Book - The Sunday Postings


Susan Omand discovered that the Penned Guins are thinking outside the box... er... panels again as she reads The Sunday Postings from Alan Henderson...


If you follow me on social media at all, you’ll know I’m a fan of the Penned Guins of Alan Henderson. I’ve shared and retweeted some of the best and groaniest of the little three panel punning penguin cartoons that have cheered up my days since I discovered them last year. I’ve also had the good fortune to review a few of Alan Henderson’s cartoon collections (We Waddlers, Melting Pot and Sculpted). So I was interested by the idea Alan had earlier this year to expand his 3 panel “funny” into a longer version once a week, like they used to (and, I hope, still do) in the Sunday Post with Oor Wullie and The Broons. Now, unless you’re from Scotland like all the best folk are, that newspaper and those cartoons may mean nothing to you which is your loss (and you don’t win a pair of towels) but, trust me, The Sunday Post is the flagship of the DC Thomson journalistic emporium and I appreciated Alan’s choice to honour that venerable publication in the title of his own new collection of Sunday cartoons.

So, what’s new about The Sunday Postings? Well, obviously, there’s more to each page of cartoons, either in the form of more panels, more detail or a more elaborate joke but the humour is very definitely still there. The Mexican stand-off made me laugh and not just because of the moustache above the beak and the fact the words to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme tune were written out between the panels (and yes you will sing along to it just to check) and I enjoyed “celebrity” spotting in the Celebrity Squares cartoon – can you come up with 9 well known penguins? He did. But my favourite laugh had to be the “clop clop” noises of a Penned Guin waddling down the spiral staircase in a lighthouse for several panels. I do love the little touches and details that Alan always adds in to his cartoons, like his Russian Doll story actually having the title in Russian too - as in proper Russian, not just turning the R backwards so it looks Russian.

The thing I’ve had issue with in the past with some of the Penned Guin books is that some of the more “informative,” rather than funny, cartoons felt out of place in the collections. However, this has been vastly improved upon with the longer format, allowing the information to come more in context with an associated laugh in the same cartoon. The best example in this collection is a page about Edinburgh resident Sir Nils Olav, who, incidentally, got promoted again by the King of Norway last month to Brigadier. Buy this book to see why he’s important. I also felt that the inclusion of a couple of things to make, a bookmark and a flickbook, also didn’t feel as out of place this time as they might have in other collections, I think because this has the feel of an Oor Wullie or Broons annual about it with the longer format so it’s expected.

A great success all round then and The Sunday Postings would make a marvellous stocking filler for those hyper-organised enough to be starting to think about the festive season already. I do hope though that Alan also continues his short form cartoons too so that I can still look forward to sharing my regular online giggle with the funny, punny, Penned Guins.

Image - Alan Henderson

The Sunday Postings will launch at MCM Scotland on September 24th and you can buy it direct from HERE.