Friday, 30 November 2012

The Dandy nears its end - so go back to the start

Here it goes again - the scanning's complete so things can get back to normal without any strange green women standing around. Less than a week to go until the Dandy dies, sort of. Look at it a number of ways...

-Some might say that it's NOT dead, because it's carrying on in a digital form (this doesn't count).

-Some are counting the current issue as the last one (due to next week's "official" last ever issue being a bumper celebration/funeral sort of affair, this week's being the last of the standard format ones).

-Then there's the folk who believe that the Dandy died whenever "their version" of it ceased to exist (that's me!).

For me, that "version" would be the one that ended in October 2004, just before it turned into something that was less a comic, more a magazine-with-occasional-comic-strips (and then THAT would morph into that hideously unmentionable incarnation). So really, and I'm certain I'm not alone in saying this, but the REAL "last ever" Dandy looked like this:

And it was catastrophic reinvention after reinvention after reinvention following this issue, leading us to the sad state we find the Dandy in today (for those late to the party, Lee James Turnock sums it all up hilariously). And it IS depressing, and depressing things aren't fun to write about. Instead, we'll be looking at where the Dandy all started for me on a personal level, back in the Summer of 1992 in a now-defunct newsagents...

Yep, we're looking at the 1992 Dandy Summer Special!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Beano-versions get strange

With the death of the Dandy just one week away, I thought I'd do a nice big tribute to the thing. See it off on a positive note, that sort of thing. The problem is, all the scanning and image-editing's taking forever, and I'm stuck with a silly ice cream comic at the top of my page.

So, just to keep things flowing, I thought I'd see if I could find any more "alternative takes" on the Beano, except beyond printed media - on the Internet instead (this is still contextual, a bit, what with the Dandy "going digital" and all that). That searching took me to DeviantArt, home of the stuff most folk'd prefer to avoid seeing (96% of the stuff on there's Sonic the Hedgehog having sex with muscular wolves). And what happens if you type "The Beano" into DeviantArt's searchbox?

You get a Photoshop thing of Steven Gerrard's wife, with green skin, taking the place of Rowan Atkinson in a Mr. Bean adventure:

Intrigued? Carry on.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


No, really - relax. It's getting cold outside, and ice creams and lolly ices are also cold, so there's a link for you. This is what's getting looked at now:

That's right, it's a comic called Chill, brought to you by Wall's ice cream. Normally I wouldn't go near superhero stuff, and the whole thing's really just a slightly-more-interesting-than-usual advert, but hey, free comic! If memory serves accurately, it came from Dickinson's Newsagents, which is now a smoothie bar of some sort. Just so you know.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Beginning...

When I started this whole "blog" thing, I never intended a constant "theme", but it seems to've morphed into one that's mostly based around comics. That's not a bad thing, because comics are great and all that - but just to mix things up a bit, here's the first book about dinosaurs I ever read:

Dinosaurs, from Ladybird Books in 1988.

See? Beautifully drawn by BH Robinson, and as I found out earlier this year, this is a "pocket-sized" version of a much bigger, wordier book. Found it in a 2nd-hand place back in March (or thereabouts), but THIS is the book that matters.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

And ANOTHER Beano thing!

Once you start looking for something, they never stop turning up. That's definitely true when looking for alternative takes on the Beano, as can be seen here and here. Well, here's another one now, and this time it's a poem by Phill Jupitus (under his "Porky the Poet" alias), performed at Glastonbury in 2009:


For those that prefer to not hear Phill's voice, here's the poem (copyright to him, obviously):

They've all grown up in the Beano
Dennis the Menace has got pubic hair
Biffo's more into anarchy now 
More of a punk than a bear
Lord Snooty's a high court judge
Taking bribes from a Zurich bank
Had a run-in with the Inland Revenue
When he sold Bunkerton Castle to the Yanks
Grandpa is at last six feet under
Roger the Dodger's in the SPG now
Dodging charges for murder
But Lord Snooty will help him, you'll see
The Three Bears are on the racks at Harrod's
Because Hank he shot them at last
And Teacher was thrown out of Bash Street
For being too pissed when in class
Minnie the Minx is a feminist now
In London North West Three
PC Plod rang Beanotown Council
And now the Bash Street Dogs are in Battersea
Ball Boy changed his name to Rent Boy
Piccadilly was where he wound up
But Beanotown United are doing fine without him
In the European Cup
"Baby-Face" Finlayson's in South America
With seven million quid in used bills
And the Nibblers they nibble no more
Because Porky called in Rent-A-Kill
Billy Whizz eventually ran out of uppers
Now he works for the DHSS
And our hero ugly Plug changed his name to Paul Morley
And got a job in the music press
Little Plum is a redskin campaigner
The Bash Street Kids are on YTS
Softy Walter's a Lycian bouncer
And Gnasher's been sent to the vet's
They've all grown up in the Beano
What are we gonna do
Now they've all grown up in the Beano
Just like me and you

The Bog Paper - fit to wipe with?

In 1989, the UK arm of Marvel made a couple of efforts to "get in on" the humour comic racket. One of these attempts, It's Wicked!, took the Monster Fun approach of having all its characters embody "spooky" characteristics, and whilst mostly dull, it had its moments. The OTHER comic launched in 1989 (and not even lasting as long as It's Wicked!, which didn't make it to its 20th issue) went for a theme that everyone can relate to:

Yep, it's The Bog Paper, the comic of toilets, shitting, pissing and farting. Is it as bad as it sounds? Squat down and find out!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

More Beano things

Typical, isn't it? I spend weeks looking through all my stuff for amusing alternative takes on the Beano, spend an evening posting them all up here, then two days later a couple more turn up. Not to worry though, because here they are. And they're both (sort of) the fault of Kev F. Sutherland.

Back in the early 1990s, Mr. Sutherland ran a comic called UT. One of the "regular things" about the comic (and one which may ultimately've led to its demise) was the back cover being an upside-down parody of another comic or magazine, such as Hello!, Shoot or, in this case, The Beano. And a fairly convincing knock-up it is, too:

That particular cover leads into a typically surreal (and VERY un-Beano-ish) episode of Funny Bunnies by Phil Baber. Just for the fun of it all, here it is:

The next item is also from a Kev Sutherland product (and POSSIBLY drawn by him too). It's from the first issue of Zig and Zag's Zogazine, a comic based on that puppet duo (obviously), with each issue following a loose theme. For the first issue, that theme was comics, and one of the features is this nice spread, titled Zig and Zag's Wacky World of Comics. Not only does it feature a Beano spoof, it also satirizes The Dandy, The Topper, 2000AD, Action Comics, The Fantastic Four, EagleThe Amazing Spider-Man and even Viz!

Click on it to read it "properly", of course. 

Oh, and now that I've done this, logic dictates I'll find more takes on the  Beano within the week.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Quest for the Gloop

There are times when a bit of escapism's needed (as in, all the time), and 1980's Quest for the Gloop by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pieńkowski (of Meg and Mog fame) provide just that, by the bucket, in Quest for the Gloop. Originally published in serial form in The Egg (the Junior Puffin Club's magazine) in 1979, the whole lot got coloured in and turned into a mini graphic novel in 1980. Around twelve years after that, the book came into my possession, and that's where we pick things up.

So, here's to the escapism of the Gloop - an adventure that takes in robots, giant sea monsters, three-eyed camels, three-headed mummies, mechanical frost giants, melting wizards, a dominatrix who lives in a space castle, robot bats, spider-anroids ("Spydroids") and so much more...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Them lot in the USA are having some elections right now. They've got a choice between a nice guy who's full of false promises, or a real-life Mr. Burns. Although the outcome won't affect me directly, I'm still hoping for the lesser of the two evils to come out on top in this one.

Meanwhile, let's stick with the theme, sort of. An idealistic view of a nation stripped of all prejudice, due to the actions of one cute little monster. From Jim and Christopher Slater in 1979, it's Greeneye!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Some Different Takes on The Beano

A comic that's been around for as long as The Beano, and one that's become so much a part of popular culture that most people should be able to name a few characters just by looking at them, is obviously ripe for parody, pastiche or homage. And it's been done a LOT.

One example being this Steve Bell thing from 1984:

Fun? Yep. A miserable yet affectionate look at what may happen to the Bash Street Kids (and Minnie the Minx) thirty years after however old they're supposed to be in the pages of the Beano.

Below are FOUR more different "versions" of everyone's favourite comic (be aware, there's a few rude words)...