Contrary Mary could be as stubborn as a mule when she wanted to
get her own way, and for good reason... Mary was a mule. 'You Can't
Play a Joke - On Mary the Moke' was the sub-heading to Mary's six
panel strip in the very first Beano, and it was true. Mary was
smarter than any mule - in fact she regularly proved she was no ass
- because whatever the situation, there was always a point where
the word 'IDEA' would light up over Mary's head and she would
follow that idea through to get results.
Mary's artist, Roland Davies, had a lot of experience with four
legged funnies, having drawn a newspaper comic strip about a
carthorse, 'Come On, Steve!' prior to his Beano work. In fact,
there was more horseplay from Davies in that first Beano, as
'Whoopee Hank, The Slap-Dash Sheriff' rode out in hot pursuit of a
couple of crooks in his own full page strip.
Mary returned to the pages of The Beano when she became a member
of Lord Snooty's gang in 1950.