A new special festive edition, titled ‘BeanOLD’, will recall and cast a satirical gaze on the key events and public figures of 2020.
In the comic, Mr and Mrs Menace – Dennis the Menace’s mum and dad – look back on how their lives have been thrown into turmoil by toilet roll shortages, home schooling, Zoom quizzes, and Mr Menace losing his job at Wilbur Brown’s factory.
The first adult issue will show Dennis’s father get a new job in the ‘Elf Service’.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
Who’s featured in BeanOLD?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his controversial right-hand man Dominic Cummings are both lampooned in the new edition of the comic.
The Prime Minister is depicted making a visit to “Beanotown”, the fictional hometown for the comic’s characters, with prompts scrawled on his hand, and Cummings’ ill-fated trip to Barnard Castle in Durham, when he infamously broke the UK’s lockdown rules is also parodied.
As a police officer stops the PM’s car with the ex-chief adviser at the wheel, he jokes about his previous “car crash” appearance at his Downing Street rose garden press conference.
BeanOLD also features footballer Marcus Rashford, who won acclaim for his free school meals campaign, and Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised millions for charity by walking laps of his garden. The pair visit Beanotown to receive honorary MBEs (Member of the Beano Elf-service) for their efforts.
While in town they save Christmas by rumbling Wilbur Brown and Walter Softy’s plan to steal all of the Christmas presents.
Other well-known figures to appear in the “Beano for adults” include Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who offers advice on how to grow your own Christmas tree.
Mrs Menace is also revealed to have a secret crush on actor Tom Hardy.
Why are they making BeanOLD now?
The new edition has been announced to coincide with the launch of the Beano’s festive campaign. Dubbed the “Gnational Elf Service,” it is aimed at reviving the spirits of the nation after a tough year.
It’s far from the the first time real-world celebrities have appeared in the comic, which was first published in July 1938 and continued production throughout the Second World War.
Mike Stirling, editorial director of Beano Studios, said the Beano had a track record of “poking fun at authority figures,” recalling how it had once sent Jacon Rees-Mogg a “cease and desist” letter asking him to stop impersonating Walter the Softy.
“Boris Johnson actually got chased off Tower Bridge by a dinosaur when he was London Mayor and we've featured Barack Obama on the cover before,” he added.
According to Stirling, a copy was sent to Number Ten last week, “but it's anyone's guess whether it went straight to the top man, or whether Boris got it.
"The rumour, from a government source, was that Dominic Cummings nabbed it for his leaving goodie box."
Where can I get a copy of BeanOLD?
The special edition of the comic, dubbed BeanOLD, will be a pull-out inside the regular Beano.
BeanOLD can be found in this week’s Beano, available to buy at retailers from Wednesday 18 November.