“What’s all this Oojah?” Ever heard people refer to elephants as “Oojah’s?” or when someone is perplexed ask “What’s this Oojah?” then it might be a throw-back to the 1920s comic strip character from the “Daily Sketch Newspaper” who later became published in children’s book annuals. The first “Oojah” comic strip was published on 18 February 1919. Oojah, or as he was later known as ‘Uncle Oojah’, was an elephant and the main character who lived in Oojahland.
The inventor of “Uncle Oojah” was a children’s book illustrator known as Thomas Maybank. His real name was Hector Thomas Maybank Webb; who was born on the leap year date of 29 February, 1869 in Beckenham, Kent. After Maybank died on 27 March 1929, the Uncle Oojah’s children’s annuals continued under the illustrative artwork of JHL, who was later identified as Henry Matthew Talintyre. He continued illustrating the annuals until the early 1950s. For further examples of Illustrative art, see my page.