As part of the celebrations, DC Thomson has created an interactive timeline looking at the history of Britain’s best-loved comic.
David Walliams guest edited and starred in the 80th Birthday commemorative issue which also included new character Mandi created in partnership with the UK’s leading charity fighting for mental health, YoungMinds. On its birthday Beano also revived the infamous ‘Dennis & Gnasher Fan Club’ with free membership available on Beano.com. Members of the club gain access to an exclusive prank portal on the Beano app, which can be accessed with a secret pin-code.
As well as a Beano takeover of Dundee’s McManus Museum, commemorative events have taken place throughout the year, including ‘Beano: Mischief Makers’ as the theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which took place in libraries up and down the country.
To celebrate another landmark year – DC Thomson is releasing ‘Minnie - 65 Years of Minxing’, a bookazine of all things Minnie. Minnie’s official first appearance was on December 19th and her 65th birthday will be celebrated on this date in 2018.
Here’s what Mike Stirling, Head of Beano Studios, had to say about Beano’s tremendous success: “Initially, Beano was created by upstarts who revolutionised the whole industry. The continued rebellious approach is one of the things that has helped us remain popular and reach this momentous milestone. Producing the comic is a massive honour, especially as our readers - young and old - continue to enjoy it so much. In fact, a lot our success relies on our audience as all our best ideas always come from the kids!”
Beano Through the Years
On July 30th 1938, Robert D. Low and DC Thomson released the second of its funny boy papers. Little did they know, Beano would become the world’s longest-running weekly comic and a beloved British pop icon. So, how has the comic changed over the years?
During the 1940s, Beano helped boost British children’s morale during WW2 and asked them to join the war effort by recycling paper. Once the war ended, it was back to having fun with Britain's best boy Dennis the Menace appearing on the scene in 1951. Over the next two decades, Dennis the Menace’s popularity grew to the point that a Dennis the Menace and Gnasher fan club was launched in 1976 and enrolled 20,000 new members every week till 1998.
80 Years of Fun Compendium and Box Set
Beano fans can mark the anniversary with the Beano 80 Years of Fun compendium, featuring extracts from eight specially selected comics representing some of best, most iconic Beano editions. The limited edition Beano 80 Years of Fun box set not only includes iconic Beano editions, but you’ll also receive badges, cards, a poster, and exclusive Gnasher Snapper gift. Shop now while stock lasts.
Ten facts you didn’t know about Beano:
1. The word ‘Beano’ is a shortened version of ‘Bean feast’, meaning ‘a rowdy jollification.’
2. During the Second World War paper shortages meant the comic was reduced to 12 pages every two weeks.
3. Dennis’ canine companion, Gnasher, is drawn using Dennis’ hair and adding legs.
4. After the Second World War, the Beano Editor’s name was discovered upon a Nazi assassination list for ‘gross disrespect’!
5. For the first few episodes of his story, Dennis DIDN’T wear his famous red and black hooped jumper. His mum was still knitting it.
6. For six weeks in 1986, Dennis’s famous Abyssinian Wire-Haired Tripe Hound, Gnasher, went missing from the comic. He returned with six puppies.
7. Dennis was originally sketched on the back of a fag packet, in a pub!
8. There are only 20 surviving known copies of the first edition of Beano in the world.
9. It takes about 25 people to make a Beano comic including: artists, writers, colourists and graphic designers.
10. Lord Levison’s enquiry heard that ‘every newspaper apart from The Dandy and Beano’ was named in the investigation!
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