While waiting for my plane taking me back to Atlanta after the delightful Society for Animation Studies conference in Bournemouth, I came across this interview with Nick Park in The Guardian (see also this related item). There are some interesting, if not surprising things about Aardman Animation’s rocky relationship with DreamWorks, but the most interesting part of the story was the fact that Park was the guest editor for the 70th anniversary edition of Beano, the classic British comic book, which is coming out later this month.
“I’ve been a fan of it all my life. My dream was to draw for the Beano,” he enthuses. “When I was 10 years old I started drawing cartoon strips with the Beano in mind. I lived in that world. You own a comic, it’s yours and adults don’t understand it. You could pile them up under the bed and if you were off school ill, you’d go through them all.”
For more on Park’s thoughts on Beano, check check the publication’s site for “Nick Park’s Beano Memories.”
Beano anniversary fever is obviously gone far beyond Park. Thus, The Scotsman reports,
The Beano has been part of growing up for three generations. As it approaches its platinum jubilee, various events, from a planned reunion of former staff, an exhibition and conference at Dundee University and a show at London’s Cartoon Museum, will celebrate what is, along with its sister publication the Dandy, a phenomenon in the world of British comics. Apart from the early Harmsworth titles Chips and Comic Cuts, both of which appeared from 1890 to 1953, only DC Thomson’s Dandy (which celebrated its 70th birthday last year) and Beano have chalked up more than half a century of comic capers.