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Unlucky Wally


     author: Raymond Briggs
publisher: Hamish Hamilton
                 48 colour pages

'Wally Burke is always called Unlucky Wally.
 He is unlucky with his ears.
 He is unlucky with his teeth.
 He is unlucky with his legs.
 His nose is none too good either.'

And it's all downhill from their for Wally, who is surely the most unfortunate,
awkward, inhibited, unhealthy individual ever to have graced this earth.

Alternatively, Wally is another manifestation of  you, of me, of us all:

Just like Wally, all of us suffer from unfortunate  ailments, conditions, complaints,
inhibitions, illnesses, hypochondriac tendencies and disabilities - it's just that our
Wally seems to suffer  them all at once. Briggs' illustrations show him  to be
shortsighted, spotty, hairy, smelly,  infected, unfortunate, incapable, unable, foul,
 noxious, ill, and always - without exception -  unlucky.

Wally is Fungus The Bogeyman in human form,  too and Briggs seems to take
great glee in  running him through the mill of red-raw  hypochondria and
green-tinted disease.

In the end, though, Wally is surely Raymond  Briggs. The book's final image
of young Wally  with his proud loving parents bears remarkable  similarities with
earlier depictions of the author's  parents, Ethel and Ernest Briggs, upon whom
 the author also based Jim and Hilda Bloggs in  Gentleman Jim. Take a look at
the biography  page to see what I mean...

The author returned for another great dose of  self-ridicule in 1989, with
'Unlucky Wally -  Twenty Years On' exploring Wally Burke's mid-life years...


  all copyright belongs to Raymond Briggs and his publishers