Bang! Wallop! Ooft! Meet the Funny Brains behind the Beano! 

Write funny stories with Bamtastic Beano ‘Boomics’: 
Beano Dennis & Gnasher: Attack of the Evil Veg! 

Download this resource here: The-Beano

Watch Mike and Craig’s event at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2022 here:

P2–P4 / KS2 

Explore themes of: 
√  Funny Stories √  Comic Books √  Comic Devices√  Mischief and Mayhem!  
Subject Checklist: 
√  Creative Writing √  Expressive Arts √  English Language √  Social Studies 

At a Glance 
Before watching Craig and Mike’s event or reading the extract!  

  1. ‘Boomics’ are the ultimate mix between books and comics. Why do you think lots of people like to read Boomics? 
  1. What comic books have you read? Which are your favourites? 
  1. What are the features of a comic book? 

Book Cover Activity: Attack of the Evil Veg! 
There are lots of clues about the story in the pictures included on the front cover! Look at the cover of Dennis & Gnasher: Attack of the Evil Veg. Consider the following: 

  • Does the book cover stand out to you? Why? 
  • What sort of story will this be? How do you know? 
  • Which vegetables are featured on the cover? How are they personified? 
  • How do you think Dennis and Gnasher will defeat the evil veg? 

Choose a vegetable of your own and bring it to life! Create an illustration of your chosen vegetable to show its uniquely evil personality. Then, add a speech bubble to show what your Evil Veg is saying or thinking. Can you think of a great title for your own Evil Veg story? 

Read the Extract 
Taken from pages 1–10 of ‘Dennis & Gnasher: Attack of the Evil Veg.  

Discussion Questions 

  1. What is April Fool’s Day also known as in Beanotown? 
  1. How are different visual techniques used on the first page to draw your attention? For example, why are some words written in bold, capital letters? 
  1. What is the word ‘SNIFF’ an example of? Can you think of any other examples of this technique? 
  1. What does Dennis ‘know’ that he is ‘never EVER going to lose’?  
  1. How would you describe Dennis? Why? 
  1. What has Dennis already done by ‘half nine in the morning’? What does this reveal about his character? 
  1. Where are all Dennis’s friends? How does he feel about this? How do you know? 
  1. How do the pictures included in the book help to make you laugh? What extra information do they add? 
  1. What is ‘the gardening bug’? In what ways do the different characters have the gardening bug? Does Dennis have it too? 
  1. Which character is an ‘eco-warrior’? What is an eco-warrior? Can you predict how this theme might become important in the story? 

Get to Know the brains behind the Beano and their ‘Boomics’! 

Calling All Mischief-Makers… 
The Boomics are funny stories that merge words with pictures. They use comic book devices to bring events to life and reveal the secrets behind much-loved characters such as Dennis, Gnasher and the Bash Street Kids!  

  • Consider a ‘day in the life’ of Craig Graham and Mike Stirling, the brains behind the Beano, who work with a team of creative editors and illustrators to create the comic. What does being an editor involve? Make a list of important jobs and activities! Why do you think editing is an important process in creating the Beano Boomics? 
  • Imagine you are editing a new Boomic. First, you need a brilliant (and funny) central character, just like Dennis,  use the bullet points below to help you structure your ideas: 
  • Will your character be a prankster, like Dennis, or will your character have another unique identity? What is your character’s name? 
  • Consider what your character looks like. What are they wearing? 
  • Look at page 2 of ‘Dennis & Gnasher: Attack of the Evil Veg.’ Create your own page just like this, in which you draw your character and label their ‘Magnificent Seven’ – their favourite objects. 
  • Who are your character’s friends? Is your character a member of a gang? Does your character have a best friend or sidekick, like Gnasher? 
  • Create a profile for your character. When you have finished, share your character with a friend. What edits can your friend make to improve your character? 
  • Finally, have a go at bringing your characters to life through drama. Create funny interviews between your different characters!

Your Turn: Create a Boomic! 

Brilliantly Funny Stories 
It’s time to create a Boomic to bring your new character to life! Use the techniques that Craig and Mike have described to make your story as funny as possible.  

  • As a starter activity, test your onomatopoeia skills! For each example of onomatopoeia listed below, can you give a scenario for when it could be used? If you have musical instruments available, experiment with making the sounds! 
  • CHOMP 
  • THWACK! 
  • SPLAT! 
  • BASH! 
  • SCOFF! 
  • ZOOM! 
  • Choose one of these words and create a picture (comic book panel) to show a funny scenario in which it might be used. Don’t forget to include your character! 
  • Have a go at creating more comic book panels until you have a storyboard of ideas. Then, for each panel that you have drawn, add a paragraph to tell the story in words.  
  • Refer to some of the features listed here to create your final versions: informal language, exaggeration, onomatopoeia, action words, bold or capital letters, speech/thought bubbles. Congratulations – KAPOW! – soon you’ll have your very own Boomics to share with the world! 

Reflection and Further Questions 

Reflection Activity  
Think over all that you have learned. Perhaps you have been inspired to create a new character just like Dennis ? Or you want to bring your very own Boomic to life… 

Consider some modern-day issues or topics that you could include in your Boomic. For example, in ‘Attack of the Evil Veg’ – one of the themes explored is gardening and looking after the planet. Use your ideas to come up with a catchy title for your Boomic! 

Lastly, do you have any final questions you would like to ask Craig and Mike if you got the chance? Try to think of at least two and make a note of them.  

Keep your eye out for more awesome books from the Beano writers and editors, as well as the other authors from the Edinburgh International Book Festival! 

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