|Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd|
afternoon, my eyes spied the latest issue of The BEANO. Something
about it looked different, so picking it up, I perused its contents. Looks
good, I thought, so I decided to buy it, along with its companion paper,
the desperately doomed DANDY. (Which didn't look so good, it has
to be honestly said.) I was surprised to see that The Beano's 'new
look' also came with a new price - £2.
Let's explore that for a mo. The Beano has 36 pages; forgetting
for a sec that around 14 of them are a mixture of ads, games & puzzle
good value. It's still good value at just over 9 pence for each of the 22
pages of actual strip cartoons, but obviously the first option is the bet-
ter of the two. That's to say it's good value 'relatively speaking' -
whether the public perceives it as such is open to question.
The Beano raising its price by a quarter is worrying 'though.
(I presume the comic was still £1.50 last week, but it's been a while
Comics normally only do this when circulation is falling - it's a way of
compensating for the loss of revenue from declining sales. We'll have
to wait and see whether the increase will scare off even more buyers.
You'd think D.C. THOMSON would seek to entice The Dandy's
7,000 readers by combining it with The Beano when the form-
er expires in a few weeks, but it seems not, apparently.
Also, after coming under fire not that long ago for describing
cover-mounted toys as 'gifts' when the regular price was increased
to pay for them, you'd think that Thomson's would take greater care to
avoid misleading advertising. '2 Huge Posters' shouts the cover blurb,
but it's actually only one double-sided poster. Is there a difference? Yes,
there is. Two posters would be two separate posters which could be dis-
played simultaneously. As only one side can be seen at a time, it should
have been described as what it was - a double-sided poster. A subtle
distinction admittedly, but an important one. Any siblings hoping
for a poster each were doomed to bitter disappointment.
CALAMITY JAMES, as drawn by TOM PATERSON. Well drawn,
well composed, and not only funny to read, but also to look at. It may
be a reprint for all I know, but regardless, quality is quality.
the only artist since DUDLEY D. WATKINS to do justice to Oor
WULLIE & The BROONS. Nice simple layouts, clear storytelling,
immaculately illustrated - what more can I say? Now, however,
let's look at the other side of the coin.
minimalist layout (look at the 'classroom' - then recall the work that
LEO BAXENDALE put into The BASH STREET KIDS and The
SWOTS & The BLOTS), too many panels consisting of talking heads,
and poor perspective. (In the first pic, teacher looks as if he's floating
above the pupils.) This is the standard of art I'd expect to see in a fan-
zine produced by a 14 year old. (Which probably explains why some-
one who lurks around my site is such a big fan of this 'style' that
he tries to emulate it.) But it gets worse. Look below.
Sadly, nothing more need be said.