00:00 - 00:00 GMT
09-Jan-04 - 21-Feb-04
Gateshead Central Library [map]
An exhibition of work by Leo Baxendale
Artist Leo Baxendale created Little Plum, Minnie The Minx and The Bash Street Kids in 1953, and they’ve been in The Beano ever since.
This exhibition, co-ordinated by Cartoon County, celebrates 50 years of mayhem for their creator.
Leo Baxendale was 22 years old and at the end of his National Service days in the RAF when he decided that he wanted to be an artist.
In 1953 he was hired to work for the comic magazine The Beano, and became one of their most important artists because of series like ‘Little Plum’, ‘Minnie the Minx’ and ‘The Bash Street Kids’.
Leo Baxendale: ‘When I created Bash Street in October 1953 I had in mind the herds of stampeding bison I’d introduced into Little Plum – The Bash Street Kids stampeded out of school…I started off with an army of 60 or 70 kids, then this was whittled down to a ‘core’ group. I introduced Plug for his height. I was an admirer of The Goons, so with Plug I had in mind to create a child version of Eccles…I did have in mind that I was building structures of comedy that would stand for
Baxendale continued with The Beano until 1962 and since then ‘The Bash Street Kids’ strip has been drawn by other artists who continue to tell the story of the Kids of Class 2B.
A recent survey showed that The Beano was still the favourite comic of boys in Britain aged 9 – 15.
Plans to make the Kids politically correct and whisk them into the age of computer games prompted screams of “Cripes” from more than 2000 fans, so the characters were returned to their former glory.
As this exhibition shows the enduring comic characters of Plum, the Kids and Minnie will continue to withstand the test of time.