Speech Bubbles
Drawn by John Geering

86 appearances (over 172 pages)
between issue no. 1 (18/01/75) and no. 87 (11/09/76).
Did not appear in issue no. 49.
All were printed in black and white.

What does it say on the tin
(or in that rhyming couplet at the top of the first page)?

“Meet three crafty dodgers – the nutty squirrel lodgers! ”

In the first story, The Nutters – a family of three squirrels (Ma, Pa, and a junior) – are evicted from the local park. In the railway station garden, the local signalman has just put the final touches to his new dovecote, and The Nutters promptly take up residence there. The signalman’s attempts to evict them end in failure as he gets a soaking, and he vows to get rid of them. The following week we discover the names of the signalman, the station, and junior squirrel. They are 'Percy Potters', 'Oaktree Halt', and…'Junior' (this later became ‘Baby’ for a time before reverting back to ‘Junior’ ). Again, Potters tries to dislodge the squatting squirrels, but without success, as his blunderbuss explodes in his face.

With only a couple of exceptions (issue no. 32 where The Nutters also squabble amongst themselves, and no. 50 where the four enjoy a Christmas meal together), for the first 52 issues these are typical endings. In issue no. 53, Potters’ anti-theft devices (the old boxing-gloves-on-springs) deployed to prevent The Nutters from stealing food work, and they wander back to the dovecote dazed. Potters looks out to the readers and cackles, “I won! I won! ”

The Nutters are back on top for the next three weeks, but Potters ‘wins’ again in issue nos. 57 and 58. Thereafter, the opposing camps’ fortunes are mixed – sometimes neither ‘wins’ and both are jubilant or despondent. This is particularly so in the last story (issue no. 87, the last edition of CRACKER) when Potters tunnels under the dovecote and plants dynamite. At the same time, The Nutters have planted a barrel of gunpowder outside Potters’ signal box. The resultant explosions kill them all off. Only kidding, they had exposed a chest of buried treasure. They settle their differences, agree to share the loot, buy a dovecote-shaped horse-drawn caravan and set off on a world tour.