Across the Pond | A roundup of U.K. comics news

The long-lived children's comic The Beano has a new look (and a new subtitle: The Beano starring Dennis the Menace and Gnasher). Comics artist Lew Stringer takes a look inside at some of the changes. Nigel Parkinson takes over on Dennis the Menace, who will start to be menacing again; his character was watered down a while ago, but apparently the editors have started listening to 8-year-old boys, which is a good thing in this case. And several of the long-lived comics have had art changes. Only 19 of this issue's 36 pages are comics, though.

• Stringer also reviews a history of The Dandy, which has the same parentage as The Beano but in recent years has become the edgier of the two (i.e. more fart jokes). It looks like The Beano may be evening things out a bit in that regard. John Freeman posts a lengthier review of the book at Down the Tubes.

• Jeremy Briggs talks to the organizers of Carlisle Mega-Con, a new convention taking place next weekend. As the organizers are also staffers at the local Waterstone's, they have some insight into local tastes; interestingly, manga and superhero comics are both popular, but customers really prefer "genre books with a dark edge to them such as Vertigo."

• Blank Slate Books and Nick Abadzis have released a soundtrack to go along with Abadzis' Hugo Tate.

• Richard Bruton has been celebrating the 35th anniversary of 2000AD by reading every issue that comes out this year; here's his review of Prog 1795. Also, a legion of 2000AD creators will swarm the U.K. on Sept. 1 for a nationwide signing event.

• Joe Gordon notes the display of graphic novels at the Edinburgh Book Fest.

• And now, a quick art break: Simon Fraser sent George O'Connor a penciled Judge Dredd to ink, and George reciprocated with Captain America; the results are lovely to behold.

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