This week's Beano comes bagged with toys (I got a catapult) sweeties (didn't think they could still do that, but damn glad to find they still can) and Star Wars stickers (kids today) and inside not only is there the latest fabby Pansy Potter by me (did I mention the first question I was asked on Monday morning at the school I visited was "can you draw The Strongman's Daughter"? He didn't remember the Pansy Potter bit, just the doesn't-quite-rhyme subtitle. I, of course, obliged) but also an amazing fourth-wall breaking paradigm-shifting time-travel conundrum from Bananaman.
As well as being the first Bananaman written by someone else for a while* (I started writing them back in October last year, and don't worry kids, there are more of mine to come - Wayne is drawing one called Teddy Bear as I type this) it sees a radical change in the Man Of Peel's appearance. After a few years of being in Wayne's dynamic animation style (since before the strip transferred from The Dandy to The Beano), Wayne is now ghosting the style of the strip's original artist John Geering, on whose designs the 1980s TV series were based (and who died in 1999). I would imagine this will be so that Bananaman strips will blend in with the video rereleases, old reprints and merchandise that will come in the wake of the forthcoming film. A shame to lose a look that I personally was so fond of but, like Jamie Smart's Roger The Dodger before it (a look which had a 6 month run before being retired last month) it may have proved too radical for some readers.
(*Here's author Cavan Scott's blog on this week's Bananaman)
For other interpretations of Bananaman, don't miss my Bananaramas (as Mark from the Beano christened them last week on Twitter) here, here and here.
As well as writing Bananaman and drawing Pansy Potter in The Beano, Kev F Sutherland has worked for everyone from Marvel to Doctor Who & most points inbetween, and runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He's been writing and drawing comics for 25 years, he must know something.