Mar 07

Toots and Sidney

FT + The Brown Wedge12 comments • 1,317 views

Bash Street Kids promoting healthy eatingImportant BASH STREET KIDS news (following up on yesterday’s Lollards): it’s sadly too late – both in closing date and in age of readers terms – for FT staff to enter Blue Peter’s competition to “create a new Bash Street Kid”, but we are sure the nation’s nippers will prove themselves worthy of this awesome responsibility. According to Wikipedia, the most recent recurring character to show up on Bash Street is Olive the Dinner Lady, who is a 27-year veteran of Class 2B by now. In general Bash Street School is remarkably well-resourced for somewhere with a single class of ten pupils: as I mentioned in the pub afterwards, its Head-Teacher*-Janitor staffing triangle was lifted for the later Dandy strip Greedy Pigg, a pitiless gaze into the venal face of petty bureaucracy and school staffing politics in which none of the characters were remotely redeemable.

The fact about Bash Street I’d forgotten on the show is that it started life as a feature called When The Bell Rings, an excuse for Leo Baxendale to draw hilarious and colossal panels celebrating the untrammeled joy of kid energy at play – the whole dynamic with Teacher as authority figure (though implicit in the original title) was added later as the strip became more narrative.

*Teacher’s wife is called Mrs.Teacher! Hurrah!


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    as per pic, toots is the twin of the one in the bottom right corner whose name i can never remember — danny is one the cap visible at the lower edge

    erbert is the small specky one w.too small clothes, the one with too-big-jumper (but not too long arms) is either called enry or wilfred

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    note to self: must read title of post before post itself

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    haha this sentence in the wiki entry: “The characters were inspired by the view overlooking the D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd office windows, from the playground at Dundee High School.”


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    jeff w on 12 Mar 2007 #

    For some reason, I always found The Beano repellent* even when I was the target age. However, I loved Leo Baxendale’s work for Monster Fun comic, especially the blot art and The Bad Time Bed Time Story Books. I never made the connection (i.e. that Baxendale also drew the Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx) until FT&LOP pointed it out yesterday. D’oh!

    *I wonder if this was a class thing, i.e. Beano = for working class kids, Monster Fun = for kids of aspiring middle class families?

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    Tom on 12 Mar 2007 #

    Baxendale got a lot more freedom on his work for Fleetway/IPC – he was constantly at loggerheads with the DC Thomson editors over content: despite this (or maybe because of it), it’s his DC Thomson creations that are probably most famous.

    The great lost Baxendale work is apparently Cheeky, a short-lived IPC comic which he was some kind of content director on – he did the lead strip, and the whole thing was particularly anarchic. I read an article on it years ago though have only dim memories of the characters, who got swallowed up by Whizzer And Chips I think.

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    Tom on 12 Mar 2007 #


    Leo Baxendale’s website.

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    Alan on 12 Mar 2007 #

    If Cheeky is the same Cheeky I’m thinking of it wasn’t Baxendale that did the art for the main strip, but Frank McDiarmid. It had something of LB’s anarchy. http://www.toonhound.com/cheeky.htm

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    Tom on 12 Mar 2007 #

    Hmm well as I say I read the article years ago! Ah well, wasn’t LB then. I’m sure he did do a similar strip to Cheeky tho.

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    Stevie on 12 Mar 2007 #

    Are you thinking of Sweeney Toddler on Whoopee!?

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    Stevie on 12 Mar 2007 #

    Actually now I think of it, Plug got his own spin-off comic – probably around the same time that Cheeky span off from Krazy and directly inspired by its success. It was all sport-themed: a team of footballing insects – Antchester Utd, a distance running hound – Henry Bono etc etc DYS?

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    Admin on 12 Mar 2007 #

    I had the Plug comic too – i remember the free gifts from the first run of issues. I don’t think it was all sport themed was it??

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    Admin on 12 Mar 2007 #

    ha ha, i remember the title “Luncheon Vulture”


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