Monday, February 27, 2012

Pretend it's Christmas....

...and you're eagerly tearing the wrapping paper off a flat, rectangular object. What could it be? Nope, not a squashed box of Dairy Milk - it's this year's Beano annual! Or maybe the Dandy annual, if that's how your parents roll! WOOO! The excitement of a new Beano or Dandy annual never really diminishes with time, and that's certainly the case for us overgrown children who play a part in filling them. For the second year running I've contributed to both publications, reprising last year's Bully Beef and Chips with three new stories, as well as adding three more pages of another very familiar character...

Noooo, not Our Cilla - it's Keyhole Kate, everyone's favourite peeping lunatic. Did you know she's been around since the comic's start in 1938? This must be at least her fifth or sixth incarnation, I think. Gawrsh! I'm amazed they managed to come up with so many keyhole-looking-through scenarios over the years.

The Dandy annual looks to be a real nostalgia-fest this year, probably to tie in with the comic's 75th anniversary in 2013. Check out the blog of the lovely Wilbur Dawbarn (link on the right) for more sneak prviews.

Over in Beanotown, I've been drawing a whole load of Meebo & Zuky, including a slightly new spin on the characters which I'll be blogging more about in the next few weeks...

And - very excitingly for me - I was asked to produce some new pages for a classic strip that's currently re-running in the weekly Beano. I'll let my teaser image do the rest of the talking;)

It's a fantastic experience to work on characters devised by such greats as Allan Morley and John Geering, and I can honstly say I'm dead chuffed about it. I hope my pages raise the appropriate chuckles.

So there we have it, make sure Santa brings you a copy of each one (or just treat yourself when they come out in July, eh?)


  1. The Dandy started in December 1937, not 1938.

  2. Wow! looking forward to seeing your take on Kate and Number 13, Laura.

  3. I wish the work I did could bring as much widespread joy as yours does!

  4. I'm most excited about your version of Number 13! That picture above looks fantastic - almost John Geering-like! Are you drawing Bully Beef and Chips as well or just Keyhole Kate?

    It's amazing how a character as odd as Kate could manage to have so many keyhole-related stories and still be funny!

    - Harry Rickard

  5. I can't wait for this Dandy annual! Exciting stuff, Laura, and thanks for the mention. :D

  6. Late comment, sorry. Looks great - but why you not doing Les Pretend for the Beano Annual this year?

  7. RE Keyhole Cilla: Is that from a Beano & Dandy 50 Golden Years book or something? I've got almost all of those, I haven't got the one I think that's from, but that's the sort of thing they had in those books.

  8. Wow, we know almost all of the stuff that's in this year's Dandy Annual.
    3 2-page Winker Watsons
    3 1-page Robin Hood's Schooldays
    3 2-page Badd Lads
    ? ?-page Beryl the Perils
    ? ?-page Corporal Clotts
    3 1-page Monkey Bizness
    ? ?-page Bully Beef and Chips
    ? ?-page Keyhole Kates
    ? ?-page Unknown 1940s strip
    ? ?-page Unknown 1950s- strip
    ? ?-page Unknown strip
    ? ?-page Unknown strip
    ? ?-page Unknown adventure strip
    ? ?-page Bananaman
    ? ?-page Korky*
    ? ?-page Desperate Dan*
    ? ?-page Cuddles & Dimples*

  9. Care to make a prediction, anybody?

  10. And to reinforce the fact that I really am a little Dandy nerd/geek/swot, here's a full list of strips in last year's annual.
    Korky the Cat (Chris McGhie)
    Blinky (Nick Brennan)
    Bananaman (Chris McGhie)
    Bully Beef and Chips (LAURA HOWELL)
    Corporal Clott (Nigel Auchterlounie)
    Desperate Dan (Nigel Parkinson)
    Fiddle O'Diddle (Nik Holmes)
    Beryl the Peril (Karl Dixon)
    George vs Dragon (Andy Fanton)
    Winker Watson (Stephen White)
    Puss and Boots (Nigel Auchterlounie)
    Jak and Todd (Wayne Thompson)
    Brain Duane (Steve Beckett)
    Strange Hill School (David Mostyn)
    Kid Cops (Lew Stringer)
    Brassneck (Nick Brennan)
    Ollie Fliptrik (Karl Dixon)
    Cuddles and Dimples (Nigel Parkinson)
    Agent Dog 2 Zero (Paul Palmer)
    I hope I'm not annoying any of you, I love you people! Also, Karl Dixon is doing a sort of Hysterical History strip about The Dandy for this year's annual.

    Fiddle O'Diddle (Nik Holmes)
    Beryl the Peril (Karl Dixon)

  11. As perhaps Number 13's only Yank fan (having been brought up on the Beano by English expat neighbors), I always enjoyed Frankie's ridiculous relationship with Sabre the brick.
    Which brings me to a burning question: no matter how strange things got at Number 13, I don't recall Sabre ever having exhibited any actual sentient abilities (regardless of Frankie's being convinced otherwise). Am I right, or did the brick occasionally come to life when nobody else was around?