Saturday, 21 September 2013


D.C. Thomson, the Dundee based publishing company is something of a Scottish institution. Being responsible for a number of well known and loved publications such as the Sunday Post, Peoples Friend, The Jackie magazine and the Beano and Dandy comics.

First published in 1938, the Beano has introduced its readers to many cartoon characters who have gone on to become house names across the UK. Over the years the Beano has been home to Minnie the Minx, the Bash Street Kids, Biffo the Bear and of course Dennis the Menace and his dog Gnasher.

Although her work in the past has been mainly influenced by animated characters from television and film. A visit to the Beanotown exhibition held London's South Bank over the summer to celebrate the comics 75th anniversary resulted in its drawn strip characters  becoming the focus of Agi's residency project. This week, as part of her research, a trip was organised down to the Beano offices in Dundee where Editor in Chief Mike Stirling kindly showed us round, introducing us to the Beano staff and product development team.

Highlight of the trip was the access to D.C. Thomson's extensive archive. Stacked to the rafters, it contains original art work and a copy of every publication printed since the company started up in 1886 - coincidently the same year that William Grant  began building work at the Glenfiddich distillery. Mike's generosity with his time was matched only by that of the archivist Liza who quite calmly allowed myself and Agi, Yunyao and Agi's friend Angel unlimited access to these precious historical documents. I am quite sure if we had asked we might have even been allowed a quick scoot around on the Beano Chopper bike but we were far too polite and other wise occupied to mention it.

No comments:

Post a Comment