zippy, with the recurrent theme of nostalgia for dead tree media:

Much to appreciate here, including “the artist known as William Shakespeare” (featuring Baby Huey) and Latvia invading New Jersey (both Baby Huey and Latvia appear every so often in Zippy the Pinhead). And in the last panel, a dead tree comic strip called Willy-Nilly.

This being a Bill Griffith cartoon, there really was such a comic strip. Two, in fact, one American, one British (and now there is a Willy Nilly webcomic, but that wouldn’t do for these Pinheads).

From a DC comics guide:

“Willy Nilly” was an “Archie”-like teen hero in the late 1940s and early 1950s. (He appeared in Sensation Comics and A Date With Judy.) First Appearance: Sensation Comics #64 (April 1947)

Then in the UK, later:

Willy Nilly is a comic strip in The Beezer and BeanoMAX about a boy with wandering feet. [wandering feet?] The strip first appeared in around 1993, and continued in the later Beezer annuals. The strip was brought back in 2011 in BeanoMAX with more modern stuff in it. (Wikipedia link)

The Beezer

(called The Beezer and Topper for the last 3 years of publication) was a British comic that ran from (issues dates) 21 January 1956 to 21 August 1993. Like its sister comic, The Topper, The Beezer was an A3 (tabloid) publication, twice as big as most other comics. It shrank to A4 paper size in 1981. (Wikipedia link)

The BeanoMAX

was a monthly British comic published by D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd It was a spin-off of the UK comic, The Beano. (Wikipedia link)

All these comics were compendia of different strips (among them Willy Nilly) from a variety of creators.

I haven’t found images of either of these Willy Nilly strips that would reproduce at all well here.

And on the adverb willy-nilly, from NOAD2:

1 whether one likes it or not: he would be forced to collaborate willy-nilly.

2 without direction or planning; haphazardly: politicians expanded spending programs willy-nilly.

ORIGIN early 17th cent.: later spelling of will I, nill I ‘I am willing, I am unwilling.’

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