'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
Alternatively, Wally is another manifestation of you, of me, of
Just like Wally, all of us suffer from unfortunate ailments, conditions,
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,
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
In the end, though, Wally is surely Raymond Briggs. The book's final
of young Wally with his proud loving parents bears remarkable similarities
earlier depictions of the author's parents, Ethel and Ernest Briggs,
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,
'Unlucky Wally - Twenty Years On' exploring Wally Burke's mid-life