Where continental European comics tended to favor the small-town hero like Asterix or Tintin, and America always went for big-league superhero justice, the UK has a surprising passion for stories about postmen. Whether they have a black and white cat called Jess, or are constantly hounded by Alex's aforementioned Menace, you can't take five steps in the world of English comics without bumping into a postman, red cheeked and smiling.
Created by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, The Jolly Postman was a seemingly ordinary postie who delivered messages to all kinds of extraordinary recipients — and the hook was that each time you turned the page, you could open the letter, attached into the paper, and pull out the letter to read at the same time as the witches, monsters, princes and princesses who received it.
I adored those stories. Here was a man who spent all his time doing his job, sturdy, passing on these messages that made other people so happy. It delivered to me this idea of how important words can be — and how nothing is better than using that power to make other people smile. I love The Jolly Postman. He was my hero, and I'm just now starting to think that maybe he's part of the reason I'm even on ComicsAlliance right now, writing this!