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Big ears 1

Subdued, but tittersome cavortings, courtesy of old Big Ears

Big ears 2

Loyal mutt Sniffer often joined in with the humorous mishaps of the hilariously inept copper

One of the most talented cartoonists ever to grace D.C. Thomson comics throughout the Seventies, John Geering produced two strips: the battling Puss 'n' Boots, and the almost-forgotten Trouble Bruin for Sparky in the very late Sixties and much of the Seventie. By March 1971, his glossily aggressive style had attracted sufficient attention from the Dandy to warrant an entirely new strip. Thus was born PC Big Ears, which was included in a semi-revamp of the comic around the time of decimalisation.

Great fun and zestfully energetic as any of Geering's creations, this strip followed the misadventures of a bumbling cop with massive, sensitively-attuned, radar-like ears, which he used to detect distant crimes in progress (usually mistakenly) to much farcical comic effect. The lanky PC was usually accompanied by his faithful, police-hat-sporting bulldog companion, Sniffer. Rendered in a simple black-and-white technique with occassional greytone, this solid entry lacked the outrageously violent outbursts of John's cat-and-dog comedy over on Sparky, instead settling into a more (relatively) sedate and traditional Dandy format. Another regular character was Big Ear's long-suffering Sarge, who somewhat resembled Monty Python's Flyinc Circus troupe member Michael Palin in some respects.

A playfully delightful, humorous and reliable strip, this one ran from issue 1529 (13 March 1971 to 1 Sept 1973). The same month that this strip ended, a second John Geering vehicle, Monkey Bizness, commenced publication within the same comic. When Mr Geering returned to the pages of the Dandy in the mid Eighties, his style of cartoonery had been scaled down considerably, and the resultant The Domes, a futuristic satire along the lines of Hanna-Barbera TV animation The Jetsons, was relatively short-lived.

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