Sunday, 11 January 2015

THE COMPLETE DENNIS THE MENACE BOOK COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...


Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co. Ltd

Being the proud possessor of every DENNIS The MENACE
book ever published, I think it's long past time that I shared them with
you.  I'm referring to the run of books which started in 1955 (for '56) and
continued every two years up until 1977 (for '78), whereupon it restarted
in 1982 (for '83).  The book for 1987 was the last to come out two years
after the previous one and the first to be issued a year before the next
one, thereby becoming an 'Annual' publication.

So are you ready?  Then away we go!












The back cover was the same as the front, folks!

24 comments:

Gey Blabby said...

I'll tell you what, Kid: those early covers with big, lanky Dennis are truly disturbing; interesting, yes, but enough to give a wee boy nightmares. The Dennis I recognise is on the covers from the mid-60s to the early-70s. He was never my favourite, so I think I preferred him as just part of The Beano mix.

Kid said...

Leo Baxendale attributes Dennis mutating into a lanky child to the pressures on artist Davey Law to meet deadlines, GB, and thus drawing faster and looser. Dennis started off as a short kid, and later returned to his original stature. A lot of these early strips were really funny 'though, regardless of Dennis's height.

Colin Jones said...

1966 was the year I was born so it's funny that was the first year to appear on the cover. A few weeks ago I saw the Christmas Beano on sale so I bought it out of curiosity - the picture of Dennis and Gnasher building a snowman on the cover was very festive and the comic seemed okay but I know you don't like these modern comics....

Kid said...

Actually, CJ, my previous few reviews on The Beano (last year sometime) were mainly quite positive. And believe me, I like GOOD modern comics - just not BAD modern comics. (Being 'modern' really isn't the issue, you see.)

Colin Jones said...

OK Kid, my apologies - I'm now going to look for your Beano reviews :)

Kid said...

No need to apologise, CJ - I never took offence, was merely explaining.

Colin Jones said...

I agree with Gey Blabby that the first Dennis just looks weird but what was the point of the annuals coming out every two years ? Is that why they had no year on them for the first ten years ?

Kid said...

I think they alternated with Beryl the Paril books (in the same way as the Broon and Oor Wullie ones). As most of the contents were reprints from The Beano, CJ, a year's worth of strips wouldn't have been enough. That's why some single pages were turned into two, in order to pad the books out a little. As for the absence of a date, not quite sure, but again, the Broons and Oor Wullie books have never had dates on the covers either.

Colin Jones said...

Oh, so they were reprints - but what about when the Dennis book went annual in 1987, was that original material ? By the way - according to BBC Genome 'King Of The Rocket Men' was broadcast on BBC 1 during the Christmas holidays in 1981.

Kid said...

By then, CJ, Dennis had been taking up the front and back covers of The Beano for quite some time, so there was more material to use. (As well as Gnasher's own page, remember.)

By the way, King of the Rocket Men must've been repeated a few times - I remember watching it when I lived in Southsea from January to May of 1981. Probably watched it again at Christmas back home.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I was never a big fan of Dennis the Menace as a kid until my mum and dad got me the 1968 annual -despite never getting another Dennis annual, as I recall it really was quite funny and I'd love to pick that one up again.

Davey Laws early "short" versions of Dennis and Beryl were lovley pieces of art and the stories were always fun (and Dennis was a real menace in them) . His looser style was ok for a while but it eventually just got so messy looking to me (especially for Corporal Clott) that I lost interest in his work - great stuff though.

Kid said...

Funnily enough, McScotty, Corporal Clott never really did it for me, either. I'm not sure if it was because of the looser art style or the army theme - it may even have been a combination of both - but I wasn't really into it much as a kid. Actually, I was never much into Dennis either until a friend gave me two Dennis books back around '72 or '73. They were extremely funny, which is why I bought the '76 and '78 books upon seeing them in the shops when they first came out.

John Pitt said...

In the 60's I was lent an annual of the American Dennis The Menace, which was also half-full of Blackhawk reprints. Do you know anything about this book, as I have never been able to find it on the internet?

Kid said...

Take a look here, JP - http://www.tonystrading.co.uk/galleries/annuals/justdennis.html - any of these three?

baab said...

I was ten or eleven and I was in the 'close' of the flats where we lived drawing the Kamandi cover with the killer whale onto a larger sheet of paper and a young boy who lived across the road was watching me and having a look at my comics 'pile',

He told me he had lots of comics and so I just had to go and see.

He was the youngest of a very large family and they had been getting comics for years.

I was a bit miffed when he opened the cupboard and all he had was a load of Dennis the Menace annuals.
But I had never seen this version of Dennis before.
It was these annuals you are showing and I borrowed and read them.

I think the design and artwork is truly wonderful and even though it was not the first impression (which usually stamps my psyche )this is to me the definitive Dennis.

Memory overload.

Not commented for a wee while but I have been visiting.

John Pitt said...

The covers don't ring any bells, but I could be wrong. I guess it MUST have been one of them. Thanks for the link.

Kid said...

Hope it's been worth your while, Baab - and not just for the Dennis covers. These early Annuals were much better and funnier than the last few before they were discontinued.

******

If it also contained Blackhawk reprints, JP, is it possible the character was similar to the U.S. Dennis without actually being him?

John Pitt said...

It definitely was the US DTM. I have tried searching for reprints of Blackhawk strips to trace the book, but gotten nowhere.

Kid said...

H'mm, that's a puzzle. If it was hard-covered it would've been a British Annual. What year did you have it, JP?

John Pitt said...

I was lent it around 65/6, but I don't know how old it was. I had never heard of a different DTM until my friend told me. I am guessing it must have been one of those Just Dennisbooks, though probably not The Pickle.

Kid said...

JP, it may have been an Okay Adventure Annual from 1954-'57, published by T.V. Boardman. I think these books could've featured U.S. reprints of Blackhawk, Plastic Man, The Clock and Dennis The Menace. ('Though I don't know if the other characters all appeared in the same books or each took turns sharing individual volumes.)

John Pitt said...

That would make more sense than Blackhawk being a back-up strip in Just Dennis. Plastic Man definately wasn't in ,but I can't say about The Clock although I don't recall the title.
Thanks for the help, Kid. I'll dig a little further.

John Pitt said...

Yep, that was it - definitely! Not quite sure which year, though. Thanks again for the help! I wouldn't have found it myself as I didn't remember the title!

Kid said...

Glad to be of help, JP.

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