Bonnie Dundee, long home to DC Thomson who have provided generations of readers with their comics fix, has been running the Bash Street’s Back exhibition at the McManus Gallery, “a fun and rebellious look at the Beano at 80” – and it’s proved a big hit, and generated record-breaking visitor numbers for a UK comics-related exhibition.
Regular downthetubes readers will recall the city’s rather handsome McManus Art Gallery and Museum renamed itself for this celebration of the history and creators of the Beano during its eightieth anniversary year, changing its name to the McMenace.
Now the Edinburgh Evening News reports that the attraction has proved incredibly successful, outstripping the British Library’s excellent 2014 Comics Unmasked show to become the most visited comics exhibition in the UK, having drawn in over 80,000 visitors – and there are still a few weeks left, as the exhibition runs until the 21st of October! Well done to everyone involved, how wonderful to see so many people enjoying our rich comics heritage.
To celebrate the Beano Studios has added another artwork to the show, the Minnie Lisa, by “Duh Vinci”, complete with the required “enigmatic smile”, by Shropshire-based Beano artist Emily McGorman-Bruce. Her credits on the comic include “Rubi’s Screwtop Science”, “Pie Face” and “Paul the Potato”. As well as a variety of commercial illustration work, she’s self published a number of her own book projects including DeoxyriboNucleic Anarchy, A world beyond and Surviving a zombie outbreak – a guide for zombies .
After a visit to a comics event in Dundee a few years ago I noticed that Minnie the Minx was one of the Beano characters on an artwork greeting those arriving through the city’s railway station. It tickled me to see such public enthusiasm for the comics the city had been home to for so long, and I remember taking a photo as I hurried to catch my train, and sent it to Minnie creator, the late Leo Baxendale, who was quite delighted to see his Amazonian troublemaker greeting visitors to Dundee. I wonder what he, Ken Reid and the other greats who made the Beano what it is would think of such a show and the huge success it has enjoyed with the public.
Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum is celebrating the 80th birthday of Beano this summer. A special collaboration with DC Thomson’s Beano Studios in an awesome exhibition ‘Bash Street’s Back at The McMenace’ coming to Dundee, the world’s capital of comics.
The exhibition is a fun and rebellious look at Beano at 80. The show takes in the history of DC Thomson as well as the story of printing and the birth of Beano. There is a special focus on the hilarious Bash Street Kids with their characteristic slapstick humour. Artists and writers who made up Beano’s team and influenced the look and content throughout the years also feature. Alongside is an illustration of how a comic is put together and a glance at the eclectic mix of Beano merchandise that has hit the shelves over the past 80 years.
Featured in the show are objects from the DC Thomson archive and the city’s collections. Included is a rare first edition Beano, traditional linotype machine and of course much loved Dennis the Menace fan club memorabilia.