With the new-look Beano read and re-read several times now by comic creator Simon Russell’s seven-year-old son, and a few more issues “out there” since the relaunch, here’s a review from one of the comic’s target audience…
“My son is probably skews a little young for Beano‘s main ‘target audience’, Simon acknowledges, “but he’s a fluent reader since the summer with a good vocabulary and being the child of a geek – is pretty comics-literate already.
“Attempting to nail him down on specifics is a thankless task, but based on his reactions as he read it. I’m not sure he realised it had an ‘awesome new look’. His collection of old-look Beanos is a pretty tall stack, thanks to a local donor and my own shelves, so he knows that characters and types of story pretty well…”
Simon@boinggraphics: So, do you like The Beano?
Alan@boinggraphics: I LOVE it! Do you want to see my collection?
S@B: No thanks. I’ve seen it already. How much do you love The Beano?
A@B: It’s the best comic! Even better than Venom if he was good… err… it’s the best comic for seven-year-olds, I mean. Yours are good, too…
S@B: It’s ok, you don’t have to say that. I want to I ask what you think of the new Beano?
A@B: It’s great!
S@B: Better than before?
A@B: Of course.
… well, not really…
S@B: What do you mean?
A@B: It’s just… It’s the same. Isn’t it?
A@B: It’s not new. It still says The Beano!
S@B: Actually, it just says Beano. No ‘the’. It’s a bit of a new style. Is it an improvement on the one last week?
A@B: It still says Beano!
S@B: OK… I think it’s a bit thin looking but… What about the pictures on the cover?
A@B: They’re OK, but there’s too much writing covering the pictures. They shouldn’t do that! Dennis looks like Dennis though and he’s really big. Is Dennis always the star? I like Gnasher best but Dennis is good.
S@B: Yeah, Dennis is nearly always on the cover. What do you think of the stories inside?
A@B: I like the way they covered everything in Beanoness. Roger is probably cleverer than Dennis, so maybe he should have been the boss.
S@B: Did they all look like they were supposed to, do you think?
A@B: Yeah. Dennis, Gnasher, Roger, Minnie, Banana Man… I like Banana Man too… Billy Whizz was good. He’s faster than [Marvel’s] Quicksilver – except when Quicksilver uses freeze feet. He can run faster than [DC’s] Flash then!
S@B: Faster than Road Runner?
A@B: Don’t be silly!
S@B: Sorry. Was this Beano better than before?
A@B: It was about the same (pause) except…
S@B: Go on. You’re allowed not to like things.
A@B: The Numskulls are wrong!
S@B: What do you mean ‘wrong’?
A@B: They don’t look right. Their feet are wrong. And their heads…
S@B: I think it’s a different artist drawing the strip now. He just has a slightly different style.
A@B: He gets them wrong. They don’t look like The Numskulls.
S@B: What about when you read the story. Is it about the same people?
A@B: Maybe, but it’s not funny now and it’s all wrong. I wish they’d change it back.
[Editor’s note: Simon’s son fell in love with ‘Numskulls’ a while back, thanks to a story in an old Beano annual – we know Nigel Auchterlounie has been drawing them the same way for a while]
S@B: Hmmm. It’s just that one story you don’t like though.
A@B: Yeah. The rest have Beanoness juice. Except Tricky Dickey – that’s dumb. Especially when he puts food in his dad’s shoes. You wouldn’t like that… I like when the Bash Street Kids squirted everyone.
S@B: What about these pages with writing and photos on?
A@B: I didn’t read them… Can we read Gnasher?
S@B: Of course, but first can you tell me what you think about these text pages?
A@B: There’s too many of them and they aren’t funny. They’re a bit boring can we go back to the comics?
S@B: We will, but what about this page? We could send a picture of you in… And this girl got to be editor of the comic… would you like to do that? We could write in…
S@B: Look. We could send a photo of you and a Beano name… Who would you and your brother be? You could be Al Loud – always talking too loud. And John could be Jumpy John…
John@boinggraphics [from another room]: I want to be Gnipper!
S@B: We need a name with your name in it. It’s OK, we can think about this and do it later…
A@B: But I don’t like those pages. Minnie’s jokes are stupid.
S@B: They are a bit like Christmas Crackers. All right. Well, do you like the new Beano? We could buy the annual for Christmas.
A@B: Geat! Can we buy it next week as well?
S@B: Maybe. Would you rather have the Beano or an ice cream?
A@B: Both! No… Wait! Can we have the Lego Deathstar?
S@B: No. That’s a lot more money than a comic. We’ll buy the Beano if you’re good.
A@B: Thanks, Dad. Can we read it again now?
A@B: You have to leave the room! We want to read it without any grown-ups.
• Our thanks to Simon’s son for his views! Simon Russell is online at Night Thoughts at Boing – blog on comics and cartoonery: boinggraphics.co.uk
• Beano is on sale in all good newsagents every week on Wednesday. They also have an online web site run by Beano Studios which for some reason, doesn’t mention the comic anywhere obvious at www.beano.com.
• Thankfully, if you want to subscribe, you can buy a subscription here in publisher DC Thomson’s Beano shop (and buy other Beano goodies too)
• Also on sale in all good newsagents now is the Beano Christmas Special 2016, also available direct from DC Thomson
Beano and characters © DC Thomson