Boris and Dom may have gone their separate ways, but their crazy antics still linger, and they might finally get their punishment this week. Not yet in real life but in Benno at least.
This 82-year-old comic will publish this week its first-ever adult release with a story about Sandra and Dennis Sr. Minis, Dennis’s parents, and the occult Wilbur Brown, father of Walter Softy.
Actors also include Captain Tom Moore, Marcus Rashford, Greta Thunberg, and the likes of Dennis Gnacher, Boris Johnson, and Dominic Cummings.
It’s a retractable section, BeanOLD, that both kids and parents should enjoy, said Mike Stirling, Beano Studios managing editor. “We just wanted to make everyone happy. One thing we noticed is that our readers were feeling a little sorry for the adults in their lives.”
Stirling said Beano had a team of kids they called “trend designers” who make up Benno brain And let the writers know what children are talking about across the UK.
He said both Johnson and Cummings were subjects of interest to the average 10-year-old. In the comics, a youth trend maker described this latter as someone who “broke all the rules. He caught the coronavirus and took his kids to their grandparents … You have to stick to the rules even if they are your rules.”
Stirling said Beano is well positioned to engage with Cummings’ topic and topic Trip to Barnard Castle. Although our characters are always naughty and misbehave, our readers are very ethical. When our little characters break the rules, there are always consequences for doing so. ”
In the new Beano story, Dennis Sr loses his job at the Beanotown paperclip factory after a “restructuring” by owner Brown.
Cummings appears multiple times. “It’s as if the rules don’t apply to him!” He is angry about Santa not arriving. Later, Brown asked him to be the escape driver for him and the Prime Minister: “Can you drive Dom? I can’t see well!”
Stirling, who was co-writing of the withdrawal, said she tried to cram as many references to the year as possible, whether it was video meetings, home tutoring, a belated Bond movie or a shortage of a toilet roll.
Stirling admitted that the writing wasn’t very difficult. “A lot of silly things happened, and it was easy to put together a story and turn Bennu’s humor into it.”
Stirling said the humor is “a little rebellious, a little spoiled, but it’s a joke that everyone can join in. It’s beyond the ages.”
Beano has been a part of British life since 1938 with the first star on its front page an ostrich called Big Eggo (“Someone Took My Egg Again!”).
It often dealt with contemporary issues, particularly during World War II when Lord Snooty and his companions confronted Adolf Hitler.
In one of the stories they sent him a Morse code message translated to “Dear Hir Hitler, no one has heard of you in Britain”, causing outrage. “Smell! Smell! This is terrible,” Hitler cried. “Why didn’t he tell British dogs about me?”
Beano’s golden age was in the 1950s when his stories, often with literal flogging of corporal punishment, brought weekly sales numbers of nearly 2 million.
Today’s readership is close to 40,000 a week, but Stirling said there has been a significant increase during the lockdown, possibly due to people who crave familiarity and security in turbulent times.
“We can all benefit from thinking of a little like a child,” said Stirling. “I would say it because I do it every day, but I really think it’s a powerful thing … the optimism, hope, and moral worldview that kids have always had.”
The one-of-a-kind comedy is pretty much at the end of a cute and fun comedy. It isn’t meant to be a Viz or actually anything else that people might think of. “We were very careful not to call it an adult edition,” Stirling said.