Guide to the Best of British Comic Book Characters

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The first ever British comic book was published in 1937 and ever since many have become comic collectables, with a copy of the First ever Dandy selling for £20,350.00.  

For generations comics from Twinkle to The Beano have introduced us to many characters that have had an impact on our childhood. We had the Wild West Desperate Dan, the four Marys, Dennis the menace and Judge Dread.  Every week children across the country eagerly waited to catch up with their favourite comic books characters recent adventures.  During the 1950’s and 60’s comic books were at their heyday and there was a comic book for every child no matter what you where into. This was a huge rise in the number of character beginning introduced to the eager British public. Everyone had their own favourite character and sales of comic books boomed. But who were the most favourite characters and who reached icon status in the hearts of the British public. 




 Roy of the Rovers was one of the best-loved characters in comic book history.  Since he was introduced in 1954 in the comic Tiger, his fancy footwork and off-pitch dramas have caused excitement all over the world. In 1976 Roy's popularity allowed him to have his own comic in, which ran for 17 years. Life was never dull for Roy in Melchester and more than often events off-field took over events on the pitch, epically the 1980’s plot of who shot Roy? The comic also introduced us to such other heroes such as Hot Shot Hamish, Billy's Boots and Mike's Mini Men, all of whom captured the hearts of the generations who read about then. However in 1993 the comic came to a tragic end when Roy’s helicopter crash in 1993. 


Twinkle was a comic that was aimed at girls aged 14 and under. Twinkle was also the name given to the little girl who graced the front cover of every issue. Twinkle was the cutest little girl and each issue was filled with puzzles and games. In the comic we also met Nurse Nancy who had a doll hospital, Granddad Silly Milly and Molly and Her Dollies. Twinkle lasted for 1612 issues and finished in 1999.

The British public met Dennis the Menace in issue 452 of The Beano. Dennis was the stereotypical naughty child, always getting up to badness and had a firm favourite in millions of children’s lives across Britain. He was accompanied by his Abyssinian wire-haired hound Gnasher and both are still terrorising others around them. In the comic we also meet Walter, an effeminate and well behaved boy who is more than often the butt of Denis and Gnasher’s jokes. 

We first met Desperate Dan when he appeared in issue 1 of The Dandy in 1937. Desperate Dan is now one of the longest running comic strips in the world and continues to appear in The Dandy today. Desperate Dan is from the Wild West town of Cactusville.  Dan was originally a bit of a desperado, always on the wrong side of the law but he soon became a more friendlier character and began helping the town folk and even becoming deputy and sheriff of Cactusville. He is the strongest and toughest man in the world and can lift whole buildings and can fish with a crane. He uses a blow torch and chisel to shave and his favourite thing to do is to tuck into a huge cow-pie which seems to be made of a whole cow with even its horns and tail sticking out of the pastry. Desperate Dan's who were slowly introduced throughout the series of the comic include his Aunt Aggie, who makes him his famous cow-pies, and his nephew Danny and niece Katey. He has a faithful pet dog called Dawg who is known as the hardest hound around.

British comics have been a firm favourite for many generations of the British Public and everyone had their favourite characters. Everyone from the old to the young will be able to get involved and will have many a memory of characters from the excellent British comic range of characters.
Guest Post : Darren McCloskey
He is  a free lance writer, living and working in london.

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