Banana Bunch 1

Typically hyper-detailed tomfoolery from Baxendale-era Banana Bunch

Banana Bunch 2

A very early Banana Bunch extravaganza

Special thanks to KLAKADAK-PLOOBADOOF and Peter Gray for kindly providing the sterling visuals that so enhance this entry.

The Banana Bunch were an anarchic rag-tag group of working-class ruffians who resided in their home-made 'Bunch Hut'. They were often besieged by a rival gang, the all-out nasty 'Mulligan's Mob', an underclass of juvenile villains who have much in common with the 'Gasworks Gang' from the Beano's strip Lord Snooty.

This strip debuted in the Beezer of 1956, and was of course originated by Bash Street Kids renderer Leo Baxendale. The very early strips were often masterpieces of 'busy' setpieces, especially the larger-frame 'epic' scenarios, that evidently took much inspiration from the overflowing visual tableaux so expertly rendered by Carl Giles of the Daily Express.

The gang's headquarters, the Bunch Hut, was a sparse yet spacious home-built gang-hut complete with archaic stove, seemingly jumble-sale-originated furniture and bare floorboards. (It's not every gang that contains a member who actually inherits their own island, like George in the Famous Five.) The Bunch also owned a streetwise mutt by name of Fifi, because you're not a proper gang until you have an animal mascot, and dogs are the best ones because they have investigative skills and can double as weapons.

Banana Bunch 3

More beautifully rendered artwork courtesy of Leo Baxendale

Banana Bunch 3

Check out the loving detail!