Monday, 16 April 2007

“Trample on the weakest / Glory in their plight!”

Over on The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon has asked why no-one seems to be interested in the upcoming remake of The Belles of St Trinian’s, which he regards as “one of the four or five most successful comics adaptations of all time”. (Strictly speaking, that’s “cartoon” rather than “comics”, but it doesn’t really matter.)

The remake stars Rupert Everett in Alastair Sim’s old dual role as Headmistress Miss Millicent Fritton and her shady brother. It seems that Everett has also taken the opportunity to travel back in time to model for this example of Ronald Searle’s original cartoons.

So why is no-one blogging about it?

Perhaps it’s too British. Perhaps, in these days of paedophile paranoia, no-one wants to be caught writing about naughty schoolgirls. Perhaps bloggers everywhere have accepted the wisdom of the cultural giant to whom Warner Brothers have entrusted Captain Marvel, and now concur that “old things suck”.

Or perhaps some of us are still appalled at just how crass, leaden and unfunny the last attempt at reviving St Trinian’s was, and don’t want to get our hopes up. (Notably, The Wildcats of St Trinian’s has been left out of the DVD boxed set of the films.)

But nothing can take away from Searle’s cartoons. Here are two of my favourites.

St Trinian’s cartoons originally published 1948-1953, reprinted in Ronald Searle The Terror of St Trinian’s and Other Drawings, Penguin Books, 2000

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