The Beano Annual

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The Beano Annual
The cover of the Beano Book 1972
Publication information
Publisher D.C. Thomson & Co
Schedule Annual
Format Children's
Genre Comic strips
Publication date 1939-present
Number of issues 73
Main character(s) Dennis and Gnasher

The Beano Annual is the current name of the book that has been published every year since 1939, to tie in with the children's comic The Beano. As of 2015 there have been 77 editions. The annuals are traditionally published in July or August, in time for Christmas, and since 1965 they have had the date of the following year on the cover. Before then no date was given.

From 1942 to 1949 the annual was called "The Magic-Beano Book", which referred to the short-lived Magic Comic that had ceased publication in 1941 due to the Second World War's paper rationing. The name reverted to the original title of "The Beano Book" in 1950 and continued, the year changing for each subsequent annual, until the release of the 2003 book in 2002 when it was renamed "The Beano Annual". The 2011 Beano Annual is taller and wider than previous annuals.

After paper rationing had ended, The Magic Comic was never revived, but some of the characters who had originally appeared in the pre-war Magic Comic remained as regular strips in the post-1950 Beano Comic (such as Koko the Pup).

Because of his popularity, Dennis the Menace has appeared on the front cover of every annual since the release of the 1979 book in 1978.

List of annuals[edit]

This information is necessary to identify older annuals which are not dated. If an annual is dated 1940, it would have been published in August 1939. Prices are in shillings and pence with one shilling equal to 5p.

The Beano Book

  • 1940: Big Eggo and all the other (then-current) characters are sitting on a seesaw, which is supported by Pansy Potter. Price 2/6
  • 1941: All the then-current characters are emerging from gigantic eggs with Big Eggo's head peering onto the right side. Price 3/-
  • 1942: All the then-current characters are dancing around the spinning Big Eggo - with Lord Snooty playing the bagpipes. Price 3/6

The Magic-Beano Book

  • 1943: Big Eggo and Koko the Pup are having a three-legged race with all the other characters running behind them. The "Magic" in the book's name refers to The Magic Comic which is where Koko the Pup had originated back in 1939. Price 5/- (advertised as 5/6)
  • 1944: Big Eggo and Koko the Pup are having a pillow fight on a balance beam and it looks like Eggo is going to sneeze. Price 6/-
  • 1945: Big Eggo and all the other (then-current) characters are playing leapfrog as they approach a pool full of water. Price 6/-
  • 1946: Big Eggo pulls all the other then-current characters along in a cart, as Koko holds a horseshoe in front of him. Price 6/-
  • 1947: All the (then-current) characters are gathered around Big Eggo, who has something spherical stuck in his throat. Price 6/-
  • 1948: Big Eggo and all the other then-current characters are playing musical instruments (Koko plays a series of strings tied to Eggo's neck, as if they were a harp, while Eggo himself plays a drum as this was around the time he was given arms and hands). Price 6/-
  • 1949: Biffo the Bear and Koko are fighting in front of a taxi, while all the other characters are trying to stop them. Price 6/-
  • 1950: Biffo the Bear is painting a portrait of Big Eggo and all the other (then-current) characters on a large canvas. Price 6/-

The Beano Book

  • 1951: Biffo is riding upon Tick-Tock Tony, the Clock-Work Horse, who was based upon The Horse that Jack Built. Price 6/-
  • 1952: Biffo is nailing pictures of many other then-current Beano characters (including Pansy Potter, Maxy's Taxi, Tom Thumb, The Laughing Pirate, Tick-Tock Tony and Lord Snooty) to the cover. A jar of Magic Lollipops is also present below the book's name. Price 6/-
  • 1953: Jack Flash is taking all the other characters on a trip to the Moon (Biffo the Bear is grabbing on to his back). Price 6/-
  • 1954: Biffo is hanging from a tree, Dennis is holding a lobster near his foot (this was the first Beano annual to feature him on the cover), and a monkey is sawing the branch Biffo is hanging from. In the background, Buster watches (from behind a barrel). Price 6/-
  • 1955: A policeman is trying to stop Biffo from fishing, but an arrow with a glove on it, a boot and a horseshoe (that are flying into view from the left side) knock him over the edge of the pool (however, he has not actually fallen in, and is in mid-air). Price 6/-
  • 1956: Biffo is acting as General Jumbo with all the other then-current characters acting as the radio-controlled army. Price 6/-
  • 1957: Dennis kicks a football, which bounces off all the other then-current characters like a pinball and into a goal. Price 6/6
  • 1958: Biffo is doing a juggling act, and a swarm of bees (which have been released from their hive by Dennis and Minnie; this is the first Beano annual to feature her at full size on the cover, as she was miniaturized for 1956 one) are flying towards him. Price 6/6
  • 1959: Biffo the Bear watches Dennis, as he plays a game of leapfrog with Little Plum, and a goat is about to butt him. Price 6/6
  • 1960: Biffo is completing a jigsaw puzzle of the Bash Street Kids, which shows an angry dog chasing after the Teacher. Price 7/-
  • 1961: The comic's title is displayed in large letters - with pictures of Dennis, Danny, Wilfrid, Little Plum, Toots, Roger, Plug and Smiffy (who is upside down) on the top, and Jonah, Minnie, Biffo, Sidney, Fatty, Kat and the Bash Street Teacher (with Kanary on his nose) on the bottom. This cover appeared on the endpapers of the 2004 The Broons special book ("The 1960s Revisited"). Price 7/6
  • 1962: Jonah (with a seagull perched on his head) is dancing on the mast of a sinking ship, with an "SOS" flag on it, and his hat is on the word "BOOK", while two fish are looking at him with shocked faces. On the back cover, Jonah is wearing a vest and shorts while sitting on a giant turtle and playing a harmonica, and his clothes are on the mast like a flag, as the turtle looks surprised. Price 7/6
  • 1963: The Bash Street Kids are sitting on a giant swing which is tied to the comic's name (Danny is reading the book). Price 7/6
  • 1964: Biffo is holding up a barbell (which represents the two letters "OO" in "BOOK") and Buster is tickling him with a feather, while Dennis, the Three Bears, Jonah, Minnie, Roger and the Bash Street Kids are watching them. On the back cover, as a result of Buster and his tickling, Biffo drops the barbell on Buster's head - which would most likely have been lethal if he was a real person. Price 7/6
  • 1965: Little Plum and Minnie the Minx (the latter is wearing a red-and-yellow striped jumper) are blowing up a giant balloon which is shaped like Biffo's head. On the back cover, a hedgehog passes them, and its spikes burst the balloon on pricking it. Price 7/6

From 1966 all annuals were dated.

  • 1966: Biffo is spinning a giant drum (which has the book's title on it) with his feet. On the back cover, Biffo walks away while rolling the drum and says "Bye, Bye". Like the Dandy Annual of the year, it is the first to be dated. Price 7/6
  • 1967: General Jumbo is controlling the other characters (Dennis, Biffo, Minnie, Roger, The Bash Street Kids, Lord Snooty and The Three Bears) with his radio control, and Danny (from the Bash Street Kids) is holding a red balloon, which has "1967" upon it. Price 7/6
  • 1968: Biffo is wearing a crash helmet (which has "1968" on it) and Dennis, Minnie (who is wearing a black-and-yellow striped jumper), and Roger (who is wearing a red-and-yellow checked jumper), are throwing snowballs at him from in the background. Price 7/6
  • 1969: The Bash Street Kids ride on the Iron Fish as it flies over their Teacher (who'd hooked it) in his fishing boat. Price 7/6
  • 1970: Biffo is carrying a giant ice lolly which has the book's name upon it (the Bash St. Kids are in the background). Price 8/6
  • 1971: Biffo is holding a picture frame up in front of himself, as if he was a portrait (four actual portraits of Dennis, Minnie, and Bash St.'s Smiffy and Plug are also present on the left and right sides of him, as he is standing in a Beano art gallery). Price 9/6
  • 1972: Biffo is dressed as a lollipop man and holding a sign (which has the name of the book on it), while Dennis, Minnie, Roger, the Bash Street Kids, Three Bears, Billy Whizz, Lord Snooty, Bash Street Pups, The Nibblers (chased by Winston) and Little Plum all rush past him. Like the Dandy Annual of the year, it is the first to have a decimalized price instead of the old shillings & pence. Price 50p
  • 1973: Biffo is holding a glove puppet of Dennis with a club that has hit him over the head (its box says "GLOVE PUPPET, HARMLESS TOY" but it is clearly not). Some (preproduction?) undated copies exist for this annual.[citation needed] Price 55p
  • 1974: Biffo is tossing pancakes, while wearing a chef's hat. Two pancakes have landed on Dennis and Gnasher, and the Bash Street Kids are peering around the door (which suggests that he could have been working in Bash Street School, as the school's cook). Price 55p
  • 1975: Dennis, Gnasher and the Bash Street Kids are playing in the snow, Dennis on a rocking horse instead of a sledge. Price 60p
  • 1976: The Bash Street Kids are riding on Little Plum's horse, Treaclefoot, and wearing cowboy hats. On the back cover, the horse (Treaclefoot) runs away, which causes them to fall into a river, as they were only halfway across upon the book's front cover. Price 70p
  • 1977: Dennis and Gnasher are jumping on a trampoline trying to get apples from a tree and the Bash Street Kids are watching from over the fence while Dennis's Dad watches them from behind the tree angrily. On the back cover, Dennis's Dad tilts the trampoline and it bounces Dennis and Gnasher into the pond after they come down, covering them with water as the Bash Street Kids laugh at them. Price 90p
  • 1978: The Bash Street Kids are bouncing across a farm on a spacehopper (or a "Super Bouncer", as the book refers to it) that has Dennis's face. On the back cover, a cow's horns burst the spacehopper when it lands on them - which throws all of the kids off. Price £1
  • 1979: Dennis and Gnasher start rolling a gigantic snowball down a hill towards Lord Snooty, Biffo the Bear, Buster, Little Plum, Minnie, Wilfrid, Danny and Walter. On the back cover, the snowball gets sliced in half by a big tree, that Dennis runs into. Price £1.15
  • 1980: Dennis is about to score a goal, for his football team. Gnasher is growling at the Bash Street Kids (who are all on top of the goalpost). On the back cover, the Bash Street Kids' combined weight breaks the goalpost (and they all fall onto Dennis). Price £1.25
  • 1981: Dennis is jumping onto a seesaw which causes Gnasher to fly over a fence into the Beanotown Cats' Home. On the back cover, one of the cats smacks him back over the fence with a fish, and he lands on Dennis, although he tries to get out of the way. Price £1.40
  • 1982: Dennis is playing on the dodgems at a fun fair, as all the other characters (Roger is wearing a blue-and-black checked jumper this time) are trying to get out of his way. On the back cover, he drives his dodgem out of the fair and into a pool. Price £1.60
  • 1983: Dennis, Lord Snooty, Biffo, Buster, Little Plum, Bash Street Pups, Grandpa, Billy Whizz, Ball Boy, and Tom, Dick and Sally are having their photo taken by the (then-current) Beano Editor in the Beano Office. On the back cover, everybody (except Dennis) clears the room in terror, when Gnasher jumps in through the office's window, and lands on the Editor's desk as he snaps the photo. Price £1.80
  • 1984: Dennis and Gnasher are chasing a pair of cats through the snow (and past a Dennis-like snowman). On the back cover, one of the cats pushes the snowman's head onto Gnasher, as the other one laughs at him, and Dennis looks surprised at what's happened. Price £2
  • 1985: Dennis, Biffo the Bear, Walter and the Bash Street Kids are taking part in the "Beano Marathon". On the back cover, Walter (who was being chased by Gnasher) surprisingly wins (even though he looked tired, when the race started on the front cover). Price £2.25
  • 1986: Dennis rides his bike over a river into his Dad's prize apple tree, and all the other characters cheer him on. Price £2.45
  • 1987: Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie, Danny, Plug, Billy Whizz, and Ivy the Terrible are flying in a hot air balloon which has the name of the book on it. On the back cover, Dennis uses the anchor to snatch up a stall that is selling slippers (for "whacking"). Price £2.70
  • 1988: Dennis and Minnie are having a paintball fight in the snow (there is also a "Dandy/Beano 50 Years Young" logo, seen in the bottom-right corner of this annual's cover). On the back cover, they use their paint to write "Dennis and Minnie were here". Price £2.85
  • 1989: Dennis is painting a picture, of what appears to be Gnasher dressed as a Cavalier (he has actually titled it "The Gnashing Cavalier" as a result). On the back cover, Gnasher jumps out of the picture, and bites off the paintbrush Dennis is holding. Price £3.10
  • 1990: All the characters are dancing in a disco room, with Dennis and Gnasher controlling the records (the latter is spinning on the turntable of the DJ deck). On the back cover, Gnasher flies (still spinning as a result of the turntable), into the air. Price £3.25
  • 1991: All the characters are having a Christmas party with Dennis blowing a noisemaker in Gnasher's face. On the back cover, the party goes awry when Gnasher steals Dennis's ice cream cone (and Dennis's Dad dispenses a big load of ice cream over Fatty). Price £3.55
  • 1992: All the characters are upon a merry-go-round sitting on replicas of their pets - vice versa on the back cover. Price £3.80
  • 1993: All the characters are racing through the countryside (in wheelie bins). On the back cover, Danny cuts the rope connecting Dennis's bin to the others, which causes him and Gnasher to crash-land in a ditch. The front endpaper of this annual, which shows a view of Beanotown, was also used on the title screen of (and the basis of the "Street Streak" track in) Beanotown Racing. Price £4.10
  • 1994: Dennis is walking through Beanotown, and switches on his torch to find lots of "Beano Bugs" flying around him. Price £4.35
  • 1995: All the then-current characters are racing on rafts, down a river. On the back cover, Dennis and Gnasher's winning raft is revealed to have been pushed by a dolphin in a Menace jumper (who, after he became a regular feature, was named "Splasher"). Price £4.50
  • 1996: Dennis, Roger, Minnie and Danny are pushing down on Gnasher (so he can spring up into the Softies' treehouse). Price £4.75
  • 1997: All the characters are inside a Chinese Dragon which has Dennis's face. On the back cover, Gnasher sees its face and jumps (and there are also two other, smaller, Chinese Dragons, which have Minnie and Ivy the Terrible's faces, in the background). Price £4.99
  • 1998: Dennis the Menace is sticking lots of pictures of the other characters on a wall. Dennis's Dad is hanging upside down, and knocking on the window, as he just wants to be put the right way up again, and Ivy the Terrible has been pasted on the wall. Price £5.25
  • 1999: Dennis and Gnasher are giving each other "five", while various computer-generated pictures of the other characters (Roger, Minnie, Billy Whizz, the Bash Street Kids, and Ivy the Terrible), are displayed upon five of nine squares in the background. Price £5.45
  • 2000: Dennis, Gnasher, and all the other characters (some retired) are flying through space, using special vehicles. Price £5.99
  • 2001: Dennis and Gnasher are driving their Menace Car through a computer-generated world, trying to escape from an army of weird Beano robots (as there was a story about them travelling to a planet inhabited by them, and destroying them, in the annual). Price £6.20
  • 2002: Lots of computer-generated pictures of the characters adorn the cover, with a gigantic hole in the centre where Dennis and Gnasher have driven through it with their Menace Car from the previous annual (Smiffy's head is also displayed upside-down). Price £6.25

The Beano Annual

The cover of the Beano Annual 2005
  • 2003: All the characters are playing on a giant 3D mechanical Gnasher (a 2D one had previously been built by a school of aliens, in the 1997 annual). On the back cover, the mechanical Gnasher goes after a mechanical cat, and all the characters fall off. Price £6.45
  • 2004: The first completely hand-drawn front cover picture since 1999, with a giant Loch Ness monster (whose face is very similar to Plug's) interfering with all the characters' relaxing swim up at "Loch Mess" (it is obviously a parody of Loch Ness). Price £6.70
  • 2005: All the characters are bouncing on spacehoppers. Dennis's "spacehopper" is his pet pig, Rasher (who first appeared back in 1979, when Dennis saved him from going to market). On the back cover, Dennis and Rasher bang their heads on a tree's branch. Price £6.99
  • 2006: All the characters appear to be in a jungle. On the back cover, we learn the "jungle" is Dennis's back garden. Price £7.10
  • 2007: All the characters are crammed on to the front cover (one of whom is "Edd Case", the Numskulls' man). On the back cover, Dennis scares everybody else away by using his smelly socks as only he and his dogs can stand the smell. Price £7.25
  • 2008: Dennis standing on top of a podium holding the "Menace of the Year" award, while Minnie has won second place and Danny has won third place. Everybody else is cheering for them (except for the Softies). On the back cover, Dennis soaks the Softies with a bottle of pop and everybody else laughs. The endpapers also feature the cover of every previous Beano Annual published in the past. Price £7.50
  • 2009: Dennis's Dad is driving a float through Beanotown (which has a giant model of Dennis and Gnasher on the back). Price £7.99 [1]
  • 2010: Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie are practicing karate, but on the back cover, the Softies are practicing "Soft Fu". Price £7.99
  • 2011: Dennis and Gnasher are bouncing on a trampoline (similar to how they were for the front cover of the 1977 annual, but they are not trying to steal any apples here), while Minnie, Gnipper, Roger, Walter, Danny and Billy Whizz watch them from below. Price £7.99
  • 2012: Dennis is riding on a Gnasher-themed snowboard, while Gnasher himself is laughing in the foreground. This book also marked the 60th birthday of Dennis the Menace with a special logo that was displayed in the bottom-right corner of its front cover. Price £7.99
  • 2013: All the characters are at the Beano's 75th birthday street party (this was a reference to all the street parties that were held over the country in 2012 to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee). On the back cover, the end of the table is visible. Price £7.99
  • 2014: All the characters are standing on top of an open-top double-decker bus which, again, has the number 75 on it. Price £7.99
  • 2015: Dennis the Menace and Gnasher are walking onto a high-speed train with their suitcases upon Beanotown Station. Price £7.99
  • 2016: Most of the characters are on a rollercoaster, Dennis being front and center. Bananaman is flying nearby. Price £7.99

See also[edit]


External links[edit]