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Dennis the Menace, sweet shop owner
£ 145.00–£ 195.00
Dennis the Menace would rather come from a long line of sweet shop owners.
I know what he means about sweet shops – I used to have dreams about having access to shelves full of jars of sweets.
I love the composition of this panel, with the black hair, the large speech bubble and the big white space of Dennis’s chin.
The panel is a good example of an illustration which draws attention to what has just come before but gives little clue about what it was. That sense of being a frozen moment in a much longer story, paradoxically, gives the panel a sort of energy.
Dennis the Menace, the star of The Beano comic, first appeared in 1951. He has since become a kind of national mascot – what Asterix is to France, or Oor Wullie is to Scotland.
One glimpse of his red-and-white jersey – actually a football top – or his unruly hair immediately brings the lovable scamp to mind.
Dennis the Menace has gone through various phases since then, from the pocket-sized Satan of the 1950s, to the pugnatious youth of the 1960s and 1970s to the incorrigible imp of the 1990s.
In the early 1960s, he was joined by his Abyssinian wire-haired tripe house, Gnasher. Gnasher seems to be made of the same kind of thing as Dennis the Menace’s hair – the untamed explosion of black hair symbolic of the chaos they embody.
He is a gift to the screenprinter, from a graphic point of view, with his red-and-white sriped jersey and explosion of black hair.
Medium size: 48cms x 38cms.
Handmade, limited edition screen print on mould-made, cotton paper.
Signed and numbered out of 200 in pencil by the printer, John Patrick Reynolds
© D.C. Thomson & Co., Ltd.