The Oojah Annual 1937

This is the first of three annuals which break from the style of previous 1930s Oojah annuals. From 1937 onwards there are fewer activities and more Oojah themed stories througout. In this case, 1937, the main story, ‘Uncle Oojah’s Mystery Gift’, is accompanied by half a dozen shorter Oojah related stories, several comic strips and some single page items, all featuring Oojah or his retinue.

We spend some time at the seaside with the crew, meet Woeful Walrus again, wonder once more at the inability of anyone in Oojahland to take control of a motor car without crashing it into something and receive a lesson in ‘drawing’.

In the main story, King Dingo brings Uncle Oojah a special gift which turns out to be a lot more trouble than either of them could have anticipated. Jerrywangle and Snooker have their work cut out keeping Oojah out of danger, even with the help of Lord Lion and the gorilla guards. Eventually the mystery is resolved but not before an invasion by King Dingo’s dwarf army and an epic court room drama. This is a great story and an improvement on some of the stories of the early 1930s. It is enhanced with some excellent colour plates and pen and ink drawings from H. M. Talintyre who seems to have really hit his form in these later 1930s annuals. They are still not quite as fluid, surreal and awe-inspiring as Thomas Maybank’s earlier illustrations but very good nonetheless. The physical quality of these three years, 1937 to 1939, is also better than during the rest of the decade and the pages are easier to open and handle without damage.

In other stories Lord Lion loses his grip at the fair, Baby Binky’s white mice have a great day out sailing and Jerrywangle becomes a public broadcaster. We meet Professor Foozle, this time up a tree, and are introduced to several other animals.

You can also have fun with boiled eggs at breakfast time.