Richie Wraggs

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Richie Wraggs was a comic strip character in the British comic Jackpot. He appeared with his black cat, Lucky.

Richie had similarities to IPC's 'Bumpkin Billionaires Comic Strip' and drawn by the same artist Mike Lacey.[1] Starting from Jackpot Comics first issue, #1 dated 5 May 1979 [2] he appeared weekly for almost three years until issue #140 to 30 January 1982 he featured on the cover for many early issues ending his run in issue 140 [3] - just one issue from the end. His and Lucky's last full cover appearance was on issue 67[4] They did also appear quite small on the left hand side with all of Jackpot's stars in the Summer Special 1982.

In the first issue Richie was kicked out of the village school in "Little Drudgebury" by the teacher after bringing a smelly cheese into class. He left with the words, "C'mon Lucky - we'll seek our fortune in the big woid world." Often he would be rewarded each issue with a five pound note or a large meal. In issue 137 [5] Richie was rewarded with a £10 note for lending his candle to a man whose lock had frozen on a freezing day. The two friends were able to spend the night in a posh hotel watching TV and keeping warm in bed under an electric blanket with hot drinks and central heating. Sometimes Richie or Lucky did find jobs, the next issue (number 138) [6] he applied for a job as an odd-job person at a theatre, however he walked onto the stage during a pantomime performance, so did not get the job. They did reward him for getting the biggest laugh of the season and a cheer from the audience. He had enough for a meal and fish for Lucky at 'Restaurant de Posh'. In issue 140 Richie and Lucky hid in an old barn with some cows to shelter from the rain.

The reason for his longevity was the success in the readers votes for 'Top Ten comic strips', where his comic strip had many votes. Voted 4th top strip by the readers in issue 11 [7] and again ninth most popular strip by the readers in issue 19[8] Richie was consistently voted in the top comic strips. Voted 9th most popular strip by the readers in issue 96[9] 10th most popular strip by the readers in issue 116[10] 5th most popular strip by the readers in issue 124 [11] Finally in the last printed Jackpot readers top ten he was voted 8th most popular strip by the readers in issue 134[12] Unusually for a popular character he did make it to the merged issue with Buster. The reason for this was that Mike Lacey already drew the even more popular 'X-Ray Specs' (always in the top three strips as voted by the readers) [13] The other nine characters voted in issue 134 all went on to the merged issue. Some other top characters from Jackpot Comic were Milly O' Naire and Penny Less and Jack Pott.[14]

He also featured in some of the Jackpot Annuals and 1981 and 1982 "Jackpot Summer Specials". Two brand new comic strips drawn by Mike Lacey [15] were also in the Jackpot Special 1982.[16] These were printed after the merger with Buster comic. The first story Lucky hurt's his paw on a diamond ring, fortunately the happy owner gives Richie a £20 note. The second and last new story showed Richie and Lucky sheltering under a Cafe umbrella and given some uneaten food left behind by a large coach tour that had to leave quickly. Richie last words were, "Well, Lucky, are you going to apologise?" Lucky replied, "Mumble... chew... certainly... when my mouth's empty!"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Comiclopedia - artists" http://www.lambiek.net/artists/l/lacey_mike.htm
  2. ^ "Jackpot issue 1, 5 May 1979". Printed and distributed by IPC magazines in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia
  3. ^ "Jackpot issue 140, 23 January 1982."
  4. ^ "Jackpot issue 67, 30 August 1982."
  5. ^ "Jackpot issue 137, 2 January 1982."
  6. ^ "Jackpot issue 138, 9 January 1982."
  7. ^ "Jackpot issue # 11. Cover dated 14 July 1979."
  8. ^ "Jackpot issue # 19". Cover dated 8 September 1979.
  9. ^ "Jackpot issue # 96". Cover dated 21 March 1981.
  10. ^ "Jackpot issue # 116".
  11. ^ "Jackpot issue # 124". Cover dated 3 October 1981.
  12. ^ "Jackpot issue # 134". Cover dated 12 December 1979.
  13. ^ Book: "The Buster Index' Published 1995. Compiled by Steve Holland."
  14. ^ "26pigs comics." http://www.26pigs.com/jackpot/characters.html
  15. ^ "Book Palace" http://www.bookpalace.com/acatalog/Home_Mike_Lacey.html
  16. ^ "Jackpot Special 1982." Printed and distributed by IPC Summer 1982