Depending upon your view, this little spiky haired character sitting on his bucket is either a part of our Scottish cultural heritage or the sole reason folk in the USA and elsewhere sometimes imagine that we all live in caves and eat haggis three times a day except on Sundays when we chase sheep around the place just for the devil of it!
“Oor Wullie”, for those not in the know, is a Scottish comic strip. It’s published in the Sunday Post, a Scottish newspaper printed in Dundee and seemingly somehow associated with journalism.
With a circulation of 242,555 in 2012, which is just about what the Observer and Sunday Mail record sales wise, the newspaper has significant market penetration although there are rumours that most readers buy the paper and immediately send it abroad to ex-pats without either reading or indeed censoring the content.
Famed for columns about aches and pains, kilt races and lost pets it’s a sort of National Enquirer without the blood which seems to satisfy those who don’t really want to be bothered with news or current affairs.
The cartoon features a character called Wullie, whose trademarks are spiky hair, dungarees and an upturned bucket, which he often uses as a seat. The artistic style settled down around 1940 and has changed little since. A frequent tagline reads, “Oor Wullie! Your Wullie! A’body’s Wullie” with probably no sexual innuendo intended.
Mind you, after that Cardinal O’Brien fiasco, Wullie’s head might just be on the chopping block next!