Thursday, April 18, 2013

'The Legend Of...' Books

In 1997 and 1998, to tie in with the 60th anniversary of The Dandy and The Beano, D C Thomson produced two 'Legend Of' books, one for each comic. The Dandy's book came first of course, and there were two characters that they could have gone with (in my opinion) - the original cover star Korky the Cat or Desperate Dan. Rightly so, they chose the latter, and The Legend Of Desperate Dan was born.

A few months after the Dandy was created, the Beano hit the shelves, and a few months after Desperate Dan's book, Lord Snooty's was released! Unlike for the Dandy there was no other character they could have chosen from The Beano, all the other original characters had phased out over time. One option could have been Dennis the Menace, but he hadn't been in the Beano since the beginning (if you didn't already know this, he joined in issue #452, dated 17th March 1951).

Lord Snooty and his pals visit the Beano office.
Both books follow the same format. After a short history on the characters and the comics they appeared in, the books dive straight into the comic strips, showing strips from the first few issues and then randomly up until the present. Almost all of the strips are by Dudley Watkins, who is known to be one of D C Thomson's favourite artists, but there are a few strips by some of the later illustrators too.

These books are a great read, both of them contain material from very rare and hard to find comics, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of the strips are only reprinted here and nowhere else, especially the early issues and propaganda strips from the second world war. Originally they would have cost you a combined total of £11.25 (£5.50 for Dan's book and £5.75 for Snooty's), but now you can find them very cheap, the lowest I've found is 1p for the Lord Snooty book, and a pound for Desperate Dan. Here are the links:

If you do buy the books, I'm sure you'll find them both a fascinating and entertaining read.


Kid said...
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Kid said...

Oops! Take two. (Typing too fast.) I've got these books - they're brilliant. George, you need to centre your name on your logo and add an apostrophe to it (George Sheirs').