Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Out now, Pals!
It's another busy week here at Stringer Studios (well, my spare room). There's a Beano page to finish, an article for Comic Heroes to write, a Kid Cops to draw, and the first Team Toxic of 2011 to script, but here's a very quick look at a couple of comics that have just arrived in the newsagents today...
The Beano No.3559 kicks off with an energetic Dennis and Gnasher cover drawn by Jimmy Hansen who also contributes a two page Dennis strip inside. The Dandy No.3509 announces itself as "the comic EVERYBODY'S talking about" and it was certainly one of the most discussed comics last week. I suspect the new look will continue the momentum this week too.
Inside The Beano, Ken Harrison displays his superb artistic talents with a nicely detailed Minnie the Minx strip, Hunt Emerson brings us his 167th Ratz strip, (Hunt numbers all his pages), and David Sutherland is still the definitive Bash Street Kids artist. There's also a nicely drawn Ivy the Terrible page by new artist Diego Jourdan Pereira and another installment of of barmy cat vs dog rivalry in Meebo and Zuky drawn by Laura Howell plus a Super School page drawn by me.
Inside The Dandy there's another great four page Harry Hill's Real Life Adventures in TV Land strip by Harry Hill and Nigel Parkinson, Kid Cops and Postman Prat by me, Robot on the Run by Alexander Matthews, the totally loopy Pre-Skool Prime Minister by Jamie Smart and tons of other strips. Even Bruce Forsyth returns to comics. Shades of Film Fun!
The Dandy even features Bonfire Night in its contents this week, which is something UK comics have carefully avoided on the whole for years. "Hi there, kids! Guy Fawkes here with some right rocket riddles!" says the cheerful gunpowder plotter. On another page there are Desktop Fireworks to cut out and provide hours of fun. "Bonfire: Fold in the middle and stand on any flat surface. Want a BIGGER bonfire? Just move closer!"
The Beano is still the more traditional of the two comics, and that of course is part of its popularity. Even its logo is a slight variation on the one that was introduced in the early 1970s. Long-running strips such as Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, Dennis the Menace, and Minnie the Minx have become what generations expect to find in its pages.
For better or worse The Dandy was never one to rely on characters with such longevity. Each decade has brought in fresh new characters although Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat, and Bananaman are still around albeit with modern new designs. The Dandy has always been the one to take more risks and, having had three revamps in six years, let's hope that it's third time lucky for the all-fun, all-new, back to basics Dandy of 2010.
Just in case you thought Dandy and Beano were the only fun comics on the shelves there's also Toxic from Egmont. Yes it's mostly magazine content but strips are still a regular part of the mag. Eight years old and still popular the latest issue features my Team Toxic strip in a classic reprint. Budget cuts? No, I just needed more time to work on an upcoming issue for the Christmas Toxic which will be a bumper issue and Team Toxic gets a double-length story.
I haven't seen the current Toxic myself yet but here's the ad for it from Egmont:
Dandy, Beano, and Toxic. If you're feeling generous this week buy 'em all, and leave a comment to let me know what you think.
TOXIC website: http://www.toxicmag.co.uk/
THE BEANO website: http://www.beanotown.com/
NEW! THE DANDY website: http://www.dandy.com/