BULLDOG DRUMHEADMedium: Comic books
Published by: All-American/DC Comics
First Appeared: 1944
Creator: Ron Santi
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Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond was a surprisingly tenacious detective hero, who first appeared in a British novel by H.C. McNeile in 1920 and turned up as recently as 2004, in an American comic
book. Other than the comic, he's been mostly forgotten during the past two or three generations, but in his day he was popular not just in novels, but also in movies and radio. He was even well enough known a couple of decades after his debut, for a variation on his name to have been given to a comic book character.
Bulldog Drumhead was a funny animal whose species, contrary to common practice, was indicated by his first name rather than his last. He was a big, fat, cigar-chomping police detective, who accidentally swallowed his cigar in horrified shock on the third page of his introductory story, upon realizing he was being forced to take on a foster son. He'd just been crowing about putting an end to the criminal career of Doity Butch McDuffy, when the miscreant's young son, Oliver Wendell McDuffy, declared the adoption (and enforced it with a machine gun).
This happened in Funny Stuff #1 (Summer, 1944), DC Comics' first title devoted to funny animals, even if DC didn't exactly publish it. (All-American Publications, the actual publisher, had temporarily split from DC when #1 came out, but they were back together in time for #7.) Others introduced in that issue were McSnurtle the Turtle, Blackie Bear, J. Rufus Lion and The Three Mouseketeers. Bulldog's story was crafted by cartoonist Ron Santi, who mostly did humorous fillers but may also have been responsible for Nero Fox, the Jive-jumping Emperor of Ancient Rome.
Bull (and Oliver, whom he never gave up trying to civilize) appeared on only one Funny Stuff cover, that of #14 (October, 1946). But he's the only DC funny animal who made it onto the cover of a comic devoted mostly to human characters. He appeared in The Big All-American Comic Book, a 1944 oneshot that included most of All-American's ongoing characters; and the cover, a crowd scene, depicted him right behind Sargon the sorcerer and The Ghost Patrol, with Mutt & Jeff to his left and Red, White & Blue to his right. There were no other funny animal stars in the entire 128-page comic.
Despite this unique achievement, Bull was tied for the dubious distinction of first character to be dropped from Funny Stuff. When The Dodo & the Frog debuted in #19 (March, 1947), one story was deemed not enough for them. So both McSnurtle the Turtle and Bulldog Drumhead were swept away to make room for them. McSnurtle turned up decades later, guest-starring with Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew, but Bulldog was never seen again.