The Beano

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The Beano logo

The Beano is a long running British children's comic, published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd of Dundee, Scotland in the United Kingdom.

The comic first appeared in 1938 and it has continued weekly ever since. It continues as of 2007, having published over 3000 issues.

Its iconic characters have become known to generations of British children, including Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, and The Bash Street Kids. Earlier generations will remember Lord Snooty, but he stopped appearing in 1990. Fond memories have led to collectors paying high prices, over £12000 for the first issue.


A number of strips in the comic have run for a very long time. The longest-running strip in the comic as of 2006 is Dennis and Gnasher. Dennis first appeared in 1951, where he was billed "The World's Wildest Boy". The previous holder of this title was Lord Snooty, drawn by Dudley D Watkins, which appeared in the very first issue, but disappeared from the comic in 1990. Other famous strips include The Bash Street Kids created by Leo Baxendale, and Minnie the Minx, and Roger the Dodger created by Ken Reid.

There are frequent fictionale crossovers between The Beano and Dennis and Gnasher, with most of the characters living in the fictional Beanotown. Many of the comic strips in The Dandy are drawn by the same artists, and crossovers between the two comics and The Beano also occur occasionally.

Publication information

The Beano comic takes its name from the English word beano which can be loosely interpreted as a fun time.

The first edition of The Beano was dated 30 July 1938, and the 3000th issue was published in January 2000. It continues as of 2007. There are only 12 known copies of the first issue in existence, and only 5 known copies of the second issue (not including facsimiles).

A copy of this first issue sold for £12,100 on 16 March 2004 , which was at the time thought to be the highest price ever paid for a British comic at an auction. The current highest price is £20,350 which was paid for the first issue of The Dandy on 7 September 2004. The Beano is also the second longest running comic, the first being: The Dandy, which is also published by D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.


Euan Kerr was editor from 1984 until he handed over to Alan Digby in early 2006. Alan had been Beano Chief Sub Editor when Euan first became editor, and later edited The Beezer. As of April 2007, the comic costs 99p.

Sister comics

Since 1982 the comic, along with The Dandy, has also run "Comic Library" titles. Released monthly, these titles are a feature length (usually about 64 page) adventure, featuring a character from the comic itself. They are available in A5 size only. The comic also ran A4-sized "Beano Specials" in the early 1990s, which later were renamed "Beano Superstars". These were similar to the Comic Library series.

A Beano Poster Comic series was printed in the early 1990s.

On 15 February 2007, the first issue of a monthly sister comic entitled BeanoMAX was published. The sister comic many of the characters off this comic, however the stories in the sister comics are written in a longer format aimed for 8-13 year olds. The first issue was a Comic Relief special featuring assorted celebrity guests.


  • Private Eye refers to The Spectator as "The Hasbeano", with the Spectator's former editor Boris Johnson becoming "Boris the Menace".
  • The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album from the John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers band, is called "The Beano Album" by Eric Clapton fans, because on the album cover photo he is reading a Beano comic. That comic, No 1242 is extremely sought after by both collectors of the Beano Comic and Eric Clapton memorabilia, with issues sometimes exceeding UK£100 on eBay.
  • Reece Shearsmith, known for being in The League of Gentlemen, once wrote in to The Beano, saying that he had lost his current copy. It ended up as the star prize.
  • Big Eggo was replaced by Biffo the Bear as the cover star in 1948 as research showed that children identified more with characters that, like them, had 2 arms and 2 legs.
  • British adult humour comic Viz has landed in trouble a number of times for parodies of Beano (and Dandy) characters including Desperately Unfunny Dan, and DC Thompson (he's a miserable sod)
  • A song by British band The Libertines, " What A Waster", features the line "She writes down all her dreams//reads like the book of revelations//or the Beano or the unabridged Ulysees"

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