The Beano

David Maybury wrote a short piece on Tuesday, about the Beano celebrating 70 years since it first appeared in print.

The image is from The Book Cave

I was not born when it first appeared but the mention brought back memories for me. The Beano made many appearances in our household during my childhood. It did not matter who bought it, we all managed to devour the stories in our own time. We did not have a regular order for this comic-cut as we called it, but bought back numbers for one or two old brown pennies.

Two strong memories come to mind. The first was while staying with my Grandmother during the summer school holidays, my brother and I bought a copy of the Beano. We had hardly finished looking at it when my uncle who was unmarried at the time and still living with his mother, asked to read it. He went off to his room with it and we never saw the comic again that night.

Next morning we told granny what happened. Once my uncle had gone to work she sent us up to his room to look for it. As we reached the top of the stairs her voice rang out “Don’t be looking at those dirty books!” This remark was always followed by a hearty laugh. My uncle had several stacks of ‘Men Only’ and a few copies lay open on his desk. Naturally we had a peek…. even if we didn’t understand the half of it.

The other memory was from a time away from home when I was about eight years old. I was now staying with an aunt and uncle. Again I had bought a copy of the Beano. My aunt asked where I got that rubbish. She confiscated it and handed me a soft leather bound gilt edged book and told me to read that instead. It was a copy of David Copperfield. The pages were as fine as tissue and I found it difficult to separate them. The language was way beyond my comprehension.

One of these days I might give David (Copperfield) a second chance….


29 thoughts on “The Beano

  1. Was Desperate Dan a Beano character?

    I loved those orange Dan bars with the bits of black crystallized sugar. They remind me of going on the bus to Tralee with my cousin to Swimming Lessons. Yummm.

  2. Bert’s photo appeared in the Beano once – on Gnasher’s page. His mother still has it. I’ll never forget the kid’s on the Duncluh estate shouting – Hey Missus. Your Bert & Danny (our then dog) are in the Beano!

    I recently bought a set of Beano curtains off Ebay. They were amazingly cheap considering.

  3. Anyone remember Boys from the Blackstuff

    Yosser Hughes :I’m desperate father
    Priest: Call me Dan
    Yosser: I’m desperate Dan!

    I loved the Beano GM …and the Topper
    Numerous punks adopted the red and black jumper as their own “style”

  4. @Maz – I don’t recall the ‘Dan’ bar.

    @Nelly – That Bert turns up everywhere. How much is he charging for autographs? 😉

    @Mike – I remember the Topper and then I moved on to Bunty and Judy.

  5. The Dan bars were those long thin orangey things in Blue wrapping, I think they still sell them!

    Great post GM and thanks for the link 🙂 – the Beano must be one of the first reads for everybody… Still laughing at the dirty pictures story.

  6. David

    I think The Dan bars were after my time.

    My Granny had a great sense of humour, I hope I inherited it.

  7. Ah, the Beano. That takes me back… all of 7 years.

    Used to buy it every week on the day it came out without fail – but after a while I just stopped buying it. Maybe I had found a better use for my pocket money, maybe I got bored of it, I’m not too sure.

    I still have a huge pile of them sitting in one of my wardrobes upstairs. The 60th birthday special is probably my “best” one, although for some reason it’s the one that’s fallen apart first!

    Maybe I’ll see if I can pick up the latest issue in the shop today, see how much the content has changed since I last read it…

  8. ChrisD I bet you pull out that pile of Beanos and start reading them again now.

  9. @maz – omg, totally got the taste of a Dan bar in my mouth there!

    GM, my sister and I had a ritual about the Beano and the Dandy. We would be brought to the only village newsagent (this is pre supermarkets and garages selling them) on a Sunday morning after mass where Mrs O’ Leary (whose sister owned the shop across the road, whose brothers were both missionary priests and whose other sister was the village historian) would bring out the comics “all the way from London don’t you know” and sort through them, looking for our names she’d written on the top. We waited patiently as she enquired if we’d been good for our parents, if we were getting on well at school, if we’d been to mass, if we’d listened to the reading and so on. Same questions every Sunday. Then into the back of the car on a drive as we munched whatever sweeties came with the comic, engrossed in Billy Whizz, the bash street gang, Gnasher and Gnipper, Rodger the Dodger and so on. We’d swap later to catch up on the events from the other comic, but were always sure to get our own copies back. And if we were mean, we’d deny the other sibling the pleasure of seeing what was going on.

    Sun shining, ice creams in the car. great memories. Thanks for prompting them again. I’ve just texted my sister to remind her 🙂

  10. @Andrew – Does it cost more than two old brown pennies now? 😆

    @Darragh – Wow! Great bunch of memories there. We had no room to read comics in the car…. might just blog about it.

  11. @GM: I still read the odd few now and then when I’m sitting in my room doing nothing.

    I actually went to pick up a copy today while at the shop – and my sister leaves it at the checkout because she was busy sneaking a read of it while she was supposed to be helping to pack the bags :angry:
    Well, I’ll get next week’s anniversary one 🙂

  12. It was €1.52 down in the shop earlier. Not sure what that equates to in Sterling and how much of that was the “loading” our shop tends to charge based on it’s size…

  13. @Grannymar No. I just took a flick through a copy in Eason’s for nostalgia’s sake. It’s hardly a comic book anymore: They even relegated Desperate Dan to the back!

  14. I never really got into comics unless they had something ‘free’ in them like XRay glasses or Decoder rings. They always remind me of severe bouts of Tonsilitis, just about the only time a bunch of comics would arrive to keep me entertained whilst lying in bed.

  15. My three brothers made me wait until they had finished reading our one copy of the Beano before I got a look-in. It was all tattered and dog-eared by the time it got to me 😦

    But then they moved on to the Eagle and I got the Beano all to myself 😀

  16. @keith – Ah! Easons; always great for a free read. I remember having a book (title escapes me) and the last page was missing. In to Easons at lunchtime to read the last page in a crisp new copy!

    @Baino – I spent several weeks in bed every winter with bronchitis. In those days it was bed rest in an even temperature plus horse pills. The pills seldom worked for me. Mr ‘O’ the local newsagent would send down a bundle of back numbers (free) to keep me occupied. 😀 My brothers loved when I was sick! 😥

    @Steph – Sometimes brothers were cruel!

  17. I loved the Beano and the Dandy when I was a kid, especially Desperate Dan and the Bash Street Kids. It’s probably all those comic strips that explain my totally weird sense of humour.

  18. Welcome back Nick,

    I hope you had a good holiday across the pond.

    I don’t blame the comics for my weird sense of humour, I blame my grandmother, God bless her lisle stockings! 😀

  19. Dandy, Beano, Wizard…never allowed in our house we had Eagle and Robin and later my sister had Girl!

    I too had to struggle with Copperfield at the age of 8… wasn’t until I was over 50 that I found out that Dickens edited a magazine in which his stories were published. He, apparently, paid his writers by the word!!!

    Dickens: British writer who never used one word when six would do.

  20. Pingback: The Beano again | TheChrisD

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