I can now reveal what my new Beano strip is, and it's the return of Big Eggo, the Beano's very first character, who is coming back for the comic's 80th anniversary year!
Big Eggo was the first Beano cover star from the very first issue in July 1938, through to No.326 in January 1948. The original exploits of the ostrich were drawn by Reg Carter until the character was ousted from the front page by Biffo the Bear drawn by Dudley Watkins.
The Beano contacted me a few months ago to commission me to write and draw a new series of Big Eggo as weekly mini-strips inside the comic, starting with Beano No.3925, on sale Wednesday 7th March. I was given a brief that Big Eggo has escaped from Beanotown Zoo and is looking for his egg, but he is pursued by a hunter, Terry Tuff (who I believe was a character in the Dennis and Gnasher TV cartoon). Each week, Big Eggo will be either looking for his egg or eluding Terry's crazy traps. Some other Beano stars will cameo in upcoming episodes too.
I've written/drawn over half a dozen so far and I'm really enjoying it. Not only is it great to be back in the Beano, but to work on such a classic Golden Age character is an honour. I'd actually suggested new Big Eggo strips a few years ago, so I'm pleased to finally have a chance to do it. I think very few people expected Big Eggo to return after 70 years but I hope they'll enjoy his new adventures!
See the first new Big Eggo strip in Beano No.3925, on Wednesday 7th March 2018.
...and if you want to read Big Eggo's first strip from 1938 by Reg Carter, it's up on Beano.com here:
Brilliant news, Lew. And it's great to have your work back in Beano. Looking forward to this, a very nice treat for the 80th anniversary year as well. 😊
Thanks Andrew! I'm enjoying doing them. I don't know how long it'll run for but I'll be drawing the 7th one this weekend.
ah nice.. so someone's taken his egg again? ^_^
never quite worked out the 'him' and 'egg' bit.. through at least they always got his colours right for a male ^_^
last I knew, didn't they do the original Big Eggo in the retirement home?
He was shown in one panel of an anniversary issue several years ago in a retirement home, but after that they must have retired him to the zoo! He's back now though, fully rejuvenated. ;-)
Can't wait to see it in the Beano!
How did you end up drawing/writing comics in the Beano or any comic, how did you get recognized?
I used to draw as a hobby when I was very young, Jack, making up my own comics just to show my family. Then when I left school I produced my own fanzines and mini comics to sell at comic conventions and by mail order. They didn't make a profit but it gave me the experience and encouragement to send sample pages off to publishers. Eventually, in 1983, I sold my first work (to Marvel UK) and drawing/writing comics has been my job ever since.
My only experience with Eggo as a kid was in the pages of the 50th anniversary Dandy/Beano book, so I'm aware of the legacy of the comic and of this character. What an honour for you, to draw the first ever character to appear in the pages of the comic, and in its 80th anniversary year. Brilliant news!
Thanks Phil. I've drawn him once before, just as a one off illustration for a feature page, when they wanted a drawing of an unspecified ostrich and I put Big Eggo in there. That was a few years ago though. I think this will be the first Big Eggo strip since 1948 so I find that quite amazing, and an honour of course.
No pressure then!
close.. 1949 was the last strip. Issue 358. It was an inside strip after his replacement by Biffo. Cause when Reg Carter died, they retired the strip. So other then brief appearances, you are in fact the SECOND artist to ever draw and official Big Eggo Strip.
Thanks Ryan. Quite a responsibility. Hope it goes down well with readers!
Second in The Beano anyway. Eggo has been used in mini-strips before, among a number of other Beano, Dandy, Beezer and Topper characters in Hoot.
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