Publication Dates: 1956 – 1998
Number of Issues Published: 9 (#1956 – #1998)
Color: Colour cover with colour and black and white interior
Publishing Format: Ongoing Series
Dennis the Menace and Gnasher (previously titled Dennis and Gnasher, and originally titled Dennis the Menace) is a long-running comic strip in the British children’s comic The Beano, published by D. C. Thomson & Co., of Dundee, Scotland. The comic stars a boy named Dennis the Menace and his Abyssinian wire-haired tripe hound Gnasher.
The strip first appeared in issue 452, dated 17 March 1951, and is the longest-running strip in the comic. From issue 1678 onwards (dated 14 September 1974) Dennis the Menace replaced Biffo the Bear on the front cover, and has been there ever since.
Coincidentally, on 12 March 1951, another comic strip named Dennis the Menace debuted in the United States. The two strips should not be confused – as a result of this the US series has been retitled Dennis for UK consumption, while the British character’s appearances are often titled “Dennis and Gnasher” outside the UK.
Dennis the Menace and Gnasher was first drawn by David Law (1951 – 1970), then David Sutherland (1970 – 1998). David Parkins took over in 1998, but due to his other work commitments, Nigel Parkinson and Jimmy Hansen have drawn the lion’s share of the strips for some years, and Parkins has not drawn Dennis since 2006. More recently, Tom Paterson has drawn some second Dennis strips for the comic’s rear pages. Barrie Appleby did the artwork for the Beano Superstars series, which, towards the end of its run, resorted mostly to strips based on the TV series. In 2011, he took over as Dennis’s main artist. Upon the November revamp of The Beano, Nigel Parkinson took over as Dennis artist as Barrie Appleby had moved back to drawing new episodes of Roger the Dodger. During this revamp, Dennis was returned to his previous appearance and personality – Nigel Auchterlounie began writing for Dennis a month after and made Dennis (and the other characters) have wider personalities. Nigel Auchterlounie has proven to be a very popular writer since taking over Dennis.