New Menaces in Dennis

Posted by on September 17th, 2010 at 3:56 PM

I stared at Dennis the Menace on September 8 for more than the usual few seconds it takes to read a cartoon. (In fact, I usually stare at Dennis the Menace for longer than it takes comprehend the gag: I admire the artistry on display, and I enjoy savoring it.) The two girls on either side of Dennis didn’t look like the usual populace of the cartoon.

These little girls look like actual little girls, not cartoon little girls of the kind who pester Dennis. Marcus Hamilton, who draws the daily Dennis, is a master stylist, who can draw in any manner he chooses, so I was more than casually suspicious. I asked him about it.

“These two winsome girls,” I said, “look a lot alike. Either twins, I’d say, or sisters of approximately the same age. But that’s neither here nor there: they don’t look like Dennis characters; they look like portraits of friends or relatives. Right?”

And Marcus wrote back:

“You are right, of course. Our church was raising money to send their Youth Building Team to New Orleans this summer to help refurbish some of the houses that are still in desperate need of repair. One of the items in the fund raiser was the opportunity to ‘be in the comics.’ The high bidder could choose a member of their family to be a cartoon character and appear with Dennis, and all of the money would go for the mission trip. Our new pastor and spouse were the winners and they chose their two adorable twin granddaughters as the subjects. They were sworn to secrecy for 8 weeks, until the panel was published, and yesterday the proud grandparents were emailing the panel to everyone they know.”

Marcus emphasized that this maneuver was a one-time deal. “I had to get approval from Ms. Ketcham for the idea, and since it was to benefit a non-profit, humanitarian project, she was all for it.”

But Dennis won’t be doing anything like this again. There are probably an infinite number of non-profit, humanitarian projects lurking out there, but Dennis won’t be able to help: he’s in the entertainment business, and that’s where he’s going to stay.

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One Response to “New Menaces in Dennis”

  1. […] populate the world of Dennis The Menace? (I know Comics Curmudgeon Josh Fruhlinger did). Well, The Comics Journal’s R.C. Harvey did, and he asked current strip artist Marcus Hamilton what was up with […]