Leo Baxendale: Bash Avenue Children and Minnie the Minx comedian legend dies

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Leo BaxendaleFeatured Picture
Robert Judges/REX/Shutterstock

Comedian artist Leo Baxendale, whose characters just like the Bash Avenue Children and Minnie the Minx entertained generations of younger readers, has died.

Along with his sense of anarchy and humour, Baxendale and his creations turned an enormous a part of the attraction of comics like The Beano from the 1950s.

He was regarded by aficionados as certainly one of Britain’s biggest and most influential cartoonists.

His creations additionally included The Three Bears, Little Plum and the comedian Wham!.

Baxendale’s son Martin, additionally a cartoonist, mentioned his father died on the age of 86 after an extended battle with most cancers.

Featured Picture
DC Thomson & Co Ltd


Baxendale created Minnie the Minx as a feminine Dennis the Menace

Hailing from Preston, Lancashire, Leo Baxendale helped the Beano attraction to youngsters in an in any other case austere post-war Britain – first with Little Plum then Minnie the Minx, a feminine reply to Dennis the Menace.

Cuthbert, Smiffy, Fatty, Plug and the remainder of the Bash Avenue Children got here subsequent. Like Minnie, they revelled in working riot throughout the comedian panels and outwitting grown-up authority figures like their trainer, named Instructor.

‘Hilariously anarchic’

Martin Baxendale mentioned: “The humour in Leo’s work for kids’s comics and his later newspaper cartoons and books was at all times anarchic, anti the established order and professional equity and justice in a usually unfair and unjust world, championing the underdog towards the forces of oppression; a mirrored image of his strongly held left-wing, progressive political beliefs.

“In his comics’ pages he noticed the kid characters he created because the underdogs lengthy managed and oppressed by the grownup world round them and he gave them a voice and actions with which to battle again in hilariously anarchic trend, allowed them to step into the limelight and management their very own destinies.

Featured Picture
DC Thomson & Co Ltd


The unique identify for The Bash Avenue Children was When The Bell Rings

“Kids of the time responded to that, writing fan letters of glee and appreciation that really delighted him. The fan letters additionally got here from grown-up youngsters, studying his pages with as a lot enjoyment as their offspring.”

Cartoonist Lew Stringer advised the Downthetubes comedian weblog that Baxendale was “fairly merely essentially the most influential artist in UK humour comics”.

He mentioned: “The impression of his work on British humour comics is unimaginable, as different artists had been inspired by editors to imitate Leo’s type.

“The Beano merely would not seem like The Beano with out Leo’s affect, and it is debatable whether or not The Beano would even nonetheless be round if it had by no means featured The Bash Avenue Children or Minnie the Minx.”


There’s a statue of Minnie the Minx in Dundee, the house of the Beano

Comedian archivist, creator and writer Paul Gravett wrote on Fb: “He did a lot greater than revolutionise British comics. He impressed in his readers, younger and outdated, an anarchic, free-thinking spirit to problem authority and be your self.”

Baxendale left The Beano to create the comedian Wham! in 1963. It featured characters like Eagle Eye Junior Spy, his arch enemy Grimly Feendish and The Barmy Military.

Within the 1970s, Baxendale moved on to Willy the Child and Child Basil, the latter of which additionally featured in The Guardian within the 1990s.

Within the 1980s, he fought a seven-year battle for the copyright to his Beano creations with writer DC Thomson. They settled out of court docket earlier than a three-week trial started.

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