IT’S BLAM-tastic! Dennis the Menace, Gnasher and all the gang at The Beano have been brought to life by Redditch youngster Theo Davies.
For Theo is the winner of a nationwide competition to design the front cover of the nation’s favourite comic’s bumper Christmas edition which has just gone on sale now.
Not only that but the St Bede’s Middle School pupil’s design has also formed the basis of a special strip starring Dennis in the ultimate snowball fight in Beanotown.
The competition attracted more than 400 entries from across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
However Theo’s cover won said the judges because he had thought about everything – including Beano puns for Dennis’s balloon and the title.
His entry was sent to Nigel Auchterlounie who wrote the story, which was inspired by Theo’s picture.
The only guidance Beano added was to insert ‘snowball’ into the title, with Nigel taking the fun in Theo’s drawing and running with it.
“I thought I might come in the top 100 but I never expected to win,” said Theo, aged 11 and from Lodge Park, who admits to having boxfuls of The Beano and loads of annuals too.
“When I heard I’d won I was jumping around everywhere.”
And although the comic is 82 years young, Theo loves both the characters (his favourite is Dennis the Menace) and all the jokes.
His reward, as well as the honour of having his illustration on the front cover, is a year’s free subscription to The Beano.
As soon as it hit the streets he snapped up three copies, one for the St Bede’s trophy cabinet at the request of the headteacher, one for his Nan who buys him the comic and one to keep for himself.
Mike Stirling, editorial director of Beano Studios said: “Theo’s illustration is, as Dennis would say, totally BLAM-tastic!
“We all loved his creativity and could not be more thrilled to feature his design on the front cover of our special bumper Christmas comic.
“It’s great to know the future of Beano is so bright with talent like Theo ready to imagineer our most important cover of the year.
“This Christmas in Beanotown, Theo hasn’t just taken part; he’s taken over!”
Theo’s dad Tim added: “We’re very proud of him. Theo’s a keen artist (and Beano mad) so loves all of this.
“He was totally made up when his picture was selected.”
As for the future, Theo, a keen guitarist, is torn between music, robotics and design engineering, but one thing’s for sure, the Beano will be with him wherever he goes.