Thursday, October 31, 2013
Biffo's Halloween Turnip
The celebration of Halloween as a commercial venture is relatively new to the UK, only really taking hold over the last 20 years or so. These days you'll find a whole aisle in supermarkets taken up with Halloween merchandise. This wasn't the case years ago, and Halloween was a very low key affair. All you needed was a turnip and a piece of string.
Comics didn't celebrate Halloween at all back in the 1960s but there would sometimes be one or two strips at the end of October that would touch upon it. Here's the cover to The Beano No.1319 (October 28th 1967) by the great Dudley D. Watkins showing Biffo the Bear and his pals and their 'turnip lanterns'. Yes, in Britain it was the tradition for turnips to be carved out, not pumpkins! So, if you can't get hold of a pumpkin today, or the shops are charging too much, buy a cheap turnip instead and revive the old tradition.
(Yes, that's the actual copy I had 46 years ago. I had The Beano reserved at my newsagent every week, which is why he wrote my name on the top.)