|Image not available|
|Current/last artist||David Parkins, Tom Paterson, Jimmy Glen, Lew Stringer, David Sutherland, Hunt Emerson, Tom Paterson, Nigel Parkinson, Laura Howell, Jay Clarke|
|First appearance||Issue 3375
(April 7, 2007)
|Regular characters||Fred, Freda (Fred's Mum), Fred's Bed|
Fred's Bed was a comic strip in the British comic The Beano. It originally appeared in the The Topper section of the merged The Beezer and Topper comic in 1990, with the full title I Wonder What's Under Fred's Bed? In the first strip, Fred breaks his old bed and when Fred and his mum go out to buy a new one, she buys the cheapest bed in the shop. He later discovers that when he crawls under his bed, on purpose or by mistake, he enters a different world. Each strip ends up in a new place. The strip was first drawn by David Parkins, who was the regular artist through most of its run, though Tom Paterson drew several strips. The final strip in the Beezer and the Topper, in that comic's final issue, the bed exploded, although he did reappear in the Beezer Annual 2003 in a story where he visited the sounds effect factory.
However, the strip reappeared in the Beano comic on April 7, 2007. as reprints of the Beezer and Topper strips. Lew Stringer drew a new strip for the comic's Christmas 2007 issue along with Ken H. Harrison who drew Fred's Bed the game!. In issue 3341, dated 19 July 2008, Fred's strip was replaced by Olaff the Madlander, a reprint of fellow Beezer and Topper strip, Adrian the Barbarian. However, a brand new Fred's Bed story appeared in the 70th birthday Beano in which Fred met Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit, and the two explored the history of the comic (somewhat ironic, since Fred had actually originated in the Beezer and Topper, and not the Beano). This strip was drawn by David Sutherland. He returned later in 2008 after the Beano received a revamp, and Fred appeared in the Beano Annuals for 2009 and 2010, both times drawn by Ken H. Harrison.
In 2009 all the original stories except the last one had been reprinted (this was ostensibly due to the bed exploding, which would have prevented the strip from continuing, but it also featured caricatures of the then-current England football team which made it well out of date), so in Beano issue 3480, dated 25 April 2009, Hunt Emerson took over the strip. Fred was now given control over his bed's destination by way of an alarm clock, whereas in the original the bed took him to a random location, leading to the removal of the I Wonder What's Under part of the strip's title. The bed is also now referred to as a time machine. After the revamp, Emerson considerably changed Fred's appearance, giving him longer hair, and he appears to be more intelligent. The artwork style was also very different from the original strips, with most of Parkins' and Paterson's background details disappearing.
However, due to Emerson's workload, Tom Paterson and Nigel Parkinson ghosted the strip in the new style in late 2009, before David Sutherland started drawing the strip, from the 2009 Christmas issue on, also in Emerson's style. Sutherland drew the strip for about three months until Tom Paterson took over in April 2010, after which he became the regular artist. Around this time, the alarm clock was dropped and Fred once again had to go wherever his bed took him, with the Beezer and Topper banner title being restored. However, Sutherland continued to contribute a number of strips until summer 2011, when Paterson stopped drawing the strip and artwork duties began to be shared between Sutherland and Nigel Parkinson. In issue 3583, dated 30 April 2011, Fred gained an extra page titled "Fred's Foul Facts". Fred's Foul Facts is a single page containing facts relating to the preceding Fred's Bed strip.
In August 2012, Jay Clarke took over drawing Fred's Bed, redesigning his appearance yet again. The strip came to an end in November 2012, around the time Craig Graham became editor of The Beano.
Fred has distinctive blonde hair with what appears to be a hook on top, as does his mother, except she has it longer around the sides. When he was a baby, it merely consisted of the hook. Fred's father has only appeared once, in the recent new strips by Hunt Emerson, and never appeared in the Beezer and Topper strips. In the original strips, Fred has notable bad grammar, for instance he changed words ended in '-ing' to '-in', e.g. 'I'm goin' under me bed for a while', but this was dropped after the switch to new stories. The strip in Issue 3602 even revealed the name of Fred's mother as being Freda. He has been on the cover of four annuals: 1993 Topper, 1994 Topper, 2003 Beezer and 2012 Beano.
- Beano issue No. 3375
- Beano issue 3343
- Beano issue 3480 (dated 25 April 2009)
- Beano issue No. 3513
- Beano issue 3602 dated 10 september 2011