There hasn’t been a Wallace & Gromit animation since 2008’s A Matter of Loaf and Death movie, and yet even after 5 years off our screens (not counting the repeats that TV law commands must be shown every Bank Holiday), the man and dog duo are as popular as ever with kids and adults – as was demonstrated earlier this month when an auction of 81 Gromit statues in Bristol raised £2.3million for charity.
But for those who can’t afford a giant dog, there’s Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Newspaper Strips Collection, which collects 312 of the three-panel strips of Wallace & Gromit’s adventures – amounting to 52 self-contained stories – as serialised daily in The Sun newspaper.
They’re short and amusing tales of bonkers inventions and mechanical malfunctions, as the two get up to such japes as stopping a runaway cheese in a Dambusters parody (‘The Edam-Busters’), running a limo service, and foiling a monkey who’s cheating at conkers. There’s even the return of penguin criminal mastermind, Feathers McGraw, using a variety of hilarious disguises similar to his rubber glove in order to pass himself off as other animals.
Each story is packed with jokes and puns so delightfully cheesy (in every sense of the word), that you could spread them on a cracker with a dab of chutney. ‘Gouda grief!’ you’ll exclaim as you read, ‘I Camembert anymore of these Brie-lly terrible puns!’, but you’ll still find yourself turning the page to see what the next wacky adventure will entail. And though each story is brief the small gang of writers and artists creating the strips have captured the full flavour and spirit of the films perfectly.
A perfect gift for young and old fans of Wallace & Gromit (Christmas is just round the corner…), you don’t have to be a fan of cheese like Wallace, but you’d have to be crackers not to consider buying it.