Tuesday, March 20, 2018


My fondness for British weeklies led me to subscribe to The Beano. Published by DC Thomson, it’s the longest running British kids comic. It first appeared on July 30, 1938. Each new issue comes out on Wednesday.

My shorthand description of The Beano, which is aimed at pre-teens, is that it features a number of one-to-four-page stories about the Bash Street Kids and their neighbors im Beanotown. Most of the kids are mischievous bordering on maniacal. Some of them have developed skills (like dodging work) to a nigh-super degree. One or two have actual super-powers. Most of the adults in these strips are worst than the kids.

A typical issue of Beano will have Dennis the Menace (not the Hank Ketchum character, but one who made his debut almost simultaneously with the Mitchell lad) and his dog Gnasher; Minnie the Minx, who’s said to be tougher than all the boys; Billy Whizz, the fastest boy in the world; Calamity James, the unluckiest boy in the world; Bananaman, a youngster who turns into a super-hero whenever he eats a banana; Tricky Dicky, a prankster; Roger the Dodger, a juvenile con artist and others.

Beano all has giveaway contests, joke pages, puzzles, games, reader participation pages and a cool back cover feature. If a kid sends their “menace name” and photo to the comics weekly, said kid could be chosen to appear in their own back cover comic. In the issues I have before me, the spot went to Festive Finn (who’s excited about Christmas), Monday Morning Minnie (she hates Mondays); and Chilly Charlie (who’s always cold). I should send Beano a photo of me as a kid and see if I can land that coveted back cover.

Beano #3914 [December 9, 2017] is one of three issues I set aside because I wanted to write about them today. Most of the issue’s comic strips are part of a larger story about Beanotown being invaded by giant sentient bruessel sprouts during the Christmas season. What makes this tale even more special is its guest star...
That’s right. Peter Capaldi, the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, appears in this issue as himself. Which should send Doctor Who completists scurrying to find a copy of that issue for their collections.

Beano #3915 [December 30, 2017] has a Star Wars parody with Gnasher in the lead and other Beano characters playing the other roles in the classic original movie.

There was a hilarious nod to the 1966 Batman movie in Beano #3918 [January 20, 2018]. In the Bananaman strip, the title hero has to get rid of a bomb. Yeah, they went there.

Much to my child-like delight, my Beano subscription came with a Christmas gift. The Merry Prank-Mas Kit was a little dented when it arrived, but I had more fun with its contents that an old guy like me should be allowed to have. My favorite prank was a “snake in a tube.” The others: joke ketchup, fake pencil through finger, gross teeth, cockroach sweet, fake poo, trick snot and joke gift tags. The kit was one of my favorite Christmas presents.

Two more notes. Because I’m trying to reduce my Vast Accumulation of Stuff, I’m not saving my issues of The Beano. You’ll find them in my VAOS garage sale, which I hope to commence before the end of April. Watch the bloggy thing for more news on them.

I would like to create an American magazine with the same sense of mischief that I see in The Beano. Depending on what my schedule is like this year, I may be starting on that soon.

As always, if you want to discuss convention or other appearances or my doing a project for you, you can email me. I’ll respond just as quickly as I can.

That’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for the final installment of “Rawhide Kid Wednesday.” Then, starting on Thursday, I’ll have a bloggy or two on the Marvel Legacy and my going to New York to be interviewed on camera for a Marvel documentary.

Thanks for visiting.

© 2018 Tony Isabella


  1. :) Thanks Tony. I'm Nigel Auchterlounie. You may notice my name in a couple of places in the Beano. Nice to hear it's getting out as far as the US and that it's understood and enjoyed. :)

  2. The Beano rocks! The cover to the 2019 Annual looks super too!

  3. Nigel that's your work in the 2019 annual too?

    1. Yes Charlie. I think I wrote about 40 or 50 pages of the 2019 annual.

  4. The UK Dennis actually saw print first because of how far in advance British comics are prepared, and probably went on sale a few days before Ketchum's character appeared. The Beano was certainly on sale at least a few days before the date on the cover.