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March 12th - Dennis the Menace by kanyiko March 12th - Dennis the Menace by kanyiko
A Year in Comics - March 12th

Mr Wilson and Dennis Mitchell - Dennis the Menace


While artist Hank Ketcham may have been born on March 14th 1920, his most famous creation, Dennis the Menace, was 'born' on March 12th 1951, the date of his first publication, then in 16 newspapers.  Based on Hank's son Dennis from his first wife Alice (in fact, the entire Mitchell family has been named for the Ketchams), the comic was made by Hank Ketcham from 1951 until his retirement in 1994, and has since been continued by Ketcham's assistants, Ron Ferdinand and Marcus Hamilton.

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Henry King 'Hank' Ketcham was born on March 14th 1920 in Seattle, Washington, USA, son of Weaver Vinson Ketcham and Virginia King, and the great-grandson of James Weaver (1833-1912), a Civil War veteran and twice Presidential candidate (1880 & 1892 elections).  He started drawing after seeing an illustrator at work at a dinner, and after graduating from High School in 1937, he dropped out of University after his first year, instead hitchhiking to Los Angeles where he had hoped to work for Walt Disney - which he did, but not until after a short stint at Walter Lantz' studios.

While working at Walt Disney, Hank Ketcham worked on the Disney Classics Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi and numerous Donald Duck shorts.  During World War II, Ketcham was enlisted in the US Navy Reserve, where he was a photographic specialist.  During this time he also created cartoons, including the Navy camp newspaper strip Half Hitch, which would run in the Saturday Evening Post from 1943 to 1945, and the Navy propaganda cartoon Mr. Hook, of which four animated cartoons were made between 1943 and 1945.

After World War II, Hank Ketcham started work as a freelance cartoonist, and found inspiration in his own son Dennis, then four years old, to create Dennis the Menace.  Unfortunately, the Ketcham home life would not be as blisfull as that of their cartoon counterparts: his first wife, Alice Louise Mahar died of a drug overdose in 1959, after which Hank moved to Geneva.  There he would spend the next twenty years, first with his second wife Jo Anne Stevens until their divorce in the late-1960s; and subsequently with his third wife Rolande Praepost, with who he would go on to have two children.  Growing up, Dennis Ketcham was sent to boarding school in Connecticut, after which he would go on to serve in Vietnam, suffering PTSD.  After his return to the US, Dennis and Hank had become estranged: Dennis would have little contact with his father.

Following Ketcham's retirement in 1994, he spent his last years at his home in Carmel, California, where he painted oil and watercolours.  Dennis Ketcham passed away of prostate cancer on June 1st 2001, aged 81.

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89th entry of ?

March 11th - S1NGLE by kanyiko <- Back to March 11th ---------- Forward to March 13th ->  March 13th - Rivets by kanyiko
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:iconsoyabeans:
SoyaBeans Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's so bizarre that there are two Dennis the menaces that appeared days apart from each other.
Personally, I think the British version is better. I'm probably a little biased as I'm British myself but I've always preferred the British Dennis the menace comedy.

Still its very neat to learn a bit about the American Version too. :) 
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:iconpaws4thot:
paws4thot Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017
Thanks for this; why Dennis doesn't resemble en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_t… now actually makes sense to me!
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
... I'm actually surprised now that there seems to be so much confusion between the two!
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:iconpaws4thot:
paws4thot Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017
Lots of people just not aware of the 2 completely different creative teams who came up with characters with the title?
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah - go figure! >_>
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:icondamenster:
damenster Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer

KANYIKO!!!!!! Get those damned werewolf of yours and it harpy friend out of my room. This time am I 100% sure that it was not dennis.

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:iconalan-the-leopard:
Alan-the-leopard Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017
Aaah, Dennis (called Daniel in my country ^^) One of my childhood TV series... *deep sigh* Fond memories.
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:iconbenitezdk:
benitezdk Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
... And called 'Jern Henrik' (Iron or steel Henrik) in Denmark! :squee: ... :heart:
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:iconburstlion:
burstlion Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice!
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!! :hug:
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:iconropeman1:
Ropeman1 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017
www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sour…

The real Dennis the Menace.  So called because he was actually menacing sometimes...  =P
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know!  The other Dennis' birth date was March 17th (official publication date)/March 7th (first sales) 1951, meaning that the US Dennis falls neatly inbetween... >.>
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:iconropeman1:
Ropeman1 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017
So it WAS a pale imitation of the Beano one? =P
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lol - no, Hank Ketcham was working on his Dennis for over a year prior to publication. The pair just happened to hit the stores at the same moment, independent of one another, without any knowledge the other existed...
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:iconropeman1:
Ropeman1 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017
So he claimed... >_> =P
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:iconelementalsunburst:
ElementalSunburst Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I love how he doesn't care about breaking the window!
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It felt right for him... XD
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:iconskoshi8:
Skoshi8 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Most people don't know that Dennis has a British cousin with the same name: www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cu…
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
He'll be coming in a couple of days.  The other Dennis' 'birth date' is March 17th 1951 - making both Dennisses 'almost twins'... <__<
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:icongymnosophist:
gymnosophist Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2017  Professional Writer
:aww: :XD:  :heart:  This whole series is delightful...
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:iconkanyiko:
kanyiko Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!! :hug:
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:icongymnosophist:
gymnosophist Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Professional Writer

:D :hug: :heart: You're dearly welcome...  

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