Leo Baxendale, the creator of Beano favorites Minnie the Minx and the Bash Street Kids whose "fresh and energetic style, combined with his drawings of anarchic fun in strips... made him a favorite for generations of British children, as well as an inspiration for comics artists," died April 27, the Guardian reported. He was 86. Comics historian Denis Gifford has called Baxendale, who was inducted into the British Comic Awards Hall of Fame in 2013, "the most influential and most imitated comics artist of modern times."
Andy Fanton, who currently writes Beano strips for Baxendale's creations Little Plum, the Bash Street Kids and now Minnie the Minx, described him as "the godfather of so much of what we do.... It's no understatement to say that I literally wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for Leo. His influence runs beyond that though. I became aware of his work as a kid when I got my hands on older Beano books and read some of those early strips--his anarchic, riotous style was so distinctive and had so often been emulated or adapted by others who came after him that it still felt completely fresh.... Legendary is a word bandied about quite liberally these days, but Leo definitely was legendary, and long may his legacy last!"