Sunday, June 18, 2017

50 year Flashback: BEANO SUMMER SPECIAL 1967

When I was a kid, I'd wait until I was on holiday to buy the latest summer specials. Picking up this Beano Summer Special from a stall on Blackpool prom in 1967, accompanied by the sea air and the sounds of seagulls and trams, was all part of the holiday experience. It also provided something to read in the guest house during the inevitable rainy days. 

Let's take a look at a few pages from this wonderful special. The cover artwork is by Dudley Watkins, showing a seemingly reckless Biffo the Bear leaping off the pier, but there's a safe resolution on the back cover...

Inside, the 32 tabloid sized pages were packed with all-new strips and features. The layout was often interesting, with strips sharing space, such as this spread with Punch and Jimmy by David Jenner alongside Dennis the Menace by David Law...

Most of the strips had a holiday theme of some sort. This Roger the Dodger page by Robert Nixon shows an old-style railway carriage and a stereotypical boarding house landlady...

This special had a good selection of adventure strips too; General Jumbo, The Q Bikes, and a great full colour centrespread with The Iron Fish, drawn by Sandy Calder...

A really nicely illustrated Lord Snooty and His Pals story by Dudley Watkins...

A very funny Dennis the Menace page by David Law...

...and what I think may be the very first Bash Street Dogs story, simply titled Dogs' Tale. The dogs had appeared in a few Bash Street Kids episodes in the weekly, but this is months before they achieved their own Pup Parade strip. You'll notice that they look a little different to how they appeared in the regular series. Art by David Sutherland...


That was a few pages from the 1967 special. Don't forget that the current Beano Summer Special is in the shops now!
Cover by Nigel Parkinson


All artwork in this post ©D.C. Thomson and Co. Ltd.

11 comments:

Phil Boyce said...

While I never really read the regular issues, I did love my brother's Beano summer specials with the bigger, shinier pages and themed strips. No wonder Oink! was such an instant hit with me when it appeared in its format. Speaking of which, reading this post reminded me of your own spoof strip, The Iron Salmon, from Oink! Quality stuff and after this post it's clear the spoof was written by someone who was a fan of the original - http://the-oink-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/67-this-one-is-full-of-rubbish.html

Peter Gray said...

Great to see he early Pup Parade and of course miss your take in today's Beano

SID said...

What I liked about DCT specials of the 60s and 70s was their format & size. In the comics, the format was always fixed and regimented. In the specials, the presentation appeared to be so relaxed, it's almost if the staff were having a party (if that makes sense).

Lew Stringer said...

I think there's a lot of truth to that, Sid. It was probably wise to stick to a regimented format for the weekly, but the specials allowed for more experimentation (plus they had more pages to play with). In a way it was like the weekly being a school timetable they had to adhere to, but the special reflected the carefree aspects of the school holidays.

Thanks, Peter. I hope Pup Parade will be back later in the year. Nothing scheduled yet though.

Phil, I'd forgotten I'd written that Iron Salmon strip! Thanks for the reminder!

paul Mcscotty said...

Great to see "Punch and Jimmy" again that used to be a favouroite of mine I loved David Jenners art (didn't know or had forgotten his name so thank you that)

Christopher Nevell said...

Those 1960s & 70s Beano Summer Specials are a favourite part of my collection. Simply seeing the lush colour inside (on selected pages) made it compelling. Better than the Beano books in my opinion.

Vegman said...

Hi Lew

As much as I loved those Summer Specials, the most nostalgic part of your article today was the Blackpool holidays. Back then, half of Barnsley fell on Blackpool in late August. Friends and family wou;d take over the Guest house and we would spend hours on the beach. Something I hated as a child....so many newsagents and market stalls to scour! I would be the one sulking on the sand, kids were not important enough to have a deck chair. I would moan about the heat (no change there) and would read my specials on the sand to pass time.
When we did walk around, we would only manage five minutes and would bump into someone my dad worked at the pit with, I would be fidgeting and be told "keep it up and I will give you something to moan about!"

It was an idyllic childhood. I was safe and fed and we only didn't have money. Almost all those family members are gone now, but when I see a cover of a Summer Special from those days, they are alive in my head again. Arguing, laughing, it all comes back! What a privilege to have lived in those days.

Manic Man said...

good work.. and 1/6 for a comic full of the works of Dudley Watkins, Davy Law, David Sutherland and Robert Nixon? Sold

and the horse in the first Dennis strip.. love the design there. okay, you could say one of the back legs looks a bit odd, but the design of it rushing forward really gives you the impression of Dennis taking old of the reigns and just letting it go wild at high speed.. .. though I think the strip has a bit of a weak ending with the panel before it.. a gypsy boy coming out of nowhere to let they rent his caravan seams a bit.. short.. I know it's only one small panel for it anyway but... seams a bit quick to me.

Lew Stringer said...

The last minute resolution to a story is a standard of humour comics though, Manic. It would have weakened the ending if the gypsy had been seen earlier. Yes, the horse looks wonky, but that makes it funnier! :)

Lew Stringer said...

My apologies for taking a while to process your comments. Inspired by the hot weather, and as I'd caught up with deadlines, I thought I'd take a few days off in sunny Blackpool! I'm back at the drawing board today (Thursday) with work for Epic, then it's the Birmingham Comics Festival on Saturday!

Manic Man said...

^_^ no problem from me

and yeah, it just seams abit more jarring here for the ending, but yeah, I can't personally think of a better one and yep, great horse

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