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Dennis the Menace turns 60
This year, Hank Ketcham’s Dennis the Menace will turn 60. It started in 16 papers on March 12, 1951. It is now in over 1,000 papers world-wide.
Hank Ketcham created his little character in October 1950, with inspiration coming from his own 4-year-old son, Dennis, and a comment made by his wife after an especially trying day with the rambunctious little rascal: “Your son is a menace!” Dennis made his official debut on March 12, 1951 in 16 newspapers; today, the comic is distributed in print and online by King Features Syndicate to more than 1,000 newspapers worldwide. Dennis Mitchell has endeared himself to generations of fans. Good-hearted but mischievous, Dennis is forever testing the patience of his loving parents and next-door neighbors, ensuring that their lives are anything but ordinary.
Hank Ketcham was legendary for being one of the most exquisitely skilled cartoonists of all time, and every “Dennis the Menace” panel is a tiny masterpiece of design and draftsmanship. In 1995, Ketcham stepped back from penning the comic and took a presiding role over the activities of creating “Dennis” with the help of his long-time assistants. Since Ketcham’s death in 2001, the fine team of artists he handpicked has continued his creation: Marcus Hamilton draws the daily panel, and Ron Ferdinand, the Sunday comic.