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Happy Birthday Dennis!
Dateline: 03/13/2001

This week celebrates the 50th Anniversary of our favorite five year old boy-- Dennis the Menace! Who else has been in more trouble, irritated more next door neighbors and sat in the corner longer than Dennis? But all the while, his cute little grin and innocent look, makes everyone forgive him -- except for maybe Margaret and Mr. Wilson.

Dennis' creator Hank Ketcham's biography reads like a who's who of cartoon studios. His pre-Dennis credits include working for the Walter Lantz animation studio and the Walt Disney studios (Pinocchio and Fantasia).

His work also regularly appeared in Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Liberty and The New Yorker, Over the years Ketcham has won numerous awards from both the public and his peers, all because of a mischievous little cartoon character that reminds us of our kids or perhaps our childhood mishaps.

dennis the menace
Treasure Craft Cookie Jar

For the Dennis Collector there are enough items around to whet your taste, but not enough to saturate the market as with some other character collectibles. Hake's Comic Character Collectibles shows several different dolls, hand puppets, books and a plastic mug. There is also an adorable Dennis Mischief Kit made by Hasbro in the 1950's with little boy tricks.

A check on eBay for Dennis the Menace collectibles, brought up hundreds of items. These were predominantly comic books and videos, with a few autographed pictures and dolls. Plastic rings from the 1950s had bids of approximately $25. and a 15" vinyl doll with clothes was well over $150.

A few great collectibles can be still be found direct from the sources, visit Ketcham's site for limited edition black and white autographed cartoons for $150. or go to Jay North's (Original TV Dennis) for autographed copies of his vintage pictures.

For more about Dennis the Menace:

Dennis the Menace/Hank Ketcham Biography
From King Features.

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Photographs (c)2000 Barbara Crews, licensed to About, Inc.

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