Some have been lucky enough to already receive an advance copy of DC Thomson Media’s Beano & Dandy – A Celebration of Dudley D Watkins, a terrific-looking book currently only available direct from the publisher.
As with the 2021 Beano, The Dandy and other annuals due to be distributed earlier this month, general release of titles like this has been delayed, the result of behind the scenes factors caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic that have disrupted many publisher’s schedules this year.
(Most DC Thomson Media staff are still working from home, but working hard to continue to deliver the company’s regular titles such as Beano. However, it now looks as though we may not have to wait long before we can order these titles from our favourite brick and mortar shops or digital stores. We’ll keep an eye out!).
Marking 50 years since his passing, this gift book looks back at the art of legendary British comic artist Dudley D. Watkins and his illustrious career at powerhouse publisher DC Thomson.
With work spanning over 40 years, the book contains comics from publications as diverse as The Sunday Post, The Topper, The Beezer, The Skipper Book for Boys and, of course, Beano and The Dandy.
Familiar characters include several of Watkins own creation, such as Desperate Dan, Biffo the Bear, Mickey the Monkey and Ginger, as well as nostalgic staples like Lord Snooty, and a section entirely devoted to the early days of “The Broons” and “Oor Wullie” in the 1930s. Obscure strips such as “Percy Vere and his Trying Tricks” and “Smarty Grandpa” also feature, too.
Split into sections by decades charting Dudley D. Watkins career across comics, story illustration and more, the book looks amazing – and like other comic fans, let’s hope it paves the way for similar titles devoted to key DC Thomson comic creators.
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.