Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Leo Baxendale's The Bash Street kids

This is one of the last Leo drew in 1962 before David Sutherland took over and drew them in colour..

To my mind Leo's Bash Street tended to be rather more manic and over-the-top than David's version, which in turn had it's own brand of comic inventiveness.

In some ways Leo suffered from having developed an instantly-appealing style that was relatively easy to imitate. Thus, when he suddenly disappeared from the pages of the Beano in August 1962 hardly anybody noticed as Dave Sutherland, Ron Spencer, Jim Petrie and Bob McGrath managed to continue the Bash Street Kids, Little Plum, Minnie the Minx and the Three Bears (more than a quarter of the entire comic!) as if nothing had happened!

To my mind Leo specialized in grand set-pieces and tableaux whereas Dave was more of a natural storyteller. I don't think the latter ever crammed quite as much insane detail into a single panel as Leo managed to include in this late Bash Street page from 1962, shortly before the changeover.

Of course, one important thing to remember about Leo's style is the way in which it evolved constantly throughout his career - something that his more slavish imitators (amongst whom, to be fair, I don't count Dave!) never managed.

- Phil Rushton


Phil has some really good observations from the comicsuk forum and I wanted to show them here..also check out the link for some great pictures of the Bas Street kids..

1 comment:

NP said...

To be accurate, Dave Sutherland didn't draw Bash Street Kids in colour, he drew it in black and white and the colour was added in the office. Incidentally, this was already arranged while Leo was drawing it, but he left the strip before colour was introduced.