Jonah (comics)

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Comic strip character(s) from The Beano
Close-up of Jonah by Ken Reid.jpg
Publication information
Stars inJonah
Creator(s)Ken Reid
First appearanceIssue 817
(15 March 1958)
Last appearanceissue 1090 (8 June 1963)
Also appeared inThe Beano Annual
Spin-offsSon of Jonah
Main Character
FamilyPercival Plugsley (nephew)
His sister

Jonah was a British comic strip series, published in the magazine The Beano, drawn by Ken Reid. It first appeared in issue 817, dated 15 March 1958. The title character- a sailor and a skinny, gormless, chinless wonder- was feared by all other mariners because he would (accidentally) sink every ship he sailed on (and often all other vessels in the neighbourhood to boot). His name is a direct reference to the long-established sailor's superstition (which is in turn based on the Biblical prophet Jonah whose ship nearly sank in a storm). In one episode he started a war between the nations of Gorgonzolia and Parafinalia and this resulted in the utter destruction of the combined fleets of both countries (a possible reference to the Cold War). The strip ran until issue 1090, dated 8 June 1963, when he unintentionally flooded Sludgeport Museum. Punch and Jimmy took over Jonah's page as from the following week.

In the year the Jonah strip ended a new strip entitled Jinx began this strip also drawn by Ken Reid featured Jonah's sister.[1] This strip was similar to the Jonah strip with the main character being equally clumsy, but this new strip was less nautical. Jinx ended in 1964.

In the early 1980s Jonah also appeared in the short lived Buddy comic.[2]

In the 1980s, Jonah appeared in several Beano Comic Libraries, meeting The Topper's Puss 'n' Boots twice. Ironically, they also joined The Dandy in 1993.

A spin-off strip entitled "Son of Jonah", drawn by Jerry Swaffield, appeared in the Beano in 1992 and lasted until 1993.[3] Jerry Swaffield also drew a one-off Jonah strip entitled "Jonah (The Boy who sank a 1000 ships)" in 1988.[4]

Jonah returned 30 years later in 1993, albeit this time in The Dandy. Here he met the captain of the Ragworm's Revenge, Timmy Fogg (nicknamed 'Thick' Fogg) and accidentally sunk the barge of the last water gypsy, enabling her to retire – in gratitude, she gave him a magic earring, which if pulled would turn him into a monster-like man. The strip continued in The Dandy for a few years afterwards. The revival was drawn by Keith Robson, Ken Reid having died by then.

Jonah recently appeared in a September 2014 issue of the Beano, where it was revealed that he is the uncle of Plug of The Bash Street Kids. Jonah also appeared in the 2019 annual of The Beano, where The Bash Street Kids and the captain, narrowly missed an iceberg as they anchor themselves under water.

Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses was sometimes humourously referred to as 'Jonah' due to less than distinguished naval career.


  1. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9.
  2. ^
  3. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 338. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9.
  4. ^ The History of the Beano. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2008. p. 337. ISBN 978-1-902407-73-9.