It's long been known that Beano kid characters don't like taking
baths, or even washing their necks - Wilfrid of The Bash
Street Kids hasn't washed his neck in years... er... we think.
But there was one Beano star who took that hatred of washing
further than any other - Smudge!
Smudge wasn't just grubby
and untidy, he LOVED a mess! He wasn't afraid to get mucked into
anything for a bit of fun, or into muck for that matter. This led
to a battle of wits between him and his mum, who would do anything
to keep her son clean for a change. And sometimes Mum was prepared
to fight dirty to do it.
Smudge was the first Beano
story for Lancastrian artist John K. Geering. A veteran of strips
like Puss 'n' Boots for 'The Sparky', John's Beano debut coincided
with the launch of Bananaman, then a star of 'Nutty' before finding
a permanent home in 'The Dandy'. Smudge was to be just the first of
many stories John would go on to draw for The Beano - with Number
13 and Dean's Dino to follow - before his death in 1999.
wasn't the first time a story titled 'Smudge' had appeared in the
comics, as there had been a girl character by that name in 'The
Dandy' in the late 40s. While the previous Smudge might have been a
bit of a tomboy, it's doubtful she would have approved of her
namesake's dirty deeds.