‘Special’ Beano paintings from iconic bass player Horace Panter to go on display in Dundee

Beano fans are in for something a bit “special” this month, as an iconic musician’s exhibition of cartoon paintings is displayed at The McManus.

Horace Panter, the bass player with ska legends The Specials, has collaborated with the comic to create portraits of some of its most beloved characters, as imagined in the style of classic pop artists including Andy Warhol and David Hockney.

The McManus is celebrating the 80th birthday of the Beano this summer, renaming itself The McMenace, and featuring an exhibition, Bash Street’s Back at The McMenace.

One of the pictures shows Dennis and Gnasher diving into David Hockney’s swimming pool.

Horace, 64, who lives in Coventry, said: “With it being the 80th anniversary of the Beano, staff had seen some of the work I’ve already done in Camden Market for Dr Martens and asked me to get involved. They asked me what I could do and then gave me carte blanche, it was great.

“I love pop art and the Beano, as all people my age do. So I had a think and imagined what it would be like if Minnie the Minx was a Warhol starlet, if Lord Snooty was in a Roy Lichtenstein painting or if Dennis and Gnasher were causing havoc in Dennis Hockney’s swimming pool.

“The paintings are pretty irreverent and humorous, really in the style and spirit of the Beano.

“As I love the characters and paintings so much, for me the whole thing has been a bit of a busman’s holiday.

Horace Panter

“As a bass player, I’m used to having to play with other musicians to make my music. So, for me, this is kind of like my solo album.”

Horace, who was born Stephen Panter, was a founding member of The Specials in 1977.

He will visit The McManus at the end of the month for the launch of the new exhibits.

He added: “I’m looking forward to coming up. I’ve been in Dundee a few times as my wife has family in Crail, and friends in Stonehaven. It has just been great to be able to get involved in this project.”

Also featured in the show are objects from the DC Thomson archive and the city’s collections. The McMenace exhibition runs until October 21.