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"Mrs Johnson's Jumbo" - help? 
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I was lucky enough to meet Beano/Dandy artist Henry Davies about seven years ago, I think it was in 2004. Anyway, during this meeting he drew me up a little sketch of a character - Mrs Johnson - and it came with a caption: Mrs Johnson's Jumbo - in the DANDY soon!

Although at the time I could only afford one comic per week and my loyalty lay with the Beano, I watched out eagerly for this strip in the Dandy but I don't remember ever seeing it. My question is did this strip ever make it to the Dandy? Can anyone tell me more about it?

Here's a pretty poor photo of the sketch he drew, although you can make out the writing:

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:17 pm
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It certainly isn't in the annuals. I think it may have been dumped without ever seeing print when they relaunched the comic in 2004.

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:20 pm
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I saw some of Henry's original work on 'Baby Face Finlayson': astonishing and esoteric in the extreme: sadly it was too off-the wall ever to see print.




Bit of a shame.

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:40 pm
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I'm not a fan of his to be honest. There was a Dennis and Gnasher story he did for a Beano annual, and all the characters looked seriously off model - far too detailed.

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Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:12 pm
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I'm not really a fan of him either. Because I have the History of the Beano I've seen his prototype version of Calamity James, and I can see why the editor didn't like it. I didn't like it not just because of the artwork but the fact that the prototype strip was just so depressing and didn't really seem particularly funny in comparison to most of the storylines they ended up using- although I'm sure that the stories in the actual series would have probably still been better if they decided to go with Henry Davies' version.

He did this other thing in a Dandy annual, the Puddlewick Playgroup or something like that, and that was just as bad. I just think that everyone looked hideous and his way of shading didn't appeal to me. Everyone looked all wrinkly. Then again, I'm sure there are a lot of people who like his work.

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Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:57 pm
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Digifiend wrote:
It certainly isn't in the annuals. I think it may have been dumped without ever seeing print when they relaunched the comic in 2004.


That would make sense. The relaunched Dandy certainly rejected anything that wasn't within a certain style. I would have liked to see some of this strip though - it seemed like a funny idea with potential for great gags.

I'm not all too opposed to his work. His website (http://web.mac.com/henrydavies/Site/THE_BEANO.html) showcases various Beano characters in what I see as a fairly neutral drawing style - not too wacky, not too boring.


Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:36 pm
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Hang on, I remember that. We had a few pages of that drawn and in the office before the relaunch was decided upon. I always liked Henry drawing elephants - he did some nice stuff with Phoot & Mouse. Mind you, comic elephants are just funny. There should be more elephants in comics.


Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:24 pm
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Jon wrote:
Digifiend wrote:
It certainly isn't in the annuals. I think it may have been dumped without ever seeing print when they relaunched the comic in 2004.


That would make sense. The relaunched Dandy certainly rejected anything that wasn't within a certain style. I would have liked to see some of this strip though - it seemed like a funny idea with potential for great gags.

I'm not all too opposed to his work. His website (http://web.mac.com/henrydavies/Site/THE_BEANO.html) showcases various Beano characters in what I see as a fairly neutral drawing style - not too wacky, not too boring.

The version of Dennis in the annual was wrinkly, whereas the example on the website is much more on-model. In fact without the signature, it could easily be mistaken for David Parkins, who would've been Dennis's main artist at the time.

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Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:28 pm
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Classic Comics wrote:
Hang on, I remember that. We had a few pages of that drawn and in the office before the relaunch was decided upon. I always liked Henry drawing elephants - he did some nice stuff with Phoot & Mouse. Mind you, comic elephants are just funny. There should be more elephants in comics.

I suppose Henry was unaware of any potential plans for a relaunch when he drew this for me, and had simply assumed the strip was going to print! That clears it up the mystery nicely. :D


Digifiend wrote:
The version of Dennis in the annual was wrinkly, whereas the example on the website is much more on-model. In fact without the signature, it could easily be mistaken for David Parkins, who would've been Dennis's main artist at the time.

I'll take your word for it, which annual was it?


Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:55 pm
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Henry Davies' 'wrinkly' Dennis strip appeared in the 2007 Beano annual.

As for Mrs Johnson's Jumbo, I suspect the reason the strip never appeared in the comic was because the 2004 Dandy relaunch led to a move towards a more TV cartoon-like style (e.g. the introduction of Jak, and Desperate Dan being given a more cartoony look) and the idea may not have fitted in with this. Another possibility is that the editor may have rejected the strip and decided not to print it after initially giving it the go-ahead.

Whatever the reason, this is a fascinating piece of information you have as I don't think anyone outside of DCT or the artist will have been aware of this strip prior to now.

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Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:41 pm
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Jonny Whizz wrote:
Henry Davies' 'wrinkly' Dennis strip appeared in the 2007 Beano annual.


Found it. I have to agree with previous comments, it does seem a little overdetailed, especially compared to the Dennis strip at the beginning of the annual, which is drawn by a different artist.


Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:47 pm
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I'm afraid I have a simple view on Henry. I can't stand his stuff. Never liked it - little things like the Davy Law bull in the middle of a Dennis story drawn in the style of David Parkin, Korky figures printed in the Dandy obviously culled from Charlie Grigg artwork, and the worst crime of all: taking clips of Eric Roberts Winker Watson strips from the early 1970s and pasting them into a new story involving a weird box a few years ago in a Dandy special.


Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:53 am
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