Britain’s favourite comic, The Beano, celebrates its eightieth birthday this summer and Comic Art will be marking the event with two major exhibitions of Beano screenprints.
The Beano’s first edition was published on 30 July, 1938 and it’s been published ever since – sometimes selling nearly two million copies a week – making it Britain’s favourite and longest-running comic.
Generations of British schoolchildren have been brought up with the title – and are familiar with its characters, from Dennis The Menace to Minnie The Minx, The Bash Street Kids, Roger The Dodger, Billy Whizz, Biffo The Bear and Lord Snooty. Comic Art produces screenprints featuring all these characters.
Comic Art’s first exhibition will be held in the comic’s Scottish heartlands, in Dundee, near publisher DC Thomson’s headquarters. Art gallery Eduardo Alessandro (30 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, DD5 2BJ). This will be launched in June – see the gallery’s website www.eastudios.com for details.
In the autumn, Comic Art has been invited to exhibit at the Loogabarooga Festival in Loughborough, which is celebrating The Beano in its 80th anniversary year. This is described as “an annual event for families who love books and illustrated literature”. It started in 2015 as a celebration of 100 years of Ladybird Books, which was based in the town. The name of the festival comes from how some visitors pronounce Loughborough. Since then the festival has featured some of the nation’s favourite children’s works including Harry Potter and the work of writer and artist Lauren Child. See the festival’s website www.loogabarooga.co.uk for details.
Comic Art has a special licence from DC Thomson to use its fabulous archive of artwork in screenprints. These are hand-printed by John Patrick Reynolds and his team in west London on cotton, mould-made paper which is milled in Somerset.