Tag Archives: Beano

Great News Inside!

Remember how whenever a comic would end it would always have ‘Great News Inside’ splashed across the cover, only to tell you the comic was ending that week? Well, sadly today marks my last day as a full time cartoonist. I’ll still be drawing and writing in my spare time, but just not as a career.

This last ten months has been a blast and I’ve been given the opportunity to do some amazing things and work with some amazing artists. A childhood dream came true when I was allowed to draw Minnie The Minx in the mini strips How To Train Your Parents and Breaking Dad, as well as writing for Nigel Parkinson’s Minnie in The Beano Summer Special.

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I was apprehensive when first asked to write both Little Plum and The Nibblers, as I wasn’t that familiar with the characters, but the inimitable Hunt Emerson (who draws both strips) is an amazing artist whose ability to take my stories to another level with his fantastic artwork has been both a jaw-dropping joy and a privilege to see. The talented swine!

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When I was offered the chance to write the iconic Gnasher & Gnipper I very nearly gnashed the Editor’s hand off, I’ve been writing most of the Gnasher strips for the past seven months for Beano legend Barrie Appleby. Seeing Barrie draw my scripts is like hearing The Beatles perform a song you’ve written.

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Other highlights include writing Bash Street Kids for the legendary Dave Sutherland, Bea for Nigel Parkinson, a Grinch parody for the infuriatingly talented Laura Howell, as well as drawing puzzles featuring my all time favourite characters: Calamity James, Billy Whizz, Les Pretend, and Pup Parade.

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I also got to bring back Gnasher’s kids, Dennis’ pet spider Dasher, Walter’s pet poodle Foo Foo, make more obscure references to films than you could possibly imagine, draw Alex Matthews’ Nuke Noodle clothes-lining zombies, kill Jedward and – amazingly – bring The Dandy back from the dead…

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Next year you’ll read some of my writing in both The Beano & The Dandy Annual, which is easily the career highlight of any Beano artist or writer, but If I had to pick a current highlight, this would be it: Hunt Emerson’s Little Plum in my script of ‘The Guffalo’.

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© DC THOMSON 2014, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

So, as I return to a ‘real job’, I just want to say thank you to Craig, Mich, John & Mark at The Beano for all the work and help they’ve given me, to Steve Beckett, Wayne Thompson, Hunt Emerson and Lew Stringer for all their advice and support and to all the readers who’ve read my work over the past ten months.

And finally, to Sarah Trinder & Andy Fanton, without whom none of this would have happened.

See you in the funny pages and remember – everyone we know loves The Beano!

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Filed under Andy Fanton, Barrie Appleby, Bea, Billy Whizz, Calamity James, Comic Strips, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Gnasher & Gnipper, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Lew Stringer, Little Plum, Madverts, Minnie the Minx, Pup Parade, Puzzle Pages, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The BeanoMax, The Dandy, The Gruffalo, The Nibblers, Zombies

Sarah & Duck.

Forget Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones, the best show on TV at the moment is on CBeebies – the BBC‘s digital preschool channel – and it’s about a girl and her waterfowl friend: Sarah & Duck.

Created by Sarah Gomes Harris and Tim O’Sullivan and loosely based on Gomes Harris’ childhood, this traditional animated series follows the idiosyncratic adventures of Sarah, a happy-go-lucky trombone-playing seven year old girl (voiced by Tasha Lawrence) and her best friend Duck, a deadpan Mallard with a serious bread addiction (voiced by an unnamed duck).

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Sarah & Duck, cooking up a treat on cBeebies.

Sublimely narrated by The Thick Of It‘s Roger Allam, the series centers around the relationship between the two main characters and the charmingly surreal adventures they have together. Along the way we meet a quirky cast of supporting characters, such as Scarf Lady (a dotty, knitting-mad matriarch voiced by Downton Abbey‘s Lesley Nicol) and her companions the cockney jack-the-lad Bag (her knitting bag) and her grumpy pet Donkey, as well as an excitable Umbrella, bizarro World Sarah & Duck: John & Flamingo, the Ribbon Sisters, Plate Girl (Jet Girl to Sarah’s Tank Girl), Scooter boy, a talking cake, a rainbow with a mustache and a button-collecting bug.

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Scarf Lady & Bag rock out with Sarah & Duck.

The show is visually stunning. Beautifully designed, with an iconic style of it’s own, yet with a soft hand-drawn quality reminiscent of classic shows like Mr Benn and Ivor The Engine. The plots strongly revolve around the theme of learning through play, but their frequent abstract tangents, surreal situations and emphasis on humour make Sarah & Duck as enjoyable for adults as it is for children.

In the episode ‘Sarah, Duck & The Penguins’ Sarah & Duck visit the zoo, as Duck decides he wants to be a penguin for the day. Duck’s failed attempts to ‘speak’ penguin are hilariously met with cold indifference from the blank-faced penguins and the narrator concludes that being a penguin wasn’t all it was “quacked up to be”. Sarah & Duck’s fourth wall breaking reaction to this pun is one of the funniest pieces of animation I’ve seen in a long time.

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“Your meal, Sir” “Just put it on the bill”.

I’ve been a big fan of the show since I saw the very first episode, so you can imagine how excited I was when The Beano accepted my pitch for a parody ‘Madvert’ entitled Sarah & Velociraptor.

Sarah & Duck

The page was an absolute pleasure to draw, I loved every minute of it. I recently tweeted it and the official Sarah & Duck Twitter account gave it their seal of approval, which was a real thrill.

I’m very pleased with the finished work, but if I could draw it again I’d definitely cram in more of the shows characters and maybe have Duck fighting off the ‘raptor, as I wanted to draw him too, but as Sarah Gome Harris herself said on Twitter “This is quite eventful!”

Sarah & Duck is produced by London-based Karrot Entertainment, using computer-assisted animation techniques and the CelAction2D package. The first series consists of 40 episodes, with each episode lasting 7 minutes. A second series of 40 episodes starts this summer. Lots Of Shallots, a DVD featuring the first 10 episodes, is available HERE and HERE, or you can buy the whole first series for just shy of £30 on iTunes, Amazon Prime and Google Play.

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You can tune in to Sarah & Duck every day on CBeebies at 5.10pm, or catch up with the week’s episodes on iPlayer.

The Beano is available every Wednesday in WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s and your local newsagent.

 

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Filed under Madverts, Parodies, Sarah & Duck, The Beano

Bog Standard.

Anyone familiar with my work will already be well aware of my penchant for toilet humour, so be wary – this blog post includes some whiffy humour, foul-stinking jokes and a few crap puns. Oh… and zombies. You have been warned!

It will be no surprise to regular Beano readers to see I’ve been scraping the unmentionable bowl for a few dried on nuggets of laughter yet again for the putrid wipe-clean puzzle page in this week’s Beano. I’ve set quite a few puzzles and Madverts in the littlest room in the house. For instance, I’ve already sent loony Les Pretend round the u-bend…

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Potty: Les Pretend pretends to be a… erm… well…

I’ve gone to war on good taste with the bum-grenade lobbing Call Of Tooty

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Modern Warfart: Rank smells in Call Of Tooty.

And I dumped this filthy load all over the pages of The Dandy

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Toilet Paper: Six of my stinkiest pages from The Dandy.

You get the idea there (and yes, I did do two Call of Duty parodies – the third in the trilogy, Call Of Dookie, is still on the to do-do list).

Another of my favourite subjects is the undead, here’s a few shambling wrecks reanimated from the Beano & Dandy archive.

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ZomBeano: Pages dug up from the DC Thomson graveyard.

So, at last my love of toilet humour and the walking dead finally meet in this week’s Beano for my latest lavatorial masterpiece: Toilet Of Terror!

The puzzle is based around the premise that mild-mannered W.C Boggs has just popped off for a plop when Armageddon suddenly arrives, bringing the undead with it. The Wiping Dead surround him and you have to escape through a network of stinky sewers avoiding bum biscuits, fearsome floaters and the ever-present nightmare of a bog-paper pilfering sewer-surfing Zombie.

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Flushed With Success: Toilet Of Terror, from this week’s Beano.

The eagle-eyed reader will spot a few nods to movies here. Firstly, Carry On At Your Convenience – in which Kennth Kope’s Union leader Vic Spanner is constantly at odds with Kenneth Williams as factory boss W.C Boggs. I’m a huge Carry On fan, and although this particular Carry On is – fittingly – crap, I couldn’t resist curling out a trouserless Kenneth Williams center stage in the bog-based puzzle page.

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Round The Benders: Kenneth Williams and the gang land right in it in Carry On At Your Convenience.

Next up we have something a little less kid-friendly, recent zombies-in-the-toilet comedy horror movie Stalled.

In Stalled, down on his luck every-knob W.C is stuck cleaning toilets on Christmas Eve while the whole office parties around him. Things couldn’t get much worse, until the zombie apocalypse arrives and W.C is left trapped in the crapper and in deep crap!

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Diarrhea Of The Dead: W.C has the crap scared out of him.

Stalled is the bonkers brainchild of madcap movie making Brit duo Dan Palmer and Christian James, and as well as a zombie outbreak it also features artwork by myself and fellow Beano doodler Andy Fanton.

Stalled is available on DVD now from HERE and HERE as well as a host of online streaming sites such as Netflix and BlinkBox.

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Stalled: Plopping out now on DVD & Bluray.

Ignoring my involvement, I loved Stalled, it’s everything a Zombie movie should be and really is a claustrophobic  triumph. You can read a more in-depth review of Stalled on FlickeringMyth.com or watch the trailer HERE (it’s not for kids, obviously!)

Back to the puzzle and, in tribute to Stalled, if you look closely you can see a zombified version of W.C on the left of the page, peeping over the instructions and the background of the page (and this page’s header) is made up of a repeated image used in Stalled‘s online marketing (I asked writer and star Dan Palmer if I could use it).

My next puzzle doesn’t feature any zombies, fart gags, toilets or in-jokes. It’s just a plain old straight up tale of scientists hunting for a yeti. Here’s a sneaky peeky at part of it…

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COR!!: My next puzzle is packed with goodies.

The Beano is out now in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s and the Co-Op priced £2. It’s packed with comics, puzzles, pranks and competitions as well as appearances from all your favourite comic characters from Dennis The Menace, Billy Whizz, The Bash Street Kids, Bananaman and Roger the Dodger to Biffo the Bear, Pansy Potter and Little Plum.

Finally, I couldn’t flush this blog away without sharing this, my take on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith from The Dandy.

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Fart Wars: Forcing one out.

 

All artwork on this blog remains property of DC Thomson & Co LTD. All rights, including Digital and Reproduction, are reserved by DC Thomson. No unauthorised reproduction or copying of any of the artwork in this blog is permitted.

All artwork is used by permission for the purpose of review.

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Filed under Carry On, Dan Palmer, Films, Parodies, Puzzle Pages, Stalled, The Beano, The Dandy, Toilet Humour, Zombies

Puzzles, panels and perilous tasks.

PHEW! It’s been a busy few months for me and The Beano! There’s a lot to get through here, so I’ll try and keep it brief!

Firstly, I’ve had 2 new mini strips start:

The latest is Animals Crossing, a daft strip revolving around the traditional “Knock, knock” joke.

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Clucking Hilarious: Animals Crossing runs for 6 weeks in The Beano.

Next up is How To Train Your Parents, which follows on from my Minnie The Minx strip ‘Breaking Dad’. This time the strip features Minnie showing you how to get your parents to do what you want and get your own way!

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Theme Park Larks: How To Train Your Parents runs for 6 weeks in The Beano.

There’s one more mini strip due soon, based around some pop-star punnery…

The last of my established-character based puzzles was printed a couple of weeks ago, featuring Jonah – the unluckiest sailor on the seven seas! In it, Jonah – oh no! It’s ‘im! – won a one way trip to an exotic tropical isle!

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A Whale Of A Time: Jonah sinks my puzzle pages with a tropical island tale.

Next up, the top brass at The Beano asked me to do a nice little puzzle page featuring lovely fluffy bunnies for Easter!

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Funny Bunnys: The header for my Radioactive Rabbit Rampage puzzle page.

There’s more daft puzzles on the way featuring yetis, Frankenstein, intergalactic imbeciles and a plethora of creatures from beyond the stars all coming soon!

Aside from all the doodling, I’ve also been busy writing Gnasher & Gnipper for artist Barrie Appleby, The Nibblers and Little Plum for Hunt Emerson and soon you’ll hopefully be seeing Dennis The Menace‘s fart-machine baby sister return to her own strip, Bea-ginnings! (I’m not sure who the artist is for that one).

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Gnoisless Gnasher: Gnasher lost his Gnash in Barrie Appleby’s Gnasher & Gnipper.

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Starstruck: Porky’s seeing stars in Hunt Emerson’s The Nibblers.

Still with me? Good. This year sees the return of The Beano Summer Special and we’ve all been busy beavering away to bring you a fun-packed, sun-packed treat. I was unexpectedly asked to write a couple of two page Minnie The Minx strips, which are to be drawn by the legendary Nigel Parkinson. Which is a bit like being asked to write a song for George Harrison, then having it recorded by all the Beatles. More on this another time.

I’m also unbelievably pleased to say I’ve been writing a couple of characters for both The Beano Annual and The Dandy Annual 2016. Yes, 2016! (The 2015 Annual hits the shops in a couple of months).

When I got the email asking if I would do it, I genuinely wrote back asking if they were joking! Writing for the Annuals really is a privilege and something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life. It has to be the highlight of my career so far, even topping my full page strips in The Dandy, drawing Beryl The Peril for ‘Pass the Peril’ and drawing Calamity James and Minnie The Minx for The Beano. To be honest I still can’t believe it!

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Pass Out: The final part of the second Pass the Peril in 2011 on The Dandy’s Facebook page. Apologies for the shambolic shoddy lettering, I was just starting out and had yet to learn to write. Or draw!

I’m not sure why, but it’s traditional not to let on which characters you’re writing for, so I’ll keep schtum for now. All I will say is The Dandy character is easily my favourite DC Thomson character of all time…

Finally, back to The Beano weekly. I’ve just had my first four Little Plum scripts approved, which I really enjoyed writing. I’ll write a blog on them when they appear, but for now I’ll tease a bit more by saying one of the stories features my SECOND favourite DC Thomson character of all time, who, despite being a Beezer character, was regularly shoe-horned (or should that be horse shoe-horned?) into my Dandy strips…

The Beano is available every Wednesday priced £2 from all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Sainsbury’s, The Co-Op and Winter Road News, Winter Road, Portsmouth.

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Filed under Barrie Appleby, Comic Strips, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Minnie the Minx, Puzzle Pages, The Beano, The Dandy

This week’s Beano is streets ahead!

It’s a bumper day for Beano fans, not only is there a brand new issue out, but Dundee Council have unveiled a street named after Beano Town’s most notorious avenue!

To celebrate 60 years of The Bash Street Kids, Dundee now has it’s very own Bash Street just a catapult shot away from the school which inspired the strip all those years ago. You can read more on the story HERE and see the Beano Ed and Bash Street Kids artist Dave Sutherland unveiling the street name HERE!

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This week’s issue is a fun packed as always, with the aforementioned Bash Street Kids giving their usual brand of silly sympathy when Teacher has a headache, Dennis The Menace takes on the internet trolls, Ball Boy takes to the air with the England squad, Minnie The Minx celebrates being given an extra page, Edd is fighting off the flu in The Numskulls, Calamity James has no idea when it comes to Ikea, you can’t teach an old Tripe Hound new tricks in Gnasher’s Tale, there’s a terrifying trip to the vet in Number 13, Wallace & Gromit are making a splash, Billy Whizz goes on a crash diet, Crow makes an over-ripe comeback in Bananaman, the writing is on the wall for Tricky Dicky, Chiefy’s got the chills in Little Plum, Dad is feeling sporty in Roger The Dodger and there’s more laughs with Grandpa, The Nibblers, Smudge, Karate Sid and Les Pretend!

Grab a menacing preview of this week’s issue HERE! There’s also a chance to win a radio controlled car by taking a survey about The Beano HERE!

This week also sees the debut of my second run of Minnie The Minx strips – How To Train Your Parents. This week, it’s how to get out of housework. Here’s a sneaky peeky, minus the text.

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All artwork is © DC Thomson 2014

The Beano issue 3723 is on sale now in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, The Co-op and they’ve got a couple of extra copies in this week at Winter Road News, Winter Road, Portsmouth.

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Filed under Billy Whizz, Calamity James, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The Nibblers

The Beano gets Nuked!

This week’s Beano features a surprise guest star smashing through the pages – Nuke Noodle, Alex Matthews’ time travelling wrestler from The Dandy!

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Nuke appears in my puzzle page Wrestlers Vs Zombies, alongside my versions of classic Beano oddity Pansy Potter: The Strongman’s Daughter and Jamie Smart’s ace (but criminally short-lived) Mexican Wrestling star El Poco Loco! A real mixed bag of characters new and old!

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Nuke Noodle, he was always the highlight of The Dandy each week and I regularly re-read the gloriously mad strips. When I pitched the puzzle I had planned to sneak him in the background, but had so much fun drawing him that he became the star!

Here’s the first ever Nuke Strip, from Alex’s ace Blog.

nukenoodle01colour_webThe Beano is on sale now in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Asda, Sainsbury’s, The Co-Op and, as always, Winter Road News, Portsmouth!

 

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Filed under Alexander Matthews, Jamie Smart, Nuke Noodle, The Beano, The Dandy

The Only Way is Beano,

This week’s Beano sees a brief return of a patented Stu Munro Multi-Puzzle (©SMunro 2014), with ‘The Only Way Is Bash Street, in which Joey Essex off The Only Way Is Essex is sent back to school for being daft and there’s only one school daft enough to take him.

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All artwork and characters are © DC Thomson

As usual I wrote Gnasher’s Bite, in which Dad has a fight on his hands when it’s time for Gnasher’s annual visit to the vet care of Barrie Appleby.

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All artwork and characters are © DC Thomson

Hunt Emerson’s take on The Nibblers sees Whiskers’ latest plan backfire when he accidentally floods the house – WATER disaster, eh readers?

Sorry.

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All artwork and characters are © DC Thomson

On the pages not ruined by my inclusion, Smudge is back by the hand of Alan Ryan, as is Number 13. The Dave Grohl Of Comics™ – Steve Beckett – sends Grandpa on a golfing crash course, Karate Sid‘s kung foolery leaves artist Paul Palmer reeling, Laura Howell’s Les Pretend is one card short of a full deck and her Tricky Dicky suffers a Dicky tum.

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Steve Beckett’s Grandpa tees up for fun.

Lew Stringer’s Rasher is a pig that likes to dig and his Doctor Flu has a money-making scheme that’s snot what it seems. Nigel Parkinson’s Minnie The Minx is minding her manners and Dennis The Menace is taking a page out his own book. There’s rhyme and reason in Alex Matthews’ double page Ball Boy, Wilbur Dawbarn’s Billy Whizz gives his teacher the run-around and Nigel Auchterlounie’s nutty Numbskulls solve the case of what’s going on in Sherlock Holmes’ noggin.

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Lew stringer’s Doctor Flu.

Dave Sutherland’s Bash Street Kids take a chill pill, Wayne Thompson sends help for heroes via helpless hero Bananaman, there’s featherbrained larks with Hunt Emerson’s redskin chum Little Plum and Jamie Smart has been watching too much Game Of Thrones in this week’s deranged Roger The Dodger.

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The Beano issue 3720 – OUT NOW!

The Beano is available in all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Co-Op and there’s only one copy left in the little newsagent up the road from me, so hurry up.

Also out today, the new issue of Dennis The Menace & Gnasher Megazine, which features an ace 32 page pull-out comic of me old chum Andy Fanton’s George Vs Dragon strips! Cor!

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My next puzzle won’t appear for a while – as I haven’t drawn it yet, but it will feature a beloved Beano sea-faring sailor from yesteryear…

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Filed under Alexander Matthews, Andy Fanton, Barrie Appleby, Billy Whizz, Comic Strips, Dave Sutherland, Dennis the Menace, George Vs Dragon, Gnasher, Gnipper, Hunt Emerson, Jamie Smart, Lew Stringer, Minnie the Minx, Puzzle Pages, Roger the Dodger, The Bash Street Kids, The Beano, The Nibblers