Move over, Superman! The Beano‘s Bananaman is chasing you for cult status and a place in every fans living space, with new Bananaman bedding and cushions now available through Asda.
Produced by Bravado, we’re sure this comic development will be of interest to downthetubes readers looking for a Beano-related gift for their children (or themselves or their pet monkey, perhaps)…
Eric Wimp and his alter-ego Bananaman has been delighting kids and adults alike since 1980, first in Nutty, then The Dandy and since 2012, Beano, where he’s often seen vying for the cover with Dennis the Menace.
Created by Steve Bright and writer and editor Dave Donaldson (best known for his work on The Broons) and initially drawn by the late John Geering for Nutty comic in 1980, the quintessentially British Bananaman is the superhero with “the muscles of twenty men, and the brains of twenty mussels”. He’s brave, he’s bold… but he’s not very bright!
Back in the 1980s the dim-witted hero also featured in a very popular cartoon series, voiced by the comedy stars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie from The Goodies and proved very popular at the time. It was repeated several times and also popped up again in the 1990s, before becoming something of a cult thanks to DVD release.
“A key to the success of Bananaman is its tongue in cheek approach to ‘superheroes’ that strikes a chord with consumers and is still relevant today,” Start Licensing’s Ian Downes noted last year when Bravado’s licensing deal was first announced, who has been instrumental in developing new merchandise featuring the daft hero.
We’re pleased to report these smashing items got the downthetubes seal of approval from the office cat, although she was more interested in the box they came from.
There’s still no news on the long-awaited Bananaman movie, but earlier this month London’s Tristan Bates Theatre staged three rehearsed readings for Bananaman the Musical, the live action debut of the Man of Peel, which we reported on back in January. With a useless hero and some equally clueless villains, Bananaman’s winkingly clever, delightfully silly humour has been sealed into the memories of those who saw him first, and will now spark the imagination of a new bunch of Bananafans.
— Rosie Needham (@RosieNeedham_x) November 7, 2016
The cast are Jodie Jacobs, Chris Warner Drake, Nathan Amazi, Kate Graham, Ralph Bogard, Quinn Patrick, Rosie Needham, Mark Newnham and Carl Mullaney, many of them part of the cast of the UK version of the Broadway musical Disaster!
Bananaman The Musical has been written by the award-winning writer and composer of Wolfboy, The Famous Five, Scary Musical and Monte Cristo Leon Parris, is directed by Fred Perry (producer, director, actor and founder of Sightline Entertainment), choreographed by Grant Murphy.
Produced by Sightline Entertainment in association with DC Thomson, we’re told it won’t be long before we all ‘Peel the Power’ of Bananaman. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for news (sorry) – and you can follow the production on Twitter @bananamanshow
• Visit www.bananamanlive.com to hear a sample from the show
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.