The second incarnation of my blog
A coincidence that you won’t believe…
On March the 12th 1951, one of my favourite comics The Beano hit newsstands as it did each week (although it was dated 17 March, 1951). This particular comic was notable for featuring the very first appearance of what went on to become cartoonist David Law’s most famous creation: Dennis the Menace. The publisher had asked for a new character based on a popular pub song Dennis the Menace from Venice.
This is where is gets weird… On the other side of the Atlantic on the same day but just 4 hours later, Hank Ketcham’s Dennis the Menace comic strip was first featured in a number of American newspapers. It was based on his cheeky son Dennis.
Neither cartoonist or publisher knew about the alternate Dennis! Both kids were tearaways, but the British one had black hair and the American one had blond hair and other similarities were few.
No lawsuits were filed, as there was no point really – it appears to have been a massive coincidence. And of course, both characters continue today.
And yes, I was a member of The Dennis The Menace & Gnasher fan club!