Summer’s coming, and this year’s BEANO and Dandy Summer Specials will be out next month in shops across the UK – and both are now available to pre-order from the DC Thomson webshop.
The BEANO Summer Special offers 68 pages of the funniest comics, jokes, pranks, puzzles and more, perfect for Beano fans of all ages, offering a cover by Nigel Parkinson. Inside, expect to find new stories featuring all your favourite characters in what appears to be a bonkers time travel tale… or, at least, a tour of history.
The Dandy Summer Special, which will as usual be a mix of some new and reprint strips, features a smashing cover by Steve Bright, reflecting its football theme this year, with a nod to the 1957 Beano Book wraparound cover by James Crighton, the focus of a retrospective here on George Shiers ace Wacky Comics blog.
“As in recent years, contents will be mainly reprint but there is some new content,” contributing creator Lew Stringer told fans on Facebook. “I’m just not sure how much.
“What I do know is that I did a new full page ‘Keyhole Kate’ strip and a half page illustration for the special.”
As older downthetubes readers know, Summer Specials, one-shot editions of comic fans favourite titles were once a staple of British comics, and are today quite collectable, regularly offered on eBay auctions and elsewhere, sometimes at premium cost, despite their huge print runs in years gone by.
Changes in distribution meant the cost of “selling in” these individual titles, now considered separate publications to the regular comic, meant they sadly became unviable for many publishers.
While DC Thomson has continued its BEANO and Dandy Specials, Rebellion has scaled back its retro titles this year, in favour of the launch of Monster Fun as an ongoing title, presumably filling the slots it had already established with the new humour comic, the first regular issue now available in newsagents and online.
You can pre-order the BEANO and Dandy Summer Specials separately or as a bundle from the DC Thomson webshop now.
Prices noted do not include postage
A 2009 article by David Barnett, who bemoaned the fact that bumper editions were a great treat on his summer holidays, but he was struggling to find similar gold for his kids
Updated in 2021, Lew Stringer gave us a smashing potted history of Summer Specials, noting their recent, if limited, return, thanks to DC Thomson and Rebellion
George Shiers considered several possible reasons for the demise of the traditional summer read, back in 2013
With thanks to Lew Stringer