Follow TV Tropes


Comic Strip / Beau Peep

Go To
Beau Peep is a British comic strip written by Roger Kettle, drawn by Andrew Christie and published in the Daily Star from 1978 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2016 when it was dropped by the newspaper for financial reasons. It is about Beau Peep, who joined the French Foreign Legion to escape from his terrifying fiancée Doris, and quickly discovered that not only is he totally unsuited for the Legion of Lost Souls, he was the Only Sane Man in a fort full of lunatics.

These lunatics include the Ax-Crazy Mad Pierre, the Cloud Cuckoolander Colonel Escargot, who believes the Swiss are invading and had his psychiatrist shot, and Peep's best friend Dennis Pratt, a Manchild who believes everything he's told. Sergeant Bidet is relatively sane, but despises Peep for being an incompetent coward, and deliberately sends him on suicide missions. There is also Lethal Chef Egon, who combines appalling hygiene with an inability to make anything that isn't mince.

Minor Legionnaires include Hamish, who is a Scottish stereotype, but beyond that is quite reasonable and the only character Peep feels he can actually have a sensible conversation with (even if he can't always understand it), and Sergeant Slaughter (not that one), a terrifying Drill Sergeant Nasty.

Characters from outside the fort include the Nomad, an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who wants to bring the head of a Legionnaire back to his village so they'll forgive his crimes, Honest Adbul, an Honest John who sells junk to gullible fools like Dennis and the Nomad, and Vera of the Seven Veils, an exotic Belly Dancer Dennis has a crush on, who frequently punches him in the mouth.

You can read a selection of strips that change weekly here. The same writer/artist combo also created A Man Called Horace, which ran for 26 years in the Daily Mirror (1989-2015).

Contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Egon's recipes get even more erratic if they involve cooking sherry, because he drinks more than he uses. Hamish can also be like this, with his fondness for whisky, and it's implied this is the origin of the Scottish accent.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: "Escargot" and "bidet" are not names, but random French words that a British person would know.
  • Counting Sheep: Peep suggests Dennis do this when he can't sleep. Unfortunately, Dennis can't count.
  • Drunk on Milk: One strip has Dennis with a terrible hangover because he'd eaten nearly a whole packet of wine gums.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: While the very first strip has Beau mention that he joined the Foreign Legion to get away from a woman, the woman in question is portrayed as slender and beautiful, rather than ugly and fat. Word of God is that the first strip was simply the first idea that came into his head when he created the strip - after the woman Beau left behind evolved into Doris, Kettle ignored the first strip completely.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Nomad. Also the owner of the local pub, who is only referred to as "mein host".
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It is completely impossible for Peep to spend five minutes in Mad Pierre's company without saying or doing something that inspires Pierre to thump him.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Honest Abdul, who sells whatever random junk he can find to the Nomad and Dennis by telling them Blatant Lies (for example, that a rubber duck is an enemy detector).
  • Mildly Military: The only person who seems at all aware that this is a military organisation is Sergeant Bidet.
  • My Local: The sign just says "Pub". Owned by "mein host", and where Vera performs.
  • Nepotism: Colonel Escargot's son appears in a few strips:
    Colonel Escargot: Don't expect any favouritism because you're my son. I want you ready for duty right after breakfast. I'll bring it to your room around eleven.
  • Oh, Crap!: In one strip, Egon loses his patience at Beau's constant complaints about his cooking, and decides to throw a cake at him. Hearing his name called, Egon chucks the cake...then has this reaction when he realises that he's just hit Sergeant Bidet.
  • Punny Name: Peep's name is a takeoff of Beau Geste and "Little Bo Peep". Sopwith the camel is a pun on the Sopwith Camel aeroplane.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: The idea of the Foreign Legion guarding forts in the Sahara should put it in the first half of the 20th century. But apart from that it seems to be the present day.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Realising that no-one takes him seriously, the Nomad occasionally takes the identity of the Desert Shadow.
  • Sultry Belly Dancer: Vera can definitely fall under this trope, as she does perform a "dance of the Seven Veils" whenever she's in town.
  • The Unseen: Vera and Doris are represented by speech bubbles coming from off-panel.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Sergeant Bidet calls the Desert Shadow a ruthless bloodthirsty killer. Cut to the Nomad gloating over a bag of sweeties.
  • Well, This Is Not That Trope: When Peep asks Egon what the soup of the day is:
    Egon:Have you ever heard of minestrone? A delicate blend of Italian herbs and spices. But it takes ages, this is turnip water.