Support 100 years of independent journalism.

1 August 2012updated 02 Aug 2012 7:02am

The official Olympics comic strip is marred by the monstrosity of Wenlock and Mandeville

If you like stories with strange alien creatures and a violent subtext, have I got the strip for you!

By Alex Hern

This week’s edition of the Beano contains the first of the continuing adventures of Wenlock and Mandeville, the Olympics and Paralympics mascots who are also horrifying monstrosities straight out of a fever dream.

The comic, a speedy little one-page affair, features the pair going for a swim, an act which should be impossible given their seemingly metallic composition and stubby psuedo-legs.

The plot itself involves Wenlock – the orange one with an eye which is permanently set into a frown, thus making him look like an alien overlord setting out to conquer the earth even when he does happy-seeming things like jumping and high-fiving – learning how to swim. While the character’s spoken language reveals a happy pair of childish things mucking around in the water, the subtext hints at a far more disturbing plot involving attempted murder.

Mandeville encourages Wenlock – who has clearly communicatied his/her/its discomfort at the idea of leaving the relative safety of the poolside – into the centre of the pool with the promise of an inflatable ring. Just as Wenlock leaves his/her/its comfort zone, Mandeville cruelly removes the stopper of the ring, an act that will almost certainly lead to the death of Wenlock, assuming that the one-eyed organism breathes air, which is frankly not an obvious conclusion at all.

Somehow – and perhaps this is an innate ability of whatever the two mascots are supposed to be – the near-death experience teaches Wenlock how to swim, and also makes him/her/it scream “I love swimming!” in what is surely some ghastly attempt to appease his/her/its captor.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

If you want to read the full heartwarming tale, fun for all the family, it can be downloaded from the Beano‘s website.

Update: As a commenter points out, Wenlock and Mandeville have actually been terrifying children for a year now, with this strip being published in August 2011.

Topics in this article :