is a cartoon character of a British rocker
Rockers, leather boys or ton-up boys are a biker subculture that originated in the United Kingdom during the 1950s. It was mainly centered around British cafe racer motorcycles and rock and roll music....
-style biker created by English cartoonist and illustrator Paul Sample
Paul Sample is a British cartoonist and illustrator best known for his cartoon strip Ogri, and for the covers of Tom Sharpe's Wilt and Flann O’Brien paperbacks, posters for BBC Radio Two and advertisements for The Post Office, Ford, Dunlop, and British Airways...
in the 1970s for Bike
magazine in the UK until January 2009, when it was dropped but quickly taken up by Back Street Heroes
Back Street Heroes is a monthly UK custom bike magazine that helped to popularize a "new breed" of custom motorcycle, distinct from previous choppers because they combined rat bike-influenced utilitarian and minimalist design with greater use of high tech gadgetry, but catering to an upscale buyer...
, the custom motorcycle magazine. Four book collections of Ogri strips have been produced, and a VHS video. Ogri is a tough leatherjacketed biker with Thor-like wings sticking out of his helmet. The actor Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor is a Scottish actor. He has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. McGregor is perhaps best known for his roles as heroin addict Mark Renton in the drama Trainspotting , young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy , and poet Christian in the...
is a fan and owns an Ogri leather jacket, bought from Paul Sample on eBay.
Paul Sample draws in black ink line, as well as colour, in a style similar to Robert Crumb
Robert Dennis Crumb —known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb—is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.Crumb was a founder of the underground comix movement and is regarded...
. As with some other cartoonists, such as Carl Giles
Ronald "Carl" Giles , often referred to simply as Giles, was a cartoonist most famous for his work for the British newspaper the Daily Express....
, a lot of the pleasure in the cartoons comes from looking at the detail in the cartoon frames; there is almost inevitably a subplot going on. The funny and well observed stories about British bikers usually take place within one page, though 2 pagers are sometimes drawn.
Several compilation cartoon books collecting the strips have been published in the UK. Sample also produces a variety of Ogri-related memorabilia, including T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, greetings cards, and badges. The Paul Sample archive, including many original Ogri strips along with other Paul Sample artwork, was auctioned in Shrewsbury in January 2010. There is also an Ogri Motorcycle Club, founded in Germany in 1978 when all the members were serving in the Army or RAF.
Bearing a stubbly, unshaven lantern jaw that would not disgrace Desperate Dan
Desperate Dan is a wild west character in the British comic The Dandy. He first appeared in its first issue, dated 4 December 1937. He is apparently the world's strongest man, able to lift a cow with one hand. Even his beard is so tough he has to shave with a blowtorch.-History:The strip was...
, and a nose that appears to have sustained an impact with a solid object at some time in its history, Ogri's rough and unhandsome face belies its essentially good-natured owner. Ogri originally had a blond mane of hair that showed under his helmet, however this changed early in his history to the more well known black scruff he now sports. Well able to deal out violence when it is warranted, Ogri normally asks little of the world except that it should leave him alone and he does not trouble it when it does not trouble him. He enjoys his beer but is seldom if ever seen worse the wear for drink, and certainly never to the extent of being unfit to ride. Ogri is an all-weather rider, and treats inclement weather in the same manner as the risk of injury - with respect, but defiance.
In his original incarnation (1972-1983) Ogri rode Armageddon
, a 1000cc Norvin
Vincent Motorcycles was a British manufacturer of motorcycles from 1928 to 1955. Their 1948 Black Shadow was at the time the world's fastest production motorcycle...
which he may well have built himself. (A similar concept was the Triton
The Triton was a modified café racer motorcycle of the 1960s-1970s. The name derives from a contraction of Triumph and Norton, the two brands of motorcycle combined.The intention was to combine the best elements of each to give a bike superior to both...
.) Sometimes he would experiment with another mount, including on one heroic occasion a scooter into which he 'shoehorned' an engine from a Kawasaki 750cc two-stroke triple, but he invariably returned to Armageddon
On his return to Bike
in 1986, Ogri sold Armageddon
to a collector (and on learning that the buyer never intended the bike to be ridden again, opportunely removed most of the working parts for further use). He now rides a slightly more modern machine, but doesn't usually have either the means or the inclination to follow the latest manufacturing trends. Besides, Ogri is the living embodiment of the principle that it is the rider, not the machine, that determines speed; he can outrace lesser mortals over any going whatever, no matter what they are riding.
Ogri is a gifted tinkerer who can repair most mechanical faults with a spanner
A wrench or spanner is a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects—usually rotary fasteners, such as nuts and bolts—or keep them from turning....
, a screwdriver and a spot of know-how. He once reduced his bank manager's BMW to its component parts at the roadside in order to find out why it wouldn't go (obliging the manager to reconsider Ogri's loan application before he would put it back together). Caught out in a severe rainstorm while riding a sidecar
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle.-History:A sidecar appeared in a cartoon by George Moore in the January 7, 1903, issue of the British newspaper Motor Cycling. Three weeks later, a provisional patent was...
combination, Ogri jury-rigged the machine to be controlled from the comfort of the sidecar (with a dummy on the bike to give the illusion of normality and, as matters turned out, to be arrested by an over-zealous traffic policeman, while Ogri sped off in the confusion). He once equipped his grandmother's hand lawnmower with a spare bike engine; thus adapted, the mower cut the lawn in a matter of seconds. He has fitted motorcycles with war-surplus supercharger
A supercharger is an air compressor used for forced induction of an internal combustion engine.The greater mass flow-rate provides more oxygen to support combustion than would be available in a naturally aspirated engine, which allows more fuel to be burned and more work to be done per cycle,...
s intended for aero-engines, and has even built a turbojet
into a motorcycle frame (a la
the actual MTT Superbike
The MTT Turbine Superbike The MTT Turbine Superbike The MTT Turbine Superbike (often styled SUPERBIKE, also known as the Y2K Turbine SUPERBIKE, is the world's second wheel-driven motorcycle powered by a turbine engine, created by Ted McIntyre of Marine Turbine Technologies Inc....
). Unfortunately, his few forays into making a living out of motorcycle engineering foundered, as though predestined, on the rocks of Malcolm's well-meaning incompetence.
Law and order
The Road Policing Unit is the term for the Highway patrol within the majority of British police forces.-Responsibilities:RPUs work with the National Roads Policing Strategy, which has five strands:* Casualty reduction.* Counter-terrorism....
are one bane of Ogri's existence, although not the worst. He has been stopped for speeding on numerous occasions, but he is hard to catch and so (at least in cartoon land) generally escapes unidentified and unpunished. On one topic however he and the police do see eye to eye: motorcycle theft
Motor vehicle theft is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle...
. When a friend of his had his bike stolen, and caught up to the thief at about the same time as the police, Ogri thoroughly approved of letting the police throw the book at the criminal before pursuing any kind of personal revenge. And other than motoring offences, Ogri manages not to cause the police any trouble; although many times guilty of at least minor public-order offences, Ogri steers clear of anything serious.
He is more than willing, though, to take the law into his own hands
A vigilante is a private individual who legally or illegally punishes an alleged lawbreaker, or participates in a group which metes out extralegal punishment to an alleged lawbreaker....
where necessary. He once dealt with a road-hog by catching up to him, reaching through his open window, and tearing out his steering-wheel. He is not averse to handing out a severe beating
Road rage is an aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions...
to anyone who has endangered his life through careless driving or malice, nor is he above booby-trapping
A booby trap is a device designed to harm or surprise a person, unknowingly triggered by the presence or actions of the victim. As the word trap implies, they often have some form of bait designed to lure the victim towards it. However, in other cases the device is placed on busy roads or is...
his bike to deal with vandals or thieves. Again, the moral is: you can leave Ogri alone (and he will leave you alone), or you can wish you had.
Ogri keeps a pet dog, a small white mongrel
A mixed-breed dog, also known as a mutt or mongrel, is a dog whose ancestry is generally unknown and that has characteristics of two or more types of breeds. A mixed-breed may be a cross-breed dog, a random-bred dog, or a descendant of feral or pariah dog populations...
with a strong strain of terrier, that accompanies him wherever he goes. Kickstart never speaks, but his thought-bubbles
Speech balloons are a graphic convention used most commonly in comic books, comic strips and cartoons to allow words to be understood as representing the speech or thoughts of a given character in the comic...
betray human-like intelligence. He sits placidly on Ogri's pillion seat heedless of speed or danger, asking little of life except the occasional sausage or saucer of beer. In spirit he is a fiercely protective guardian of Ogri's bike and other property, but in practice he is too small to be much of a deterrent. However, on one occasion Kickstart, while leashed to Ogri's bike, scented a lady dog in heat several streets away, and proved strong enough to drag the machine behind him while in pursuit of romantic excitement.
Permanently acne-ridden and runny-nosed, Malcolm is Ogri's utter antithesis; a bumbling incompetent whether riding or maintaining his bike (originally Lunge
, a Triumph pre-unit twin of 1960s vintage), attempting to charm the opposite sex, or indeed even the most routine and uncomplicated task. His blunders are many and varied. Once he designed a revolutionary means of supercharging his bike's engine by feeding the exhaust gases back into the intake. Another time he used a whole-body plastic bag to keep the rain off (and nearly suffocated a few minutes later). He has ridden round a race-track in the wrong direction, and collided with Ogri (Malcolm's boundless incompetence versus Ogri's massive adequacy is a classic encounter between the irresistible force and the immovable object); he has borrowed Ogri's bike to ride around a race-track and fallen off through following the map of another
course. Ogri once gave Malcolm a handful of engine parts to de-grease; he dropped them into a bath of caustic soda, unaware that the chemical dissolved aluminium. He gave him most of an engine to de-coke; Malcolm put it in the washing machine, destroying both the engine and the washing machine. And testing the spark from his spark-plug at the same time as checking the petrol in his tank led to a predictable conflagration that Ogri at once recognised as Malcolm's handiwork from at least a mile away.
Somehow or other, Malcolm manages to avoid permanent injury, whether self-inflicted or as a result of a beating from an infuriated Ogri, and Ogri, no matter what loss Malcolm's unexampled stupidity has occasioned him, invariably forgives the poor, useless article in time for the next strip, and Malcolm's cry of "Aargh! I don't wanna die!" will probably be heard for as long as the cartoon is drawn.
Beautiful girls feature large in Ogri's world, although not such as to detract from the main themes of bikes and biking. A long-running addition to the cast is Mitzi, who is stacked like a porn starlet
A pornographic actor/actress or a porn star is a person who appears in pornographic film. Most actors appear nude in films...
and habitually rides wearing a PVC
Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic.PVC may also refer to:*Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honor*Peripheral venous catheter, a small, flexible tube placed into a peripheral vein in order to administer medication or fluids...
A torsolette is a short corselette, covering the chest to the waist line.The undergarment is similar to a Victorian-era corset, but with less compression of the ribs. The modern-day Torsolette features lace-up or hook-and-eye fastening, as well as boning or vertical seams for structure and support...
and stockings. It would be a mistake to write Mitzi off as a brainless lust-object
Bimbo, in its popular English language usage, describes a woman who is physically attractive but is perceived to have a low intelligence or poor education. The term can also be used to describe a woman who acts in a sexually promiscuous manner...
, though. She is nearly Ogri's equal as a rider (in a straight race between them, it would be a case of whether Ogri could tune out Mitzi's distracting appearance well enough to keep his mind on the job, and hardly any other bikers would be even a serious contest) and is dangerous to cross. Plainly an advocate of the look-but-don't-touch ethos, Mitzi is used to men drooling over her but resents unwarranted familiarity and certainly doesn't need to hide behind Ogri. The exact nature of their relationship is not well-established; at times they have been lovers, at other times apparently uninvolved.
Appearances outside the comic world
- "Ogri", or "OGR1" has appeared on several motorbike number plates around the world, including a Texan Honda Goldwing
The Honda Gold Wing is a touring motorcycle designed and manufactured by Honda. It was introduced October 1974, and went on to become a popular model in North America, Western Europe and Australia. Over the course of its history, it has had numerous modifications to its design. In 1975 it featured...
, an Australian Triumph Tiger, and a Canadian R1200GS Adventure
- The Mayor of Sunderland's official vehicle bears the registration mark OGR 1
- Ogri is the name of a British motorcycle club with members world-wide
- Ogri was formerly the name of a virtual motorcycle club based in Britain, having changed its name to Ixion after Sample objected.
- Ogri appears in an animated music video for the song 'Get a Grip' that was culled from the 1995 Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler , and Bill Ward . The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of 22...