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Changes coming to The Beano.

November 3, 2012

What is The Beano to you? To me it is a comic playing it safe sticking to a more old-fashioned, traditional-styled comic which at times tries to be cool and ultimately fails. It’s not a bad comic. It’s just not as good as The Dandy was. I say was as this top comic is ending after 75 years thanks to the amount of stupid people who hate how The Dandy has actually become a good comic and preferred the old Desperate Dan. But I’m going off-topic as usual.

*ahem*

The Beano is the comic which sticks with its recognisable “naughty kids” theme throughout as well as including reprints. But recently, The Beano has changed. The Germs and Number 13 have been removed meaning the only remaining reprint is John Geering’s ‘Bananaman’. Nigel Parkinson stopped drawing Fred’s Bed and Pup Parade and took over ‘Dennis and Gnasher’ and bringing it back to its menacing old days. With updates to the parents, the menace back and the CBBC-ified soft version eradicated forever plus Roger the Dodger returning back to new strips by Barrie Appleby – The Beano was really changing.

But the changes weren’t as radical and Mark McIlmail had made them out to be. Was this it? Was this the exciting change? Nope! This was just the beginning!

The Dandy was dying and it looked like its top artists and writers would go down with it. That was until this week.

This week’s issue of The Beano was its Bonfire Night Special (which didn’t actually have a lot to do with Bonfire Night) but there next to the awful ‘Fred’s Fantastic Facts’ page was a new addition to the comic. A puzzle page.

It may not seem thrilling but the Halloween issue the week before had a puzzle page by Lew Stringer in it called ‘Horrornation Street’. It all looked very Dandy-esque. Lew Stringer hadn’t been seen in The Beano for ages after the announcement of the resting of Lew’s only Beano series, ‘Super School’ so this was a pleasant surprise and secretly I’m sure we all wanted to see Lew back in there!

And a puzzle page appeared the week after which was a nice new addition! Actual hand-drawn puzzle pages – 100& drawn, not put together graphically. A hand-drawn puzzle. Very similar to The Dandy.

And what made it even more similar to The Dandy was the choice of artist. ‘Justin Beaver’ and ‘Tiny’s Temper’ artist, Stu Munro. In fact, Stu appeared in both The Beano and BeanoMAX in their latest issues!

But that was just the first part of an exciting series of events…

On the first of November, a new announcement came which top Dandy artist and writer, Alexander Matthews, announcing his latest projects:

‘007 Iron’ for GolfPunk Magazine (which I have never heard of)…

‘Bad Hair Day’ for The Digital Dandy! Blimey! More on this later…

And the cutest pest in the West (or so he tells us)! The return of Beano classic, ‘Baby-Face Finlayson’!

And so begins the next part of the topic! Part 2 of this wonderful chapter of The Beano!

That’s right, expert Dandy scribbler, Alexander Matthews, is joining The Beano drawing brand-new episodes of the baby bandit! No more has been said yet about Baby-Face’s triumphant return but Alex has told us one thing:

“It’s not going to be a full-page either to start with.”

Make of that what you will – could it be a mini-series? Or maybe a two-pager for its pilot episode of the series. It’s all very intriguing but I guess we’ll just have to sit tight and wait to see what happens!

And announced today by top British cartoonist, Lew Stringer, on his personal Facebook page is the exciting news that Lew Stringer is returning to The Beano possibly next week as he has been asked by the editor to produce a mini-strip series of an old-ish Beano character! Here’s Lew’s comment:

“Currently drawing an old (ish) Beano character who returns to the comic soon (next week I think) in a new series of mini-strips. More news soon.”

Series? Mini-strips? Blimey, looks like The Beano is taking The Dandy route finally! With more to be revealed, the whole operation sounds extremely exciting!

Who shall be next to reveal their big Beano project? Andy Fanton? Stephen Waller? Steve Beckett? I have no idea but I’m so happy that The Beano is finally doing something right!

UPDATE!

Lew Stringer revealed last night on his personal Facebook page what story he will be drawing for The Beano as of the revamp NEXT WEEK! The artist who has only ever drawn Super School as well as one Ivy story and a few Fun-Size stories for The Beano is back and drawing a brand-new mini-strip series of Dennis’ pot-bellied pig, Rasher! Here’s a photo Lew shared on there as part of the huge announcement!

Other news revealed by Peter Gray also immersed on the Facebook page such as ‘Minnie the Minx’ and ‘The Numskulls’ being reduced to only one page each, the reprinted return of Tom Paterson’s incredible ‘Calamity James’, ‘Mr. Meecher, the Uncool Teacher’ artist, Wilbur Dawbarn, drawing brand-new Billy Whizz episodes plus a price increase to £2.00!

It’s all very exciting, and that’s just the beginning!

Never be without a Beano, chaps!

– Harry Rickard

Pictures from the blog of Alexander Matthews, Lew Stringer’s Facebook page and LogoPedia. Thank you, chaps!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2012 02:16

    Damn it, was trying to comment about this on Beanoforum but it went down between me reading the thread and typing my reply! I think this blog post needs updating in light of further info anyway.

    My intended reply on the forum:
    “Woah! Are Minnie and Numskulls still going to be by the same artists? And does this mean the reader page will have original artwork each week, like the 1975-1998 incarnation the Dennis the Menace Fan Club page did?”

    Nice work with the clean version of the current logo. I added it to Logopedia’s Beano page.

    Also, I see a mathematics fail (or maybe just a typo) on your DeviantArt profile – If you’re 15, and got diagnosed with diabetes in 2008, then you was 11 at the time, not 8. I think you probably mean 2005.

    • November 4, 2012 10:10

      Ah yes, the Beanoforum was down the entire night it seems.

      Indeed, it’s odd news. Minnie and The Numskulls are apparently both by the usual artists but I’ll be the judge of that when it comes round to Wednesday. Well, the gist I got from Peter Gray’s post suggests this – I’m not entirely sure to be quite honest!

      Thank you for adding that – it looks rather nice at the top of the blog post, doesn’t it?

      Ooh! Thanks for that, must be getting that date mixed up with The Wizzo’s debut one. Thanks, James!

  2. November 4, 2012 15:57

    Thanks for the plug Harry. Just to mention that I also drew a Fred’s Bed story for a Christmas Beano a few years ago, and some pages for a Beano Summer Special many years ago.

    • November 4, 2012 16:04

      You’re most welcome, Lew – sorry if you didn’t want me to use a quote from your Facebook page. Like the other “quote”, I could remove it if you wish?
      Ah yes, I remember that Fred’s Bed story – the Egyptian one with the cat, right? Absolutely loved that!
      I’m glad The Beano are using you a bit more now – you’re too much of a talent to waste!

  3. November 5, 2012 12:14

    I welcome the return of Calamity James, and it’ll be interesting to see how Wilbur Darbawn handles Billy Whizz – just as I was warming to the Nick Brennan version!

    Meanwhile, I wouldn’t call a price increase to £2 a week “exciting”, but the rest of it seems interesting. It’s a shame to see how Minnie the Minx is going down to one page after almost fifty years of double pages, but if it means fitting more stuff in… Give it a go!

    • November 24, 2012 17:41

      Ooh! Didn’t see this comment – sorry this is a bit late!

      I’m sure many are happy to see Calamity James in there by all means – he’s a celebrity by Beano standards! I really liked Nick’s Billy Whizz as well but Wilbur’s is even better in my opinion!

      Agreed, but the £2.00 certainly isn’t a waste, besides, I’m happy to pay 50p extra – at least it’s not like Toxic which is £3.99 – it’s a wonder kids can afford it!

  4. Dunder Ed permalink
    November 28, 2012 18:18

    Ha, Horrornation Street is much like Beastenders from IPC

    • November 28, 2012 18:24

      Certainly is! But hey, if it worked before then there’s no harm in trying it again! 😀

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