Forty years ago comics like Topper, Beezer, Beano and Dandy were all the rage. Over the decades they have changed. Still with us, Beano and Dandy have undergone something of a transformation and it is Dandy which is almost unrecognizable. Beano, on the other hand, is as wonderful as ever. Very close to its original remit, it still possesses top quality color printing, a variety of characters and situations, and a lot of the original people we all grew to love, like Roger the Dodger, Minnie the Minx, Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids. These people have not changed at all, and still get up to the same old tricks.
New characters have been brought in like Colin the Vet and Freddie Fear, son of a witch, but they are imaginative and fresh and do not detract from the spirit of Beano. Someone had to concede to the popularity of Harry Potter and the Beano was not slow to introduce a witch as someone's mother. The artwork is great and the comic's content is very good value for money. The Dandy is printed on glossier paper, which you pay for, but where are all those original characters? Only Beryl the Peril and Desperate Dan are still there.
Now, up to date characters like Jak, Blinky and Ollie Fliptrik grace the pages. Conceding to the power of television Bananaman also finds a place. Both comics have reader's pages and Rhyme Time in the Beano is entertaining for those who like limericks. An example is 'There was a young girl called Ellie, whose feet were incredibly smelly. Folk said they stink so she made them drink a bowlful of sweat from her welly.
The Dandy has very in your face artwork and the full color is bright and cheerful. New magazines which didn't exist forty years ago are now appearing on the scene linked to new film characters. One such is The Incredibles. There is a great feeling of space in the comic but it only actually has one full length story. The rest of the pages are posters, games and quizzes.
So where does the future lie? Well I think it lies in the past. Beano is still incredibly good - long may it continue. As long as it doesn't change too much or ditch its incredibly popular characters kids will always click with the magic of Dennis the Menace and those incorrigibles, the Bash Street Kids. There is still a hint of violence but it's no good airbrushing out the facts of life for the sake of political correctness. What lived and breathed forty years ago still hits the spot today - long live the Beano.