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Dennis the Menace sells his beloved companion Gnasher for a fiver. No doubt he’s got some scheme to retrieve the hound afterwards. And he seems to have found a gullible American buyer (complete with large checked jacket) to make the purchase. But Gnasher does seem to be very downcast at the transaction.
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.
I am the only screenprinter to have a licence to use the magnificent archive of comic material at Britain’s top comic publisher DC Thomson of Dundee in my work. Dennis and Gnasher lend themselves to screenprinting – the boy’s black-and-white stripes are perfect material for the medium’s strength of vivid flat colour.
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.