Some people say the Seventies was the decade cool forgot, but Biffo the Bear has got them licked on the cover of the Beano Annual for 1970!
The Beano Annual for 1971 is worth a place in any art gallery. So if the Tate, V&A or National Portrait Gallery feel like hanging one up, they know who to call…
A bear on lollipop warden duty? Is that safe? Well, it happened on the cover of the Beano Annual for 1972 so it must be all right. Right?The “Charlie says…” public safety adverts also started in 1972 so maybe it was a 70s trend, like kipper ties and polyester safari suits.
Is the cover of the Beano Annual for 1973 a reference to The Godfather, which also came out this year?Waking up with Biffo in your bed would be just as scary as anything that happens in the movie!
It’s a vintage year for British culture as Biffo the Bear invents The Great British Bake-Off live on the cover of the Beano Annual for 1974! Baby-Face Finlayson, the Cutest Bandit in the West, made his first annual appearance this year, after debuting in the weekly comic in 1972.
A mini Ice Age apparently set in for 1975, but nothing stops the fun in Seventies Britain, right? Apart from power cuts, strikes and the Morris Marina, obviously.Even a critical shortage of good old British-made sledges couldn’t stop Dennis the Menace (to quote Aerosmith, the American Status Quo) tearing it up as he’s going downhill.
Wikipedia says 1976 saw record temperatures and an invasion of ladybirds. It doesn’t say where they came from but it was probably that Europe down there. True historians can tell it was hot because on the cover of the Beano Annual for 1976, Dennis and the gang took a horse to a river and let him stand in it. Life was simpler back then. Apparently.It’s hard to judge just how hot it was in 1976, because everything was measured in centigrades. The centigrade scale was later discredited in the Jeffrey Archer heating oil scandal of 1983 and replaced by the more trustworthy Celsius scale.
1977 was the year Star Wars came out and modern history actually began. Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, was a huge Beano fan. He got into it when he was in the UK filming at Pinewood Studios and even signed himself and his son up as members the Dennis the Menace Fan Club!Meanwhile, the Beano Annual for 1977 celebrated this brave new world with a picture of Jedi padawan Dennis the Menace using a hyperspace trampoline to steal Imperial apples – which was in fact the plot for an early draft of Star Wars Episode V: The Scrumpers Strike Back.
Here’s the cover of the Beano Annual for 1978. The Official Most ‘Seventies’ Modes of Transport are: 1. Space Hopper, 2. Raleigh Chopper, 3. Ford Capri with vinyl roof, 4. roller-skates you had to strap on over your real shoes and 5. Red Rum.The Beano went with a Space Hopper partly because they’d already done a horse back in 1976.1978 was a World Cup year, with Argentina winning the tournament on home soil.
The Seventies went out with a cold SPLAT, as the Beano Annual for 1979 features Dennis the Menace and Gnasher rolling a giant snowball towards their friends.
If you want to see more Beano Annuals from the last 80 years, you’re in luck – check out the rest of the series now!