Like most children I knew, in the early 80s I received at least two The Beano annuals each Christmas from poorly communicating relatives - the record from one of my schoolfriends was five in a single Christmas.
While not all of their characters, storylines or artwork has stood the test of time - my parents recently gave me a bunch they'd found in the loft and I had to remove stories with racist caricatures before passing them onto my own children - they're a point of cultural reference for generations of kids.
Despite trends towards digital entertainment, The Beano remains a bastion of print. The comic is available from newsstands every Thursday, and the annuals still make regular appearances under the tree at Christmas. Its publisher DC Thomson is putting on a series of events at St Pancras station in London to promote The Beano Annual 2015, including an exhibition of the 75 covers from 1939 to 2014 (the 2015 edition having come out this year). You can see some of the favourites of DC Thomson's staff in this article.
The publisher has organised two drawing masterclasses for children in half term next week, on Monday and Wednesday. There are also Beano-themed graphics, peep boards, decorations and a black-and-red table tennis table. Nearer to Christmas, The Beano will take over St Pancras' Christmas tree.
Image: The Beano annual from 1949.
Read on to see more of The Beano covers.
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