Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Beano Book 1957

It cannot be said that The Beano Book (or 'annual', as it has been known since 2003) has not had some great covers, my favourite is the 1941 cover, with Big Eggo peering over his eggs as various Beano characters clamber out (I even used an edited version of this cover on the first issue of 'Atomic Comic' back in 2012). Dudley Watkins executed the cover perfectly and I just love the intense blue that surrounded the logo. Also up there at number two is the 1957 wraparound cover, this time illustrated by James Crighton.

What a cover! And it certainly makes up for the fact that there is no spread over the inside covers, replaced this time with some jokes that seem to me are just panels taken from regular Beano strips. So skipping these, and the 'this book belongs to' page, and we are greeted with 'The Beano Book Song' as an introduction.

Also nice is the artwork on the contents, it adds some life to what would otherwise be a fairly boring page.

Now onto the comic strips, and with contributions from Davy Law, Ken Reid, and Leo Baxendale this sure is a high quality book, so it's difficult to choose where to start. I'll start at the start though, and the first comic strip in the book is Dennis the Menace by Davy Law. Dennis was hugely popular by this point, Dennis' second Dennis the Menace annual was released simultaneously with this Beano book.

Next up is this Minnie the Minx episode. Not only excellent artwork by Leo Baxendale, but a good story as well.

One more strip for this post, and that will be When The Bell Rings, again by Baxendale. Of course, this would later become The Bash Street Kids.

To wrap up the post I'll leave you with this question: what is your favourite Beano Book (or annual) cover?


Kid said...

Here's a question for you, George ('cos I'm too lazy to find out for myself). Did any of the Dennis books ever reprint any of the Dennis strips from any of the Beano books? If not, it might be worth DCT doing a special book reprinting them.

Irmantas said...

George, I wonder if you have any plans to continue with your Atomic Comic?

George Shiers said...

Kid - I'll look into it :)

Irmantas - No plans to continue it at the moment, a third issue was almost completed to be released last year but sadly we failed to get the interviews done on time and the project just fell apart. Maybe it'll return in the future...

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Hmmm, favourite Beano Book cover...

1962's nice, as it's got someone besides Dennis, Biffo or Eggo on the cover.

1961's great for its simplicity.

1985's "gag" has always made me laugh.

1990's was the first one I ever got, so that'll always be special.

1993's was the first I "properly" got, as in, for Xmas rather than from a car boot sale.

1998's is just weird.

2007's a lot of fun (but I'm no fan of the back cover). There's a lot to choose from, and it's hard to pick, so I'll go with the somewhat bizarre 1992 cover.

I was using this page as a reference, by the way: