Happy Birthday, Bananaman – 40 Years Young!

Beano 4022 cover featuring BananamanBeano is celebrating the 40th birthday of one of the super hero world’s fruitiest creation, Bananaman, with the launch of a special edition of the weekly comic, featuring an extended story for the character.

The super hero also appears throughout all of the comic’s “Dennis & Gnasher”, “Minnie the Minx”, “The Bash Street Kids”, and “Billy Whizz” strips within the special comic, on sale now in all good newsagents, supermarkets – and also available digitally.

This time Bananaman’s birthday party has been crashed by a robot squid who has stolen all his powers, allowing villains to take over Beanotown.

The Beanotown kids come together to defeat the baddies and free Bananaman, in a story written by Nigel Auchterlounie, drawn by Nigel Parkinson, who also provides the issue’s cover.

“When I was about 13, I got in trouble off my English teacher for drawing my own Bananaman strip in class,” Nigel Auchterlounie notes.

“30 years later I wrote the script for Bananaman’s 40th birthday strip!”

Nutty Issue One, cover dated 16th February 1980

Bananaman's first appearance, in Nutty Issue 1 in February 1980. Art © DC Thomson.

Bananaman’s first appearance, in Nutty Issue 1 in February 1980. Art © DC Thomson.

Bananaman, and his alter ego Eric Wimp, first appeared in the British comic Nutty in the issue cover dated 16th February 1980. Created by David Donaldson, writer Steve Bright – these days, The Sun‘s resident political cartoonist – and legendary artist John Geering, Bananaman turned traditional superhero tropes on their head with his hair-brained hijinks and misadventures.

He moved across to The Dandy in 1985, then moved to the Beano in 2012, where his adventures continue to this day. He also stars in both The Dandy and Beano annuals each year.

Bananaman's first appearance in Beano in January 2012

Bananaman’s first appearance in Beano in January 2012

Beano cover dated 12th February 2020 - Bananaman

The character has also been a star of his own animated and theatre shows.

At his National Library of Scotland talk (tying in with their Local Heroes comics exhibition) in 2008, co-creator David Donaldson said that one of the highlights of his career in DC Thomson was being flown to Cannes to help promote the Bananaman animated TV series.

As the Beano celebrates 40 years of Bananaman, Batmin returns, as Minnie the Minx faces Apple Man! The Bash Street Kids school King Zorg and the Nerks! Calamity James meets The Weatherman! Scripts by Andy Fanton, art by Laura Howell, David Sutherland and Leslie Stannage. Plus a cameo from The Goodies, the voices behind the classic Bananaman cartoon!

As the Beano celebrates 40 years of Bananaman, Batmin returns, as Minnie the Minx faces Apple Man! The Bash Street Kids school King Zorg and the Nerks! Calamity James meets The Weatherman! Scripts by Andy Fanton, art by Laura Howell, David Sutherland and Leslie Stannage. Plus a cameo from The Goodies, the voices behind the classic Bananaman cartoon!

As the Beano celebrates 40 years of Bananaman, Batmin returns, as Minnie the Minx faces Apple Man! The Bash Street Kids school King Zorg and the Nerks! Calamity James meets The Weatherman! Scripts by Andy Fanton, art by Laura Howell, David Sutherland and Leslie Stannage. Plus a cameo from The Goodies, the voices behind the classic Bananaman cartoon!

Mike Stirling, editorial director of Beano Studios, said: “Get ready to peel the power. The last few years have been awash with superheroes, but none quite compare to our own barmy Bananaman.

“He might be originally from the Nutty comic but he’s Beano all the way down to his banana boots. This very special edition of the comic celebrating his 40th birthday will become a real collector’s item and treasured by fans for years to come.”

Bananaman Personalised MugIn honour of his birthday the Beano shop has released special edition Bananaman t-shirts and mugs with 15 per cent off all products for a limited time using the code BANANAS.

Bananaman Kids T-ShirtThe range also includes dress-up costumes and ‘Man of Peel’ t-shirts.

Bananaman Books and Merchandise on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

The original Bananaman TV series, featuring the voices of The Goodies, is now available to view on Amazon Prime

Follow the #Bananaman40 on Twitter

Beano is online at www.beano.com

Happy Birthday, Bananaman! Top 10 Bananaman Facts

Bananaman © 2020 Beano Studios

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, DC Thomson, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Humour Comics

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2 replies

  1. The 16th February 1980 issue of Nutty was the very first one. I remember it well (Bananaman 40? God I’m old.)

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    Good to hear there is some celebration of Mr B! I was hoping for a collection though.

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