Beano is celebrating the 40th birthday of one of the super hero world’s fruitiest creation, Bananaman, with the launch of a special edition of the weekly comic, featuring an extended story for the character.
The super hero also appears throughout all of the comic’s “Dennis & Gnasher”, “Minnie the Minx”, “The Bash Street Kids”, and “Billy Whizz” strips within the special comic, on sale now in all good newsagents, supermarkets – and also available digitally.
This time Bananaman’s birthday party has been crashed by a robot squid who has stolen all his powers, allowing villains to take over Beanotown.
The Beanotown kids come together to defeat the baddies and free Bananaman, in a story written by Nigel Auchterlounie, drawn by Nigel Parkinson, who also provides the issue’s cover.
“30 years later I wrote the script for Bananaman’s 40th birthday strip!”
Bananaman, and his alter ego Eric Wimp, first appeared in the British comic Nutty in the issue cover dated 16th February 1980. Created by David Donaldson, writer Steve Bright – these days, The Sun‘s resident political cartoonist – and legendary artist John Geering, Bananaman turned traditional superhero tropes on their head with his hair-brained hijinks and misadventures.
He moved across to The Dandy in 1985, then moved to the Beano in 2012, where his adventures continue to this day. He also stars in both The Dandy and Beano annuals each year.
The character has also been a star of his own animated and theatre shows.
At his National Library of Scotland talk (tying in with their Local Heroes comics exhibition) in 2008, co-creator David Donaldson said that one of the highlights of his career in DC Thomson was being flown to Cannes to help promote the Bananaman animated TV series.
Mike Stirling, editorial director of Beano Studios, said: “Get ready to peel the power. The last few years have been awash with superheroes, but none quite compare to our own barmy Bananaman.
“He might be originally from the Nutty comic but he’s Beano all the way down to his banana boots. This very special edition of the comic celebrating his 40th birthday will become a real collector’s item and treasured by fans for years to come.”
In honour of his birthday the Beano shop has released special edition Bananaman t-shirts and mugs with 15 per cent off all products for a limited time using the code BANANAS.
The range also includes dress-up costumes and ‘Man of Peel’ t-shirts.
• Bananaman Books and Merchandise on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
Bananaman © 2020 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.