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11 Facts You Didn’t Know About Beano

Hey, you! Are you a Beano fan? Check out this list of 11 cracking comic fun facts! We bet you don't know all of them!

Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  July 22nd 2023

The Beano is offically really old! But unlike most old things it's still VERY funny (we hope). The Beano has been around since 1938, and since then it's been making kids chuckle every single week! Over the years it's broken records, reinvented itself and made countless fart jokes! Literally, thousands and thousands of fart jokes!

So, have you ever wondered how many characters there are in the Beano? Who Big Eggo was? How many people it takes to make a comic? Well... read on to find out!

1. The real meaning of the word 'Beano'

...Is the friends you make along the way! No not really, that would be silly. Beano comes from an old word that means 'a party or a good time'! It actually has nothing to with beans, or farts. So Beano on, dudes!

2. Dennis wasn't even in the first Beano!

Everybody's favourite rebel first sneaked into Beano No. 452 (although you can't tell from the cover, because he isn't on it). That's right - they went 13 years without his spiky mop! How did they manage all that time? And even once they did bring Dennis in, he was pretty different from the menace we know today!

3. The first 3 artists to draw Dennis had the same name...

Bash Street Football Club

They were all called David! One of them was David Sutherland, who was maybe the most famous for drawing the Bash Street Kids. Drawing the class of 2B and other Beano characters was David's life's work, and he had a career at the Beano from 1962 to 2023! We salute you, Dave!

4. The Dennis the Menace Fan Club

Was super popular in it's heyday! It had over a million members, including Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill! The most popular part of the membership pack was the hairy Gnasher badge - rightly so! Just look at it! It's majestic!

5. There are only 20 surviving copies of Beano No. 1

That's not just in the Beano's offices - that's in the whole world! They're super valuable these days - but can you ever put a price on laughter? Well, yes you can! And apparently the price is £20,000! So you'd better get looking in your gran's attic!

10. The first cover star of Beano

Wasn't Minnie, or Roger, or in fact anyone you've probably ever heard of! It was an ostrich called - wait for it - Big Eggo! Big Eggo would get in all kinds of hilarious scrapes, like have her egg pinched by monkeys and have to get it back. They just don't write 'em like that any more!

6. How many characters??

A LOT of characters have appeared in Beano over the years - the grand total is over 400! And counting! Some characters have been in it for years and years, others just pop up every now and again. Either way that's a lot of laughs, and you can check out some of them here!

7. It takes about 25 people to make a Beano comic

That includes writers, artists, colourists and graphic designers. And loads of other people who help run the office and make tea - you know, important stuff. A lot of work goes into it, and it's all done at Beanotown HQ in Dundee, Scotland. It's a well oiled and efficient machine, we promise!

8. The Beano has changed a lot

The Art of Breaking The Rules

The world has changed a lot since 1938, so the Beano has too! The things that are important to kids is hugely different to how it used to be, even in just a few years - let alone decades! So the Beano has to keep up to date with all these things - and is always coming up with new ideas for characters and storylines. They've worked on lots of very modern projects too, like a big art exhibition in London! But some things never get old right? (Yes, we're talking about farts again)

9. The Beano is the world's longest-running comic

And that's official! Don't believe us? Ok then! Just look at this official certificate from Guinness World Records! Pow! See? Told you so! Beano has been going every week since 1938 - with a short time during WW2 when it came out less regularly due to papwer shortages. It never stopped though!

11. But the Beano wasn't the first!

OK, credit where credit's due - The Dandy comic was published earlier. The Dandy was first published in December 1937 and The Beano was first published on 30 July 1938. The Dandy closed down in 2012, and whilst it still releases annuals and specials, the Beano is still going every single week. And here's hoping it keeps on going!