Beano celebrates 70th anniversary of a youth without menace

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On a brilliant sunny day in 1938, exactly 70 years ago this week, I stood in the school playground, doing nothing in particular, while all around was clamour. I was seven.

This was an historic day, although I didn’t know it. An older boy rushed up and thrust a comic into my hands: “Look at this!”

I studied the comic politely, then handed it back, and he rushed off. The boy had just shown me the first issue of the Beano, published that day. For him, it was a wonderful moment. Given that I would work in comics for much of my life, you might have expected me to feel the same – but I was actually rather disconcerted by the cover, which featured an ostrich, Big Eggo.

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