Review by Ian Keogh
Beano favourite Derek the Sheep returns for a second collection of strips showcasing just how dim he can be at times, as first seen in Let’s Bee Friends. Not that most of his mates are any smarter, which is how Derek not only ends up in space, but shrunk to the size of ant, and meeting Santa Claus. Replacing Rudolph pulling his sleigh on Christmas Eve in fact.
It’s all down to Gary Northfield’s finely honed sense of the absurd, to which he applies high ethical standards as it’s rarely the case that when he’s devious and conniving that Derek comes off any the better for it. There’s a fair amount of magic in these stories, literally as well as comedy gold, as not only does Derek meet Santa (twice), but a tree pixie and a leprechaun that needs freeing from a bottle among others. That’s all mixed in with jokes about farting, ear wax and plenty of mentions for cow pats.
Still not convinced? You want to know how Derek ended up in space without buying the collection? Well, that’s not going to happen, so instead we’ll explain how one of the misunderstandings with Rodney the bull came about. Sick of his mate Lenny prancing about with a fine set of horns and everyone thinking they’re brilliant, Derek dreams about having a butting contest. Fortunately the means are at hand if he can saw off Rodney’s horns while he’s asleep and make use of them himself by sellotaping them to his head. In a mere two pages Northfield delivers set-up, mistake, discovery and come-uppance. Fantastic!
If all that doesn’t have your child giggling away in a quiet corner then perhaps you ought to consider medical assessment for some form of condition. There’s more luncacy to come in Danger is My Middle Name.