Posts Tagged ‘Dennis the Menace’

Posted Monday, January 14th, 2019 by Barry

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series 183

Possibly the final Christmas issue of the series, issue 183 hit spin racks and newsstands for the 1978 holiday season.

The title was a numbered continuation of the Dennis the Menace Giant series that ran from 1955 to 1970 when this, the Bonus Magazine Series, began with issue 76. This incarnation continued through the late 1970s to issue 194.

Each October Fawcett rolled out another Christmas issue. By 1978 Hank Ketchum’s creation was focusing on anti-smoking PSAs as featured in the lead story:  “Santa’s Flaws.”

The remainder of the book served as a tub thumper for UNICEF. “He’s a Card,” “Dennis and Joye” (really spelled that way) and “Kid Stuff” all promoted Polish physician Ludwik Rajchman’s brain child.

UNICEF was created in 1946 to provide emergency food and healthcare to nations ravaged by World War II. In 1950 UNICEF extended its mission profile to include long-term needs of children and women in developing countries. In 1953 it became a permanent part of the United Nations System.

In 1965 UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

(Image scans by Heritage Auctions.)


Posted Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 by Barry

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series 1977

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series (1970) 171

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series (1970) 171

“Mr. Wilson and His Gang at Christmas,” as the book is subtitled, focuses on the curmudgeonly neighbor showing some holiday spirit in two tales.

“Jolly George” is a more religious outing focusing on the “the reason for the season.” Dennis and the gang learn the meaning of a nativity while Mr. Wilson learns the importance of those around him.

“Generous George????” is a more secular story, but no less expansive with the emotional ending. Mrs. Wilson facilitates her husband’s good will with a nudge to help Dennis and the other children. Mr. Wilson finds his efforts are reward enough in the end.

Posted Saturday, December 15th, 2018 by Barry

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series 182

To say the 1950s were a simpler time would be to do so through the rose colored glasses of ignorance. While North and South Korea waged war, the Red Scare enveloped America, and those of a different color still drank from separate water fountains, Dennis the Menace was born.

His inspiration was birthed a few years earlier.

Dennis is the namesake of creator Hank Ketcham’s son. By age four Ketcham decided to draw from the adventures of his rambunctious son and start a cartoon strip. Dennis the Menace originally appeared in a meager 16 papers, but his popularity grew.

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series (1970) 182

Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series 182

By 1959 the strip had become popular enough a television sitcom was based on the character.

Cut to 1978 and Dennis the Menace is still appearing in newspapers across the nation and in comic books. For Christmas of ’78 Dennis and gang have convinced themselves their foil, Mr. Wilson, is really Santa Claus. Hence the title:  “Secret Santa.”

Their belief is strong enough to cause Wilson to sleep walk his way through Christmas Eve dressed as the man of the hour himself delivering gifts to the neighborhood children.

The quick telling is supplemented by re-runs of the newspaper strip. Readers are encouraged to cut the stories out and make their own book of holiday fun.

In addition to the 1959-1962 black and white televised adventures, Dennis was animated in 1986 for a syndicated run. The feature was dusted off again in 1993 for re-runs and advertising for a live-action movie that same year.