Beano‘s first ever cover star, Big Eggo, is back in the weeky humour title today, in a new mini-strip drawn by Lew Stringer (who also revived “Keyhole Kate” and “Pup Parade” for the comic, among other series).
“Big Eggo” first appeared in The Beano Issue One, cover dated 30th July 1938, the weekly’s first ever cover star, a strip drawn throughout its run by Reg Carter, whose credits also include strips for Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, Mickey Mouse Weekly with “Troubles of Father” and “Sea Shanties” and Fleetway’s Monster Comic.
Carter also drew “Freddie Flipperstreet” and “Peter Penguin” for The Beano.
Although he was replaced on the cover by “Biffo the Bear” in 1948 (although retaining a position as part of the masthead), his adventures continued inside, only ending after Carter’s death with a final regular appearance in Issue 358, cover dated 2nd April 1949.
Since then, Big Eggo has made several occasional appearance, including Issue 2000 in 1980, declaring “Ah! The good old days!” on a page featuring the cover of Beano Issue One, and a guest appearance in a one off strip called “Lord Snooty’s Day Out” drawn by Ken H. Harrison for Issue 3093, where readers discovered he was then living in the Beano Retirement Home, along with Jonah, Lord Snooty and Jack Flash.
He also appeared in Issue 3185 in 2003, in an encounter with Gnasher and Gnipper.
“It’s an honour to have been commissioned to write/draw ‘Big Eggo’, says Lew,” noting he’s been revived for the Beano‘s 80th anniversary in a mini strip series that starts today, in Issue 3925, on sale now in all good newsagents and already available to Beano subscribers.
“I was given a brief that Big Eggo has escaped from Beanotown Zoo and is looking for his egg, but he is pursued by a hunter, Terry Tuff (who I believe was a character in the Dennis and Gnasher TV cartoon),” Lew reveals in a post on his Blimey! blog about his latest strip for the weekly comic.
“Each week, Big Eggo will be either looking for his egg or eluding Terry’s crazy traps. Some other Beano stars will cameo in upcoming episodes too.
“It’s a pleasure to be asked to revive these 1930s characters,” he says. So far I’ve worked on Lord Snooty, Keyhole Kate, Julius Sneezer, and now Big Eggo!
“It was also great to revive ‘Pup Parade’ a few years ago, a strip I read in the 1960s. Expect to see one or two Bash Street Pups turn up in ‘Big Eggo’ from time to time.”
Of course, the return of Big Eggo for the 80th anniversary of Beano comic begs the question – are any other popular characters from the past about to make a reappearance, too?
• Which character would you most like to see back in The Beano? Why not leave a comment below?
• Big Eggo begins in Beano No.3295, on sale from today, Wednesday 7th March 2018
Big Eggo, The Beano copyright DC Thomson Media/ Beano Studios
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.