But how does a comic strip classic like this begin life? Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present for you an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes. A look inside the mind of one of the leading creative minds of our age. I have here in my hands a piece of paper... that I was about to throw in the bin before I realised it was the rough first draft for what became the typescript for this week's Bananaman story. Check. This. Out.
What did you expect? Leonardo? Also starting life this way was this week's Little Plum story, Totem Pole drawn by Hunt Emerson, and Pansy Potter The Strongman's Daughter - Notebook, which I've also drawn. And, yes, my name is hidden in the Pansy strip, but fiendishly subtly this week. Can you spot it? Can you? *
16 Final panel. BANANAMAN flies away from BEANCOS, carrying the 6 armed ARMED ROBBER under his arm. Down on the ground outside the store, WOMAN from behind till shouts up angrily, while WOMAN 2 talks into her phone.
BANANA I MADE A CLEAN SUPERMARKET SWEEP OF IT, WHEN I BAGGED HIM, EH READERS?
ROBBER OH PLEASE, NOT THE AWFUL JOKES!
BANANA 2 AISLE BET HE DIDN’T DIS-COUNT ON THIS! NOW HE’S SHOPPING MAD!
ROBBER 2 GROAN – SIX HANDS, AND NONE OF THEM OVER MY EARS!
WOMAN 1 HOY, YOU NEVER PAID FOR THAT BANANA!
WOMAN 2 CHEEK! HELLO, POLICE? I’D LIKE TO REPORT A BANANA THEFT!
PPS: On Facebook, Barth Hulley posts:
I want you to know that my six year old son has been running around the playground shoving his cycle helmet in his friends faces yelling "Unexpected item in your face!"
— feeling proud.
— feeling proud.
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.
* PS: I'm not claiming to be the first person to use that Pansy Potter idea. Readers of my vintage will remember Prohias doing the very same thing every month in his Spy Vs Spy strip.