I have reduced the price of selected Dennis the Menace prints by 25%, so the price falls from £40 to £30 per 26cms x 19cms print or £135 to £95 for a medium sized print.
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 and Mickey Mouse is to the US.
Dennis has something of the individuality and punky inventiveness that could be said to characterise the British. And there are other qualities which are not necessarily blessings – Dennis is also sometimes uncooperative, bloody-minded, selfish and destructive. I rather like this rough-and-ready aspect to him. So when you hear Dennis the Menace complain: “Nothin’ ever happens here,” he may be making a nuisance of himself, but at least he is not sickly sweet.
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 pugnacious 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 bring to the world.
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.
As ever, the screenprints are pulled by me in my studio in Maida Vale, west London (across the road from the BBC’s Maida Vale studio). They are all printed on cotton mould made paper milled in Somerset and signed and numbered out of 200 in pencil by me, the printer, John Patrick Reynolds.
© D.C. Thomson & Co., Ltd.