3 Beano cartoonists I really like, the first being Leo Baxendale, Tom Paterson, and David Mostyn. One common trait among these cartoonists has to be all the little funny unrelated-to-the-plot things going on in each panel.
Leo Baxendale’s cartoons are absolutely lush with his line quality and attention to detail (including all the little joke details like the bear’s claws poking the man’s nose etc). It’s a lovely cross between cartoony and illustration, although that would mean it wouldn’t suit animation very well, with all the stuff going on. Each panel is like a photograph taken at just the right second, which is what comics are great at. I love all the odd expressions too, like how the angry “sacred” bears’ eyes are like triangle-shapes for no real reason other than it emphasises their anger.
Tom Paterson’s cartoons certainly feel like a stylistic heir to Baxendale’s with all the silly unrelated but entertaining stuff going on and are most surreal. His cartoons are hilarious with the details and nonsense although not the most appealing style, but still really funny.
David Mostyn’s certainly the cartooniest and simple, suited for animation, and has (in my opinion) the cutest designs. I especially like how off-model the characters are too, like Danny’s Nanny has very different nose shapes, eye shapes, physiques etc in each panel. Although as “suited for animation” it may be, it’s still rather simplistic for a comic, but the drawings are so lively they look animated even as stills.
So, I drew this for The Beano a year or so ago for this interactive art ‘thing’ they did online. It was a really fun project as Its Beanotown featuring a lot of old and new Beano characters painted in the style of the great fine artist Lowry.
I realised that I haven’t really shown it to anyone before (unless you saw it on the Beano micro-site last year) So here it is…..
The Long-Awaited Crossover series, part two: Mike Pearse
If you wait long enough, all the things you like will overlap and become part of one huge, delicious universe. Such is basically the Commetulevois Theory of Everything. So, one glorious day (if only in my dreams), the kids from Bash Street and Digimon Adventure 02 will unite under the wise counsel of Danger Mouse and go to meet Spirou & Fantasio on the streets ofTsim Sha Tsui East to protect the world from something or another (while listening to The Smiths). But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
The first part of the Long-Awaited Crossover series isn’t labelled as such, but it’s this postabout the Hanna-Barbera production of Peyo’s Johan & Pirlouit. This second part looks at some clins d'oeil sneaked into long-running British comic The Beano by artist/writer Mike Pearse.
Pearse drew the Bash Street Kids (BSK) and Bash Street Kids – Singled Out strips in the early 2000s, giving the series something of a breath of fresh air (he also drew The Three Bears). I was a Beano reader in the 1980s and 1990s so Pearse’s work is quite new to me: I’ve been thrilled to spot more than a couple of references to Franco-Belgian comics! Shall we have a look?
Pearse’s first strip in the Beano was It’s A Funny Old Game1 in 1999, a story featuring characters from multiple Beano strips. The last page’s first panel is this delightful homage to Goscinny & Uderzo’s Asterix.
Asterix himself appears at a head teachers’ conference in The Great Bash Street Nativity Play2, a feature-length Christmas story from 1999 (compared to a panel from Goscinny & Uderzo’s Asterix & the Roman Agent).
Our good friend the Count de Champignac (from the Spirou & Fantasio series) appears as a museum Curator in another feature-length story, Finders Keepers3. (Next to it is a panel from Franquin’s Le Voyageur du Mésozoïque.)
Monsieur Mégot, the sadistic PE teacher from Le Petit Spirou, makes an appearance in the Bash Street staff room in A Nightmare On Bash Street4.
Pearse’s superb lettering and onomatopoeias (seen here in Dennis’ Big Birthday Party5) are also reminiscent of bande dessinée… (And, on second look, Plug stuck in a deckchair in the second panel is not unlike Fantasio trapped in the settee in Franquin’s La Foire Aux Gangsters.)
… Right down to the hand gestures. Ooh là lààà!
The Signore Studios blog hosts scans of Mike Pearse’s Beano work, if you want to take a look. If you like his work, I’d encourage you to track down the 2009 and 2010 BSK books and follow his work on Facebook (he currently works in the Netherlands, lucky chap).
References: 1 It’s A Funny Old Game appears originally in The Beano #2978 (1999/08/14) and is reprinted in the BSK 2009 annual, The Bash Street Kids in Space Cadets (D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd., 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1845353520) 2 The Great Bash Street Nativity Play appears originally in The Beano #2997 (1999/12/25). 3 Finders Keepers appears originally in The Beano #3025 (2000/07/08). 4 A Nightmare On Bash Street appears originally in The Beano #3041 (2000/10/28). 5 Dennis’ Big Birthday Party appears originally in The Beano #3061 (2001/03/17).
Illustrations from: Asterix and the Roman Agent, GOSCINNY René & UDERZO Albert Astérix et la Grande Traversée, GOSCINNY René & UDERZO Albert Asterix the Gladiator, GOSCINNY René & UDERZO Albert Le Petit Spirou: Tu Veux Mon Doigt?, TOME & JANRY Le Voyageur du Mésozoïque, FRANQUIN André
I drew this for my friends at The Beano @BeanoComic for the 75 year birthday celebrations. I love the Beano. Not only was it my favourite comic when I was young but last year they gave me one of my first ever proffessional illustration jobs.
Beano Book 1957. Never do alcohol and sexy collector book shops on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh together. Two Beano Books = £90. What the hell, I know twats that shell out more for clothes that make them look like über twats. I’m trying to justify my questionable priorities here, humour me.