Comics: Happy 60th anniversary, Leo!

Published On October 11, 2013 | By Joe Gordon | Comics

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.

Leo Baxendale 60th anniversary Teacher from Bash St Bryan Talbot

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.

Leo Baxendale 60th anniversary Minnie the Minx David Baillie

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

Leo Baxendale 60th anniversary Sweeny Toddler Jamie Smart

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.

Leo Baxendale 60th anniversary Plug from Bash St Brendan McCarthy

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.

leo baxendale 60th anniversary gary northfield

That Gary Northfield chap conjures up a delightful gastronomic tribute for Leo!

leo baxendale 60th anniversary little plum hunt emerson

The one and only Hunt Emerson created this cracking Little Plum especially for this tribute (sudden wave of Beano nostalgia for me…)

leo baxendale 60th minnie the minx graeme neil reid DCT

That man Graeme Neil Reid whipped up this fab Minnie the Minx for his tribute to Leo

leo baxendale 60th anniversary grimly feendish mask rod mckie

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.

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

One Response to Comics: Happy 60th anniversary, Leo!

  1. Matt Badham says:

    Those are cool!