“Podgy Pig?” Guy was intrigued. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“Whoops, I forgot I was talking to an American. English children are raised on the adventures of Rupert Bear and his friends, one of whom is a pig named Podgy. He wears a brown checked suit and a black bow tie,” she added, as if that somehow made things clearer.
“Oh, that Podgy Pig.” Guy nodded sagely. “The one with the suit and tie! I was thinking of someone completely different.” (Not2Nite)
Rupert Bear first appeared on November 8, 1920 in the Daily Express, a London newspaper founded in 1900 and which was also the first paper in Britain to feature a crossword puzzle. That makes Rupert six years older than Winnie-the-Pooh and 38 years older than Paddington Bear. Rupert used to be a brown bear, but to save on printing costs he was turned into a white bear which uses much less ink. He always wears a yellow check scarf and trousers and a red jumper. Rupert lives with his parents in Nutwood, a fictional English village where all sorts of adventures are to be had for an intrepid young bear and his similarly anthropomorphic friends, including his best friend, Bill Badger.
Every year since 1936 a Rupert Bear Annual has been released featuring the storylines that have run in the newspaper over the course of the past year and new adventures, puzzles and games. Even though Rupert became a white bear almost immediately, the annuals continued to feature a cover illustration of him as a brown bear. Despite critical paper shortages during World War II and an almost complete stoppage of non-essential printing the Rupert annual carried on uninterrupted. Its continuation was considered of crucial importance to keeping up morale.