Tube Surfing: Beano Merchandising

The range of Beano merchandising in this its 70th year continues to expand. While many of the items are aimed at the younger fans there are things of interest for the more mature readers of the title.

Fine and Dandy have been mentioned on downthetubes before since they sell adult size Tough Of The Track t-shirts as well as a surprising selection of other DC Thomson related t-shirts for adults and children. For the adult Beano fan they also have a mouse mat, golf head covers and belt buckles featuring Dennis and Gnasher and some really nice fridge magnets featuring the covers of old Beano annuals.
More details are on the Fine and Dandy website.

While it is the time of the year for the latest batch of annuals to appear there are other Beano books available. Meadowside Books have a range of junior novels featuring Beano characters available. Written by Rachel Elliot and illustrated by Beano artist Barrie Appleby, there are ten softcover novels featuring Dennis and Gnasher, two featuring Minnnie the Minx and one featuring the Bash Street Kids. In addition some of the Dennis stories have been compiled into a hardback entitled The Complete Menace. It is worth pointing out that the street in Dundee that DC Thomson’s Courier Building headquarters is located on is simply called Meadowside and that Meadowside Books is indeed a DC Thomson company.
More details are available at the Meadowside Books website and the books are available on Amazon UK.

Boots of all places are getting in on the act with a selection of tie-in merchandise. While the inevitable socks are there, albeit in very nice packaging, there is also a Gnasher mouse mat, a presentation pen and pencil set, an apron and bottle opener set, cuff links and, for the Dandy fan, a Desperate Dan mug that is big enough for Dan himself.
More details are on the Boots website.

And finally, despite not having seen a copy yet, the one piece of Beano merchandise that we would expect to stand head and shoulders above everything else in the run up to Christmas is The History Of The Beano: The Story So Far. Written by DC Thomson archivist Morris Heggie who showed his in depth knowledge of the subject during the gallery talk at Beano exhibition in Dundee’s Lamb Gallery and published by Ron Grosset’s Waverley Books who made 2007’s Maw Broon’s Cookbook not just a delight to behold but also a major crossover hit sales-wise, this book is due to be published this week.

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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