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Art: Leo Baxendale

Published On September 29, 2013 | By Richard Bruton | General

This week the British Comic Awards nominations 2013 shortlist was announced, including the inclusion of the wonderful Leo Baxendale as the second Hall Of Fame recipient (Raymond Briggs being the first). It only seemed fitting to show you a little of his work…..

Baxendale is, by anyone’s standards, a colossus bestriding the UK comics medium, creator of Minnie The Minx, The Bash Street Kids, Little Plum, The Three Bears, Sweeney Toddler, Grimly Feendish, Willy The Kid, and artist on many, many more… as pointed out so well by Baxendale himself in this piece (grabbed from Wacky Comics)

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Leo Baxendale – One of the greatest living British cartoonists? Oh, most definitely.

His work on the Beano alone, creating Little Plum, Minnie The Minx, and the Bash Street Kids may well have been enough, but Baxendale’s career and invention, his sheer workload and ability to entertain generation after generation extended into the 60s with Baxendale working at Fleetway creating Clever Dick and Sweeney Toddler, and Oldhams, where he created (and drew most of) Wham! comic. Baxendale’s 70s gave us Willy The Kid, whilst the 80s and 90s found Baxendale in charge of his own publishing house Reaper Books, where he’s published several works including the adult comic THRRP!, The Beano Room, The Worst Of Willy and The Hobgoblin Wars, in addition to all this, he created I Love You Baby Basil! for The Guardian in the 90s.

Baxendale is 82, he’ll be 83 on October 27th. I trust you’ll all agree he’s a worthy entrant into the British Comic Awards Hall Of Fame.

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Minnie The Minx – Beano Annual 1960

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Little Plum – Beano Annual 1960

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Little Plum – Beano 850, 1958

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Bash Street Kids

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Eagle Eye Junior Spy

Wham! Comic - issue 77 4th Dec 1965

The Tiddlers

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Grimly Feendish

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Willy The Kid

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The Man From Bungle

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

5 Responses to Art: Leo Baxendale

  1. AndyB says:

    I’m afraid that Clever Dick is by Leo’s son Martin – the styles are of course similar but it’s signed by M Baxendale

  2. Briany Najar says:

    Baxendale: a loony genius and a game-changer. Good to see him getting some recognition.
    Apart from all the iconic characters he created, his potent influence can be seen in the many cartoonists who adopted his style when they took over his strips (such as Tom Paterson, Mike Lacey, Colin Whittock, the aforementioned Baxendale junior, Mike Brown, David Sutherland, Ken Harrison, Jim Petrie etc) some of whom did manage to evolve their own distinctive voices within that style, but always obviously driven by the infectious, joyously incorrigible spirit that he brought to the scene.

    Just a little nit-picking now: the Fleetway stuff came after the Odhams stuff, mostly in the early 70s – eg, Sweeny Toddler was from Shiver n Shake which started in 1973.

  3. BPP says:

    Last night Arsene Wenger said of a player ‘if you don’t enjoy watching him, you don’t love football’. Pretty much the same thing with Baxendale and Comics. That second Little Plum page has me grinning like the bears.

  4. ant says:

    Thank you for this!
    Ken Reid is pretty under-rated in the realm of Brit humour cartoonists and has a style which is a little bit similar to Baxendale’s….