Even at the tender age of 7, Londonist could tell that there was nothing very offensive about The Beano. Dennis the Menace's preferred victim, Walter, sported a pretty nasty NHS glasses and bow tie combo and there was always something off-putting about Billy Whizz's strange hairdo, but there was certainly nothing in there that was going to rock the establishment.
Which is why we're suprised to see that 200,000 copies of the January 8th edition of the comic have been pulled from newsagents nationwide. Apparently the comic's 'Ball Boy' strip contains a character named 'Henry Thierry', who sports a shaven head, a red football strip and a French accent, and the staff at The Beano were concerned that his antics might cause offence. Upon reading details of the incident, it is a little hard to spot the controversy, maybe the inference of an imminent underwater sexual assault?
"In the story, the character was sent off during a match and takes an early bath. When he notices a snorkel next to him, he runs out saying "Time to va-va-voom", and is chased by Ball Boy down the street, both of them just wearing towels."
Or is just that the editor has realised that the public at large are sick to the back teeth of the 'va va voom' catchphrase?
"Hey Bobby, what's the French for 'mystified'?"