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Bully Beef and Chips

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Animate 7 054

Sadism and retribution!

Animate 7 053

Bathtime for Beefy!

Animate 7 055

Beefy yelps in pain in the final frame, as Chips chortles with delight!

"YAROO! OOYAH! HELP!"

These were but three of the milder exclamations yelped out by Bully Beef after receiving his just desserts — usually in the posterior. His brawny misdeeds always backfire on him after he has inflicted his dirty tricks on all-round nice guy Chips in the opening frames.

Bully Beef and Chips is without doubt one of the major long-running success stories within the Dandy's history, its central premise of a bullying baddie being perhaps all too familar to many readers of all ages. Bully Beef (or 'Beefy' as he is often 'lovingly' dubbed) was an oddly sadistic specimen, who delighted in the often brutal — and always unprovoked — treatment of the undeserving Chips. The slapstick encounters invariably ended up with the tables being turned on the anti-social Beefy. A typical final frame would show a laughing, triumphant Chips giggling harmoniously, as painful but justifiable (in the context of the strip) punishment is dished out to Bully Beef — complete with stars of pain flying from his rump-end.

Beefy had parents that definitely engendered him: his dad is a middle-aged version of the young Beefy, but with a pot-belly and Friar Tuck-like hairdo. Even Beefy's mum resembles an older version of the young bully in drag. Chip's dad was clearly more refined-looking than Beefy's, which possibly accounts for young Chip's more easy-going nature. Chips' mum did look a bit different to the other family members, however.

This strip debuted in the June 19, 1967 edition, and was boldly rendered by Jimmy Hughes, who apparently operated out of a large caravan in his garden, which doubled as his art studio. Although his cartoonery was solid and workmanlike, some loftier critics have unfairly derided his artistic abilities. Even within the hallowed halls of D.C. Thomson itself there were editors who claimed that they "wouldnae gie him hoose-room," and OINK! comic put out a less-than-wholesome satire regarding Jimmy's style in the late Eighties.

However, Jimmy had no need to worry — his work overall (and this strip in particular) was massively successful, and it's no exaggeration to say that Bully Beef and Chips is still familiar to millions, and even to casual comic fans who are aware of who these characters are, over two decades after the original (and probably best) incarnation ceased.

In Dandy polls, this original version of the strip almost always came out second in popularity. Desperate Dan was so far out ahead that the comic never bothered counting his votes, which gives some indication of how widely known and loved Bully Beef and Chips was.

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