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?