Go Bananas at Bedtime with Bananaman! Plus, Musical News…

Bananaman Bedding

Move over, Superman! The Beano‘s Bananaman is chasing you for cult status and a place in every fans living space, with new Bananaman bedding and cushions now available through Asda.

Produced by Bravado, we’re sure this comic development will be of interest to downthetubes readers looking for a Beano-related gift for their children (or themselves or their pet monkey, perhaps)…

Eric Wimp and his alter-ego Bananaman has been delighting kids and adults alike since 1980, first in Nutty, then The Dandy and since 2012, Beano, where he’s often seen vying for the cover with Dennis the Menace.

Created by Steve Bright and writer and editor Dave Donaldson (best known for his work on The Broons) and initially drawn by the late John Geering for Nutty comic in 1980, the quintessentially British Bananaman is the superhero with “the muscles of twenty men, and the brains of twenty mussels”. He’s brave, he’s bold… but he’s not very bright!

Back in the 1980s the dim-witted hero also featured in a very popular cartoon series, voiced by the comedy stars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie from The Goodies and proved very popular at the time. It was repeated several times and also popped up again in the 1990s, before becoming something of a cult thanks to DVD release.

“A key to the success of Bananaman is its tongue in cheek approach to ‘superheroes’ that strikes a chord with consumers and is still relevant today,” Start Licensing’s Ian Downes noted last year when Bravado’s licensing deal was first announced, who has been instrumental in developing new merchandise featuring the daft hero.

We’re pleased to report these smashing items got the downthetubes seal of approval from the office cat, although she was more interested in the box they came from.

Bananaman Bedding

There’s still no news on the long-awaited Bananaman movie, but earlier this month London’s Tristan Bates Theatre staged three rehearsed readings for Bananaman the Musical, the live action debut of the Man of Peel, which we reported on back in January. With a useless hero and some equally clueless villains, Bananaman’s winkingly clever, delightfully silly humour has been sealed into the memories of those who saw him first, and will now spark the imagination of a new bunch of Bananafans.

The cast are Jodie Jacobs, Chris Warner Drake, Nathan Amazi, Kate Graham, Ralph Bogard, Quinn Patrick, Rosie Needham, Mark Newnham and Carl Mullaney, many of them part of the cast of the UK version of the Broadway musical Disaster!

Bananaman The Musical has been written by the award-winning writer and composer of WolfboyThe Famous Five, Scary Musical and Monte Cristo Leon Parris, is directed by Fred Perry (producer, director, actor and founder of Sightline Entertainment), choreographed by Grant Murphy.

Produced by Sightline Entertainment in association with DC Thomson, we’re told it won’t be long before we all ‘Peel the Power’ of Bananaman. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for news (sorry) – and you can follow the production on Twitter @bananamanshow

Check out the Bravado Banaman range here on the Asda web site

Bananaman The Musical official web site | Facebook | Twitter @bananamanshow

• Visit www.bananamanlive.com to hear a sample from the show

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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