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Beryl the Peril books 
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The cover of the 1966 Dennis book is an illustration referencing a text story inside the book titled 'Dennis and the Dinmakers'.


Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:30 pm
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Raven wrote:
I see from the gallery that the 1977 Beryl book also features other characters, including Dennis, The Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx amongst others, so was this more of an evenly balanced anthology of reprints from the weeklies - and was the multi-character mix a one-off experiment?
Seems to be a one-off, yes. 1979 had a Desperate Dan Book instead, and 1981 only had Beryl and Minnie.
Raven wrote:
Interesting to see that leap from from 1968 to 1977 reprints, and I wonder why the book was brought back after a 6 year gap.

The Bash Street Kids seem to have knocked Dennis out of his annual slot in 1980 and 1982 (they also had a book for 1984), and Beryl then lost her slot to Dennis in 1983 and 1985. In 1987 and 1988, both Dennis and Beryl appeared, then Bash Street took Beryl's place.

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Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:54 am
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I used to have three Beryl books 69 & 91 certainly can't recall date of third. All superbly funny! One joke in the Beryl books I loved was someone climbing a mountain in their best suit and wondering `how` the mountain had got into the suit! Another was the Topper staff annual party where when the Editor appeared-everyone jumped into a bath to hide and you saw sets of terrified eyes peeping from under the water as the Editor `raged`/ Have you those images Raven?

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Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:18 am
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Kashgar wrote:
The cover of the 1966 Dennis book is an illustration referencing a text story inside the book titled 'Dennis and the Dinmakers'.


Thanks, Kashgar. Then it probably was based on Gerry & the Pacemakers.

alanultron5 wrote:
Another was the Topper staff annual party where when the Editor appeared-everyone jumped into a bath to hide and you saw sets of terrified eyes peeping from under the water as the Editor `raged`/ Have you those images Raven?


In one of Beryl's gossip pages in the 1971 book she talks about the staff getting into hot water with the editor, illustrated by them all peering out of the bath at him.

Digifiend wrote:
1979 had a Desperate Dan Book instead, and 1981 only had Beryl and Minnie.


The Dan book was another where I was wondering what year the strips - mostly taking a serial form - first came from. They look like they could be as old as circa 1947-ish; there's quite a bit of unpleasant racial material and use of racist terms that it's surprising Thomson thought still suitable for publishing in a book for kids by the late Seventies. A strangely unpleasant tone permeates this one, with the front papers featuring a cow being flipped towards the hammer and rotating knives of Dan's cow pie-making vehicle.


Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:47 am
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Thanks Kashgar, I was always curious of when those reprints originated.

I can remmeber in the Funday Times, they first featured Law, and then some Dallas reprints (noticeable in Dallas' version - her father had a fuller head of hair). However, they could never feature the ones ending with Beryl getting a whacking.

It's a shame some of the B the P strips from abound mid-70s, drawn by Dallas never made it to annuals - some of the earliest Beryls I remmeber were from then & would love to see again (keep thinking of one where Beryl is playing snap with paretns and she plants a mousetrap which catches her father - gets whacked for it).

I think Law's was the better artwork, but I liked Dallas' versions too, especially as Beryl's character was that bit more anarchic and malicious (nd I think in Law's Beryls's clumsiness often got her in trouble).


Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:27 pm
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Raven wrote:

The Dan book was another where I was wondering what year the strips - mostly taking a serial form - first came from. They look like they could be as old as circa 1947-ish; there's quite a bit of unpleasant racial material and use of racist terms that it's surprising Thomson thought still suitable for publishing in a book for kids by the late Seventies. A strangely unpleasant tone permeates this one, with the front papers featuring a cow being flipped towards the hammer and rotating knives of Dan's cow pie-making vehicle.


I'm surprised it was deemed acceptable then too. However...

Those are actually among my favourite Desperate Dan strips. I didn't use to like his adventures in the late 80's, and when I saw the older strips the art was better but I still found the stories somewhat too silly and Dan's character rather too much like that of an embarrassing uncle who should grow up, or leave us kids in peace, or both.

These longer, more rough-and-ready stories, however, were better in two ways: one. they were more adventure stories than gag strips, and thus more exciting. I wish the strip had always continued as a serial. Two, they showed Dan as more of an antihero. I felt the writers weren't trying (and failing) to make me like him in the same way as they did in later strips. Like Popeye, he was what he was- a hot-tempered, unintelligent, tough guy who was unbelievably violent and strict with his nephew (and his horse!). You didn't have to like him as a person but you could still enjoy his adventures. If you could stomach the racism. (At the time I first read the annual I was well aware it was reprints from much earlier so I made allowances accordingly.)


Regarding David Law's Beryl: I too love this strip more than Dennis, and am always trying to collect the annuals. I don't like John Dallas's style either.


Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:43 pm
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Just to put the strips in the 1979 Desperate Dan book in some historical context. All the strips in the book had originally appeared in the Dandy comic between 1952 and 1958.


Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:40 pm
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dishes wrote:

I'm surprised it was deemed acceptable then too. However...

Those are actually among my favourite Desperate Dan strips. I didn't use to like his adventures in the late 80's, and when I saw the older strips the art was better but I still found the stories somewhat too silly and Dan's character rather too much like that of an embarrassing uncle who should grow up, or leave us kids in peace, or both.

These longer, more rough-and-ready stories, however, were better in two ways: one. they were more adventure stories than gag strips, and thus more exciting. I wish the strip had always continued as a serial. Two, they showed Dan as more of an antihero. I felt the writers weren't trying (and failing) to make me like him in the same way as they did in later strips. Like Popeye, he was what he was- a hot-tempered, unintelligent, tough guy who was unbelievably violent and strict with his nephew (and his horse!). You didn't have to like him as a person but you could still enjoy his adventures. If you could stomach the racism.


I find the "Chinese slaves" serial one of the most unpleasant Thomson strips I've read - of all the strips they could have reprinted ... and why on earth was racist language used in the rhyming lines at the top of the pages, presumably written new (?) for the annual? I found the same when reading a collection of '30s strips from the much-lauded series Terry and the Pirates, just really hard to get past the racism.

But, yes, there's a vitality and impressive prowess to much of Watkins' work during the 40s and 50s, and it's interesting that Dan is brutish, unintelligent, not especially likeable as a personality in that early era. It gives the material a very different - raw, not for the overly sensitive, flavour.

dishes wrote:

Regarding David Law's Beryl: I too love this strip more than Dennis, and am always trying to collect the annuals.


Yes, at its best, this strip is really impressive, very funny.


Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:31 am
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Raven wrote:
Did you ever pick up the 1977 book and gauge which era the Bash Street Kids strips, for example, looked to be a reprint from?


Hi Raven, I was looking for some info in 'The Beano Diaries' yesterday and I suddenly realised that I had listed the original publication dates of the Beryl the Peril/Bash Street Kids strips in there.
The dates were as follows -
1120 (4/1/64)
1125 (8/2/64)
1124 (1/2/64)
1126 (15/2/64)
1127 (22/2/64)


Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:31 pm
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Thanks, Kashgar. I'd been wondering if they'd used some of the old Leo Baxendale single-pagers, but now I know they went for strips from a later period.

If it's within easy access, did you also happen to have listed which year the Beryl book's Minnie the Minx strips were taken from?!


Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:54 pm
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Hi Raven,
The reason that the Bash St Kids/Beryl strips were catalogued in the Beano Diaries was because it had a special section devoted to the Bash St Kids and this information was listed there.
Minnie didn't have her own section so no reprint details I'm afraid. I can say though that the Minnie strips reprinted in the Beryl Book for 1977 are all by Jim Petrie and were first published in the Beano in the mid 1960's. When I get the time I'll try to track down the specific dates.


Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:19 pm
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Thanks for letting me know, Kashgar.


Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:31 pm
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