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Friday, February 11, 2011

Beano goes Retro

This week's issue of The Beano sees the start of a new feature, Beano Retro, which will reprint strips from the archive. The series begins with two classics, a mid-Fifties Minnie the Minx page drawn by Leo Baxendale and The Three Bears. (The Bears strip is also credited to Leo, but to me it looks more like a very early Bob McGrath page when he was ghosting Leo's style. I could be mistaken of course.)

The Beano often features a few pages of reprint of a more recent vintage but if reprints are a budgetary necessity I hope these older classics can be used instead. It all depends on how well they go down with the readership. I'm sure all the older fans who have bemoaned "Why can't The Beano be like it was" will now be dancing in the streets with a sense of triumph comparable to how the Egyptian people are celebrating tonight, but will the target age of today's eight year olds enjoy such vintage material? I hope so, because although they're over 50 years old these examples are well-crafted finely drawn stories with perfect comedy timing to bring a smile to the faces of kids of any generation.

The Beano No.3572 On sale now. £1.35


Peter Gray said...

Its a real treat to see...especially in the original colours they were printed..and lovely glossy paper..

Maybe one day a glossy paper Monthly could be seen the Retro Beano Monthly...fewer pages But lovely reproductions..

Lew Stringer said...

That'd be great, although I'm not sure if enough people would buy it on a regular basis.

I think the annual golden years book and this new feature are a good compromise for the time being.

There's never been a partwork tying in with the history of British comics and that's something I've always wanted to see. Unfortunately these days I think partworks have to have an international appeal (like the Marvel figurine series) so I don't think it'd ever happen.

Harry Rickard said...

I honestly think it's great to see retro comic strips i the comic but I'd like it if the Beano became 40 pages, this way we can still have more characters as well as Retro Beano... I still think it's great though!
And I'm pretty sure that's a Bob McGrath 3 Bears story... It looks more like his style... Whoever drew it is a very good artist!

Gavin Burrows said...

Seems interesting they'd not only choose a Baxendale strip but label it as such. Are all hatchets buried? This leads me to dream of the Baxendale collections we'd doubtless already have it he was a Continental or American artist.

Lew Stringer said...

I think any anonymity is a thing of the past. Thomsons have been openly crediting Leo and others on reprints for several years now, and of course current artists can sign their pages these days.

With things like this new feature, and the Golden Years books, Black Bob book, etc, the company is happy to celebrate its past now and give credit where credit's due.

Anonymous said...

And perhaps if the feature proves really popular we'll start seeing a bit of good old-fashioned anarchy and political incorrectness weave its way into the new material?

The revolution starts here, comrades!

Mike said...

Now you are sounding Egyptian!

It's a shame Classics From The Comics had to close when it did, the last issue of it was probably the best they'd ever done, and far from keeping artists and writers anonymous they were given several page features!

Oh well, maybe when things improve Classics might return. I'd pay the same price for half the pages if all issues were as good as the last few!

Tim Fischer said...

Love the retro pages.

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