Comics: Happy 60th anniversary, Leo!
This year marks a very special anniversary pertaining to one of the great figures of British comics, a creator who has gleefully warped the minds of impressionable young readers with his love of the Absurd, influenced many other creators and whose characters are still entertaining new generations of readers. I am talking, of course, about Mister Leo Baxendale – this year marks sixty years since Leo created the Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx and Little Plum for the immortal Beano comic. We think that’s a hugely impressive anniversary – how many creators get to celebrate a milestone like that? We couldn’t let such an important anniversary in our shared Brit comics heritage go past without noting it in some small way.
As we know Leo was recently named as the recipient of the Hall of Fame honour for this year’s British Comics Awards, and personally I am delighted at that. This wee tribute today comes from Leo’s fellow creators, who very kindly took some time from their busy workloads to create and send us a sketch of their favourite Baxendale creations as their tribute to Leo’s work, legacy and influence on generations of other Brit comics creators. Leo, this is from your fellow creators, the blog crew and I am sure many of our readers too – happy anniversary and thank you for many creations which have helped shape our comics reading habits from a very early age.
Bryan Talbot kindly let us borrow his image of Teacher from the wonderful Bash Street Kids, as Bryan depicted him for the astonishing Alice in Sunderland.
The lovely David Baillie created this splendid version of one of Leo’s great creations from the Beano, a character generations of British kids have grown up reading, the one and only Minnie the Minx
This cracking depiction of Sweeny Toddler comes from the pens of another artist who has been doing much to use the comics medium to delight younger readers, Jamie Smart.
It’s Plug from the Bash Street Kids, but in a gloriously, almost psychedelic coloured fashion that could only come from the brushes of the brilliant Brendan McCarthy.
That Gary Northfield chap conjures up a delightful gastronomic tribute for Leo!
The one and only Hunt Emerson created this cracking Little Plum especially for this tribute (sudden wave of Beano nostalgia for me…)
That man Graeme Neil Reid whipped up this fab Minnie the Minx for his tribute to Leo
That fine chap Rod McKie racked his brains for an interpretation of one of Leo’s characters, before inspiration struck (or it may have been his medication kicking in, it is hard to be sure), and he created this fabulous cut-out-and-keep mask – or “Grimly Feendish facial-interface toy” as he describes it. Have fun with it (click the pics for larger versions)!
Huge thanks to the artists here for taking the time to create their tributes to Leo in this sixtieth anniversary year.