14 NOVEMBER 1958, Page 31

Lucky Flook

Flook. By Trog. (Faber, 6s. 6d.) FLOOK, for the benefit of Express readers, is a small, round, presumably brown, presumably furry (he's certainly covered in something) animal, with limbs lopped like logs and a sawn-off snout_ The snout is magical, up to a point, and may be- come a coffee-pot, key or propeller when things get sticky. Most of the time he goes bare, apart from that fur• but when he does wear clothes he wears them like a gentleman. He is generally accompanied by a small boy, Rufus, who tends to striped sweat-shirts and looks like one of the more simpatico American child-actors: the strip used to be called after him, but Flook has falstaffed his way into the hearts of a nation notoriously fonder of animals than children and is now the unques- tioned eponymous hero. They are Pooh Bear and Christopher Robin seen through a wry prism, backwards—two never-never creatures loose in the here and now. Over the past nine years they have had a series of running battles with a monu- mental spiv, Bodger, got involved in a deb elope- ment, won a pub in a TV quiz, gone on a cruise, and sat on the outskirts of a hundred other peripeteia. They are drawn by a atnadian clarinet- tist, Wally Fawkes, with words variously supplied by Sir Compton Mackenzie, Humphrey Lyttelton and, currently, another jazzman. George Melly. Lacking space to be largely Freudian, I can only hint at the final dastardly mark of the Gentleman embodied in Flook : he is apparently of neuter gender. We have far fewer native comic-strips than the Americans, but, in an age where the eyes have it, skimming from the TV to the cereal packet to PhotoNews and back to the TV, . we shall have more if the papers are to survive, So a small but firm salute to Flook, our first, Educated Funny.