This week's issue of The Beano features a new contributor, - one who's been dead for 110 years! Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) notable for his limericks and poems has his most famous nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat adapted to strip form by regular Beano artist Hunt Emerson.
Hunt illustrates the poem across three pages (the first of which is shown above) and includes Lear's complete verse plus added dialogue by the artist. It makes a refreshing change for The Beano to include something like this alongside Dennis the Menace and The Bash Street Kids but it works! Lear's daft verse suits The Beano quite well, and I can't think of any other cartoonist as ideal as Hunt, a master of surreal humour, to visualise the poem in comic strip format.
The strip ends with a half page summary of Edward Lear's life. Who sez comics don't learn ya brain? The Beano No.3440 is out today, priced 99p.
Update 11/7/2008: Hunt tells me that he's adapted another Nonsense Poem for a future issue of The Beano: You Are Old, Father William by Lewis Carroll. Having seen the two pager I can report it's another fine job. More info on when it'll appear at a later date.
Also out today is this year's Dandy Summer Special, or rather Dandy Xtreme Summer Special, as this is the first Summer Special to reflect the modernized version of the comic (which has now been running for a year in its fortnightly format). Purists may faint at the sight of Jamie Smart's radically different Desperate Dan but it's the funniest it's been in years. New artist C. McGhie on Korky and Bananaman also adds to the modern lively feel of the Special. Out now £2.99 (bagged with a plastic gun).