Happy Birthday Beano!

Collage of illustrated Beano characters
Category: Reading

This year marks the 80th birthday of Beano. To celebrate, we invited them to share some little-known facts about everyone's favourite comic. 

On July 30th 1938, DC Thomson published the second series of its funny boy papers known as Beano. Over the last eight decades, the comic has experienced significant milestones, style changes and triumphs. Many generations of Scottish readers grew up reading this delightful comic and today over 27 million people in the UK have been a regular Beano reader at some point in their lives. That’s a lot of mischievous memories! 

After the Second World War, the Beano Editor’s name was discovered upon a Nazi assassination list for ‘gross disrespect’!

 Beano Through the Ages

Remember when Dennis the Menace was introduced in the 1950s? Or when his cherished pet,  Gnasher, went missing in March 1986? How about when Dennis the Menace’s sister, Bea, was born? While Dennis the Menace may be Scotland’s favourite troublemaker, there’s plenty more to Beano’s history too.

Over the years, Beano has hosted various cover stars. Early editions featured the loveable, goofy ostrich Big Eggo, who reigned supreme for 1948 before he was replaced by Biffo the Bear. Many other fabulous characters like Ivy the Terrible, Minnie the Minx, Lord Snooty, and Billy the Whizz have also graced the pages of the comic.

Throughout the eras, Beano has introduced beloved characters like the Bash Street Kids, broke Guinness World Records, and celebrated characters’ birthdays. Beano helped boost Scottish children’s morale during WW2, made them part of the gang with the Dennis the Menace and Gnasher fan club, and created many memories along the way.

There are only 20 surviving known copies of the first edition of Beano in the world.

Today, Beano is proudly heralded as the world’s longest running weekly comic and has firmly established its place as a Scottish pop icon. Over 1.86 million copies of Beano have been sold and within the UK an issue is sold every 17 seconds!

 

10 Fun Beano Facts

  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!

 

Happy Birthday Beano

To celebrate Beano’s 80th birthday, DC Thomson has released a Beano Box Set of eight specially selected comics representing some of best, most iconic Beano editions and a fun-filled interactive timeline looking at the history of Britain’s best-loved comic.

There’s plenty of mischief in store too! Minnie the Minx has her 65th birthday coming up in December, which is sure to be marked with many opportunities for merrymaking and capers!

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