BBC Radio 4 Extra re-broadcasts Danny Wallace’s Beano documentary, “Menace to Society”

Danny Wallace. Image: BBC

Danny Wallace. Image: BBC

Author and broadcaster Danny Wallace is a lifelong Beano fan who grew up in Dundee, the home of the comic – and The Dandy, too, and in a BBC Radio 4 Extra programme Menace to Society, first broadcast when the comic reached its 75th anniversary, currently back on the station’s web site, he looks at the history of the comic.

First published in July 1938, weekly comic is of course famed for the adventures of characters like Dennis the Menace, Biffo the Bear, Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids, Lord Snooty, Roger the Dodger and Billy Whizz.

Find out how Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park was very influenced by the comic, listen to Beano cartoonist Laura Howell talking about her work for the title, which includes “Minnie the Minx”, and what happens when Danny visits the Dundee offices of DC Thomson, after he submits his own Dennis the Menace story idea.

It’s a fascinating insight into creating comics at the Beano, and some of the rules behind writing a great Dennis the Menace strip, and how veteran artist David Sutherland got involved in bringing Danny’s strip to life.

I particularly like the interspersing of kids reading passages from Beano strips and their reactions – it’s a smashing item, albeit slightly dated, especially when he talks to former Dandy editor Morris Heggie, but that doesn’t diminish the show!

Menace to Society is available to listen for 30 days here on the BBC Radio 4 Extra web site

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. 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 "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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