I saw a bumper edition of The Beano annual in a bookshop yesterday while we were doing an author book signing (they had billed us as “singing” but we thought better of it!).
The amazing thing was, this guy sat there, right behind us and read the whole thing. Then left it on the table and sauntered off!
Anyway, this brilliant British comic has been going for simply ages and is still popular. So it was natural that in 1950, Flick, our lead girl in Scordril, would collect her copy from her father’s shop in Traprain village even while camping at the foot of Traprain Law and meeting up with the Lothian dragons.
I’m not sure what it is about Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger (who are still in the 2009 issues), but here are a few facts about The Beano you may like to know.
1 The present Beano website is at www.beanotown.com
2 Its title means roughly A Good Time (according to Wikipedia)
3 The first issue was dated 30 July 1938, so it was well established by the time Flick was reading it
4 A copy of that first issue was sold in 2004 for £12,100…
5 You can find pictures of the covers over the years here
If you have a look here, you’ll find that the summer of 1950 was a time of change in the comic (this was when Flick was keeping Morris awake at night by reading her Beano with the light of a torch). Old favourites were dropped and some new characters arrived. I wonder what she thought of that? They even changed its name from The Beano Comic to The Beano – phew, at least we got that right! – but people can’t have minded much because in the 1950s circulation was nearly two million. That’s a lot of readers, whether in tents or in houses.