Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Ya Dopey Mongrel!

We've had a request for more from Footrot Flats, Murray Ball's great strip from New Zealand set on a sheep farm, and, as I always do requests, here we go. Ready Wal'?

Footrot Flats was both New Zealand's & Australia's biggest newspaper strip, running from 1975 to 1994, though the unpublished strips continued to be printed in book collections up until 2000. There are, in fact, a staggering 40 Footrot books available. Ball based it on his own life on the farm, and the lead character of The Dog was based on his own border collie, Finn. There are soft toys, an animated movie ( which I'd completely forgotten I'd seen ), a stage musical and even a theme park!

Ball apparently voluntarily gave up the strip, after the death of Finn, though, bizarrely, there are suggestions that he stopped the strip as a protest against then current New Zealand politics. Whatever, it's still a classic, so here's some more, including scenes with King-Of-The-Farmyard Horse the cat, a feline who makes Frank Castle look like a calm & reasonable character.

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