Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Bubble & Squeek annual (1950?)

The Bubble and Squeek series from George Moreno's British Animated Productions studio never really took off, lasting for just four shorts and one spinoff from 1947 to 1948. But it did spawn at least three annuals, only one of which I own.

I'm not sure when it was published; the only date in the book, 1950, was written in by a previous owner. That doesn't necessarily mean it was published in 1950, although as I'm not familiar with the average shelf-life of children's annuals at the time I can't vouch for the likelihood of it being published earlier.

If it was indeed published two years after the series it was based on ceased production then it would seem likely that it was the final Bubble and Squeek annual. However, it opens with the story of how the title characters first met, implying that it was actually the first in the series - is it possible that Moreno and his company were trying to revive the characters in the field of children's books after they failed to catch on in animation?

Aside from the frontispiece, which is signed "Cal", the illustrations in the book are credited to Moreno himself. That said, in the comments section of this blog post about Moreno (which is itself well worth reading) one poster, who worked for Moreno in the sixties, speculates that some of the artwork credited to him in fifties comics was actually ghosted by members of his studio.

Here are the covers of the only other Bubble & Squeek annuals that I know of:


  1. Hi there, I have the annual that is the last one in your list. It has an inscription, hand written, presumable to a child and they have said it is xmas 1950. that is presumably though the year it was given, not necessarily the year of publish.

  2. The artist who signed his work as CAL is probably Claude A Lipscombe, who drew the layouts and painted the backgrounds for the Bubble and Squeek films.

  3. Claude A. Lipscombe left British Animated Productions before the completion of their final film, "Loch Ness Legend", so I suspect that your annual may be the first of the three. Although they made no further entertainment shorts, the company was not liquidated until 1953. I think that the Annuals were for Christmas 1949, 50 and 51.

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