Beano: 80 Years of Fun, The Box Set

Beano 80 years of fun boxset

The Beano is the first British comic to celebrate 80 years of continuous publication this month, with the actual anniversary being the 26th July (the original publication day of The Beano No.1) although the official birthday is 30th July (the cover date of the first issue). So how do you celebrate that? Through a brilliant box set.

D.C. Thomson have just published a limited box set full of Beano goodies that is packed, fun and rather interesting. And it's available now from selected shops or directly from the publisher. Beano: 80 Years of Fun, The Box Set includes the 100 page bookazine (which is available in shops on its own for £6.99) packaged with a whole lot more for £25. I personally feel that the bookazine is still the best part, and highly recommend that to anyone that is a fan of comics. The box set though? Yeah, that's worth the £25 you pay.

Within the slip-cased box you'll find reprints of eight significant issues of The Beano. The first shouldn't be a surprise, as there's the first issue. But there's so much more, which are listed here:

  • No.1 (1938): The first ever Beano.
  • No.272 (1945): The first Beano to sell over a million copies.
  • No.452 (1951): The first to feature Dennis the Menace.
  • No.954 (1960): One of the first 'new look' issues to modernise it for the Sixties.
  • No.1768 (1976): The first to announce the Dennis the Menace Fan Club.
  • No.2280 (1986): One of the 'Gnasher is missing' issues that had nationwide publicity.
  • No.3052 (2001): The issue with Jim Petrie's final Minnie the Minx artwork.
  • No.3800 (2015): Record breaking issue number.

Beano 80 years of fun replica comics

The reproduction of the comics are quite simply fantastic. Some of them might look old, as you can see above, but they don't feel it! The ones that were originally on newsprint have been reprinted on matt paper with a 'yellowed' effect to look as authentic as possible. Thankfully the print is sharp and not how you'd expect them to look if you were lucky enough to keep one of the originals. The more recent ones are reprinted on a quality glossy stock. They're a brilliant selection of comics from the history of The Beano.

One thing of note with the reproductions, is that the racial stereotype character of 'Peanut' has been removed from the mastheads of Beano Nos.1 and 272. It's slightly disappointing because it's a part of the history of the comics and it makes them not true reproductions. But you can understand the reasoning behind it as it just wouldn't be acceptable today and it would have given some people a great excuse to jump down D.C. Thomson's neck about it - and it wouldn't be good press! So it's a good call to remove it in my opinion.

Along with the 8 comics, the box also contains some extra gifts. There's a perfect reproduction of a classic Gnasher Snapper free gift, and a replica Dennis the Menace Fan Club pack complete with the badges. There are also four postcards using artwork from memorable Beano Book covers, and a huge A1 sized poster featuring every Beano character from the past 80 years!

The 100 page bookazine gives some brilliant background information on each of the reprinted comics, and is an essential asset to the box set - my personal favourite being the very first chapter talking about how they created the first character, the interview processes and letters. Really interesting stuff.

This truly is a superb collection and is well worth the money. Check out your local WH Smith or bookshops to see if they have a copy in stock, or order one directly from D.C. Thomson at this link: https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/limited-edition-80-years-of-fun-beano-box-set

It's worth every penny!

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