Dennis the Menace : British Version
Dennis the Menace made his first appearance in the Beano
comic on the 17th of March, 1951. He is Britain
's longest-living cartoon character
. Billed as "The wildest boy in the world", his debut sparked fears among social worker
s that his unruly behaviour would set the wrong example
for the impressionable youth
of the day. Hmmm...
Interestingly, the American Dennis actually made his debut on the 12th of March, 1951. He's nowhere near as naughty as his British namesake.
Dennis is a spiky-haired kid whose trademark is his black and red stripy jumper, (as popularised much later by Freddy Krueger?). His famous sidekick, Gnasher, made his debut in 1968. He is an Abyssinian wire-haired tripe-hound, with "teeth that can bite through solid granite". Gnasher caused quite a stir when he went AWOL for a few weeks in 1986. He returned complete with a new litter of pups, one of whom has stayed with him, (Gnipper). the others were named Gnatasha, Gnancy, Gnaomi, Gnanette, Gnorma and Gnorah. Dennis' menagerie has also expanded to include another accomplice: "Rasher" the Pig.
Dennis the Menace is part of many British children's comic inheritance and he's an instantly recognisable icon. He even has a fan club, (incorporating Gnasher's "Fang Club"), with over 1.5 million members. Boxer Frank Bruno was, perhaps, the most famous member.