Did you know The Beano is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary? And at the moment there is this great ‘free‘ Beano Town exhibition at the SouthBank Centre in London (it runs until the 8th September).
The exhibition takes you through Beano Towns history via a fantastic display of artwork, audio visuals and memorabilia.
It’s a fascinating display, tracing the development of Beano Town from it’s origins in 1938, through the second world war, the beginnings of Youth Culture and into modern day life.
Even the toilets join in and deliver cheeky jokes as you pee which my girls loved and continued to recall them as we travelled back home.
While we were up there we were lucky enough join in and meet ‘Kev’ the illustrator who captivated the children’s attention with his enthusiastic ‘show and tell‘ all about how to draw comic characters. He was very inspiring and we even got our own caricatures!
Like all comics ‘The Beano’ has seen massive drops in sales over the years but it has managed to survive this by using the new media platforms to deliver it’s menaces,minxes and pranks. They have a website, a facebook page and there is even a comic app you can subscribe to.
Having said that the Beano Annual is still the best selling Annual in the UK.
They have some amazing, good quality products you can buy and I loved the fact that they’d kept the vintage feel. You can buy puzzles, games, stationary, flasks, clothing, cushions, bedding, ‘Chopper’ bikes (yes a real Proper Chopper) and even Dr Marten Boots (sadly currently for children only). The range is quite impressive.
Some of my favourite things were the following.
Our trip was rounded off with the girls interviewing the lovely Editor in Chief, Mike Stirling who was not only great fun but fascinating to listen too. We could have chatted to him all day, listening to his wonderful stories about life with Beano Town. I videoed some of it which I’ll put in another post.
It was a great day out for us. A massively nostalgic trip for myself and a lovely introduction to the world of Beano Town and Comics for my girls. They are definitely inspired.