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General Jumbo

General Jumbo

Fact File

Started:
1953
Finished:
1975

Alfie Johnson of Dinchester - nicknamed 'Jumbo' because of his stocky build - rescued boffin, Professor Carter, from being run over by a speeding bus. Impressed by the youngster's pluck and bravery, the professor took Jumbo on as his assistant - a terrific job, as it involved testing out the prof's radio-controlled army, navy and airforce of miniaturised models, earning him the title 'General Jumbo'.

Jumbo5

With his wrist-mounted radio control panel, Jumbo could send the mini troops through their paces, and many a small time crook came a cropper thanks to these mechanical marvels. At later dates, Jumbo would join the professor on a world tour, sign up with Big Bill Bronco's Circus troupe, trade in his miniature models for giant counterparts, and swap his general's cap for naval insignia, becoming 'Admiral Jumbo' for the strips 1971 run.

Paddy Brennan was the original artist on Jumbo's adventures, but over the years he was joined by John Nichol, Dave Sutherland, and Sandy Calder, who began the last of Jumbo's regular strips in 1974, at a time when straight forward adventure stories had been replaced by more humour-based strips in The Beano.

Jumbo 1

But Jumbo's army wasn't completely demobbed, as a run of strips appeared in 'Nutty' in 1980-81, followed by a new set of adventures in boys' action comic 'Buddy', which launched in 1981. Since then, the troops have reassembled for a one-off appearance in The Beano and subsequent annual strips drawn by Keith Robson, as well as making an appearance, alongside tennis aces Tim Henman and Roger Federer, in 2005's Beano Action Special.

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  1. laurenmichelle
    laurenmichelleWed 12 January 2011 at 9:49PM

    it's a shame that it is only in the beano annuals now boo hoo

  2. Webguy
    WebguyMon 13 December 2010 at 4:13PM

    @ Digifiend,

    You're right, there was a run of new Jumbo strips in 'Buddy' after the run in 'Nutty'. And, yes, right again, it wasn't 'THE Nutty', it was just 'Nutty' - funnily enough, everyone round the offices calls it 'The Nutty', including people who worked on it, and you just get used to calling it that after a few decades! We'll change the article to fix this. Thanks for letting us know!

    @Sam,

    The last strip began in '74 but lasted into '75. We'll fix this to make this clearer.

    Hopefully we've not made too many mistakes. When you have over 3,500 issues to go through, we might slip up some times! As long as eagle-eyed readers let us know when we've goofed - as well as sharing some memories of their own about stories and characters - we hope to get the facts right AND turn The Beano Retro site into a really interesting catalogue of classic comic characters!

  3. Digifiend
    DigifiendTue 16 November 2010 at 10:56PM

    Wasn't it Buddy which had the new run of General Jumbo in the 80s? I thought Nutty (which wasn't "The" Nutty) had reprints.

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