Published on February 10th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
British Comics Celebration
This month marks two important dates in the history of British comics, the founding of The Topper and 2000AD.
The heyday of printed comics may be behind us. Yet, the popularity of graphic novels and films featuring much loved characters from the American DC Comics and Marvel Comics has led to a resurgence of interest in British comics.
The Topper was founded on Feb 7th 1953 and ran until 15th September 1990, when it merged with The Beezer. Unusually for a comic, The Topper was full tabloid size and remained this way until it changed to A4 size in 1980.
Published by D. C Thomson & Co Ltd, whose other famous comics include The Beano and The Dandy, The Topper had various memorable characters over the years. These include Mickey the Monkey, Send for Kelly, Danny’s Tranny and Tricky Dicky.
The final character to grace its cover from 1986 to 1990 was Beryl the Peril. She actually appears in the very first issue of the Topper in 1953. In a similar vein to Dennis the Menace, Beryl is one of the most popular characters ever to be featured in a British comic.
Despite the demise of The Topper, Beryl the Peril continued to make appearances in the revamped The Dandy comic, including the 75th anniversary special in 2012.
Beryl is also remembered in this unique Topper Comic Pin Badge, the perfect gift for comic fans young and old.
Later this month, 2000 AD turns 40. The sci-fi comic featuring Judge Dredd, was first published on 26th February 1977.
The “Galaxy’s Greatest Comic” has included the work of a range of critically acclaimed graphic artists and writers. Many have moved on to work for famed American comic publishers including DC and Marvel Comics.
Fans of 2000 AD will know that the editor is actually Tharg the Mighty, a green extraterrestrial from Betelgeuse. He refers to readers as Earthlets and often makes appearances in his own comic strips.
Whilst 2000AD has moved between various publishers over the years, it remains a cult favourite. A 2000AD convention takes place tomorrow, 11th February in London to mark the 40th anniversary. Tickets have already sold out.
Celebrating British Comics
Both The Topper and 2000AD are featured in this stunning Comic Framed Stamp Set available now from the Post Office Shop. Set in a stylish black box frame with dimensions 32cm x 18.5cm, it is ready to take a special place on your wall.
This framed set released in 2012 contains 10 stamps. They show the front covers and famed characters from the following iconic British comics:
- The Dandy with Desperate Dan
- The Beano with Dennis the Menace
- The Eagle with Dan Dare
- The Topper with Beryl the Peril
- Tiger with Roy of the Rovers
- Bunty with the Four Marys
- Buster with Buster, Son of Andy Capp
- Valiant with the Steel Claw
- Twinkle with Twinkle herself
- 2000AD with Judge Dredd
Did You Know? The Beano’s Role in the Second World War
Did you know, during the Second World War, The Beano publicised the importance of the nation’s war effort to children? The comic used its front covers and funny story lines to ridicule Hitler and undermine the Nazis.