Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Beano's Dennis the Menace 2009

Someone in this room. Is a desk lamp.
I am not saying who.

Just throwing it out there for speculation.


Some of you may know by now i am all hyped up about the new CBBC series
'Dennis and Gnasher'.

I love change and the 'new' as long as i am not involved personally. This is NEW. There are a lot of differences. I thought i would go ahead and bore you with some of the changes to the selection of characters and such.

But first i'll stamp this on your forehead. This is one of my favourite episodes. I am not sure why. I am also not sure why the whole thing has been uploaded to youtube...
Great quality video. Please enjoy.
video below


So now i have relieved myself... of that copied and pasted video url i can continue.
Like many UK folks i used to love the BEANO. (Even though i was buying them in Australia (Yeah, they were sold in my local newsagents! amazing))

And most people will have an image of 'Dennis the Menace' in their head when the name is mentioned.
Whether that be

or this

They both love stripes.
That is UK and US versions of a different character with the same name and a dog.
Completely coincidental i understand.

Dennis the Menace started one of the ordinary characters in The Beano. I believe Biffo the Bear was the front page guy at the time.
But Biffo wounded his neck and had to be shot. So Dennis took over the front page spotlight. Dennis and the rest of the characters became household names for UK kids. They still are years and years after.
David Law created Dennis the Menace in 1951. But working at the Beano means if you leave, die or get fired other artists will take over. (Which is a good thing, keeping your characters alive.)
"You might think getting many characters in one book would be a value, but when Dennis took off, every other character in the Beano became something about a little brat who torments others."

Some early Dennis pictures

Dennis the Menace evolved over the years. Basically because different artists took over and changed him a bit.

^Above, original SCARY Gnasher.

The 1970-90's brought this ICONIC look.

Drawn by David Sutherland.

"As the eighties progressed, Sutherland's Dennis began to take on a life of his own. He became taller and stockier, his nose more bulbous and his chin ever broader. As the nineties dawned, Dennis was looking like a thuggish teenager, some way from the cheeky, if surly, youth Law had created and nurtured. In 1993, editor Euan Kerr stepped in. As he later explained to me:

"It was felt that Dennis had become just a bit too elongated and consequently older than he should be. A more active look was also sought for. Another reason behind the change was to make him easier to animate for the Beano Video which was then being planned. ... To be honest, the artist probably went a little too far and made Dennis too young and cute. However, some readjustment [was] made, and we feel he is now just about right.""


Suddenly Dennis' mouth had got stuck behind his... one eye with two pupils. But it was a great look. And lasted until now.
Dennis found himself on his first CBBC animated tv show with a new look.
video below


It was ok, it was fun.
It annoyed me that it was nothing like the comics and mostly did not LOOK like the comics. It was only based on.

By this time Dennis the Menace had
his Dad
his Mum
They never had names...
in the cartoon above they even called eachother 'Dad' and 'Mum'...?
Of course Gnasher the dog, a main character.
Rasher, a pig. (Who has recently been renamed, Harley?)

Then Dennis' two best friends were
Pie Face and Curly.

^ That is Curly.
I guess it was their idea to make every character have the one eye and 2 pupils thing to make Dennis look a bit normal.

An exciting moment for me was when
Dennis the Menace's little sister BEA was born in the comic strip. I love story progression and in a repetitive comic strip this is really exciting.

Thats BEA.

Dennis the Menace has been the same since 1990.
The Beano has stayed pretty much the same.
I love the characters.
Dennis, Minnie the Minx, Rodger the Dodger, Ivy the Terrible, Les Pretend, Lord Snooty.
As i said Biffo was shot... well he came back for a few Annuals i believe... and The Bash Street Kids.

The Beano does not make me laugh... i dont think it ever did.
Apart from one artist, Mike Pearse. Who i think left a while ago. Mike used to do full comic strip stories, his writing (Dialogue) was much more human. And his comics had real humour.
Unlike the rest of the Beano.
But i still love it for their artwork and characters.

It obviously needed a revamp.
It was same old same old and Dennis was not appealing to the generation of children anymore.
A lot of adults (and maybe kids) would have been happier if it stayed the same forever.

Dennis and Gnasher hit CBBC recently (2009). With a whole new look in both characters and ..real nice animation.

Dennis is no longer just a jerk, he's a kid (Made younger with new look and voice) who just wants to have fun and have an adventure! Like any kid.

The title of the new tv show reflected the comic strip and completely got rid of the word 'Menace' (Apart from occasionally in the tv show) ... but we know who he is, so we do not need to be told.

As the nineties dawned, Dennis was looking like a thuggish teenager, some way from the cheeky, if surly, youth Law had created and nurtured

I think we may have returned to that.
And now Dennis and all of the characters have two seperate eyes! I love the new design, it's friendly for all of the characters. Everyone has gone through a change.
You may remember Curly above.

(I think a big improvement)
All of the characters have been improved. Things like mum's hair to many of the characters losing a load of weight.

Not to mention the animation in the series is brilliant. It is not often that that much detail is put into a kids show.

You may remember Bea and their mum from the original cartoon.

and of course...
Mr. Dennis the Menace himself. (And Gnasher's new design)

Buy a Beano at your local today.
The writings not that great but i dont suppose it has to be for the age range. It's not funny but some of the art is brilliant.
And Dennis has a whole new look you might want to check out. I am so happy i can watch a tv show and read the comic that looks the same.

Now all they need to do is revamp some of the other characters. Let your hair down Minnie! She really needs a fix, or some plastic surgery.


Well it looks like we're out of time.
But before i go.

Here is a clip from the very first animated Beano with 'all alive' moving Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Minnie and the Minx and the Bash Street Kids.
I'm glad they didnt make this a series. But it is fun to watch
video below

- The Daily Crumb


  1. Wow, great article there. Did you get your hands on the 3,5000 issue that came out?

  2. i did yes :) it was my first returning to collecting recently because of the tv series.

  3. Anonymous9:45 AM

    the new dennis is not funny and rubbish, thats why i stopped buying it after the 3500th issue, and the cartoon isnt funny (age 14)

  4. Anonymous10:25 PM

    i hate the new look and sound of the characters in my opinion i think dennis is turned into a northern softy