COMIC BOOK CHARMERS
1st November 2018
My childhood love of the BEANO began a lifelong love of the world of comic books. Beano’s colourful characters, graphic style and subtly subversive storylines still never fail to make me smile, so when the idea for Licensed to Charm was born BEANO just had to be the subject for the first collection.
My favourite characters were Dennis and Gnasher, especially Gnasher, and like many fans I hung on to my Gnasher’s Fang Club and Dennis Fan Club badges, which I have to this day. Some of those original fan club graphics have been used to create the Licensed to Charm Dennis tag collection, which we hope will appeal as much to today’s fan club members as to those of us with nostalgic memories from the past.
The Dennis and Gnasher Classic Charms were based on iconic poses straight from the comic book pages of the 1970s. Each of these highly detailed miniatures begins life as a 3D model created from the 2D art. Once it’s officially approved, the 3D model is printed, then used to make a mould. The silver castings from the mould are then cleaned, oxidised and polished to reveal the details.
Another inspiring aspect of the Beano comic is it’s highly distinctive and colourful typography. To mark the 75th anniversary of the Beano comic in 2013, the publisher DC Thompson commissioned a new style guide from Hemingway Design.
As part of his research, Wayne Hemingway scoured the publisher’s archive in Dundee and put together a full alphabet of letters, shown below.
The alphabet feels unified stylistically although the letters are from different periods. The A’ for example was taken from the word ‘BEANO’ as it appeared on the front cover of the very first issue, in July 1938 but it would not be out of place on a comic cover today.
To recreate the alphabet as individual silver letters we decided to use an etching/engraving process to give crisp edges and sharp lines and oxidisation to create a duo-tone effect. We think the result is pretty unique and hope you will enjoy them too!