With the Beano family celebrating their birthday this week, there’s no better time to step back in time and remember our carefree cartoon days.

Minnie and Menaces will fondly remember going to the corner store with their pocket money every week and picking up a comic book with a bag of candy on the set.

With the first issue published on July 30, 1938, after 83 years, Beano remains the oldest weekly comic in the world.

Minnie the Minx, meanwhile, is doing well on her 68th birthday – she first appeared in 1953 after being written by Beano artist and creator Leo Baxendale.

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He also continued to draw the Bash Street Kids and Little Plum, but it wasn’t until after his death that his secret passion for producing leftist propaganda was revealed.

Shortly after Leo died at the age of 86, his friend Sandy Hobb donated a bunch of his friend’s political works to the archives of the Caledonian University of Glasgow.

The working cache, including the anti-nuclear weapons posters, has been locked away for decades, with Leo fearing that his political leanings will negatively affect his standing in the world of children’s comics.



The archives of the University of Caledonia have a cache of the work of Leo Baxendale

The collection included a newsletter for the Dundee branch of CND, inviting people to a mass flyer raid on Broughty Ferry.

“Come on! The descent of leaflets will be followed by a dinner of fries at the organizer”, we can read.

Another poster features a map of the UK with the sites of US and UK nuclear bases beside Ireland, under a caption that reads: “In World War III, who will be a target?”

Glasgow Caldeonian University also publishes an issue of the Anti-Vietnam War Journal titled Strategic Commentary , which Leo funded, published and distributed – his first paying subscriber was Noam Chomsky, the American leftist scholar, but Leo also sent countless free copies to MPs.


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