Dennis the Menace was created in the 1950’s and continues to be a popular comic strip.
That loveable little trouble maker, Dennis the Menace, made his newspaper debut on March 12, 1951 in 16 publications around the country. The popular comic strip was originally created, written and illustrated by Hank Ketchum. The strip was inspired by Ketchum’s son, Dennis. Ketchum tried out many names for the character. Once when the four-year-old boy refused to take a nap and made a huge mess of his bedroom Ketchum’s then-wife Alice burst into his studio and exclaimed, “Your son is a menace!” From that point the name Dennis the Menace was cemented. The characters of Henry and Alice Mitchell, the parents of Dennis, were named after Hank and his wife.
Dennis the Menace became an extremely popular and influential comic strip. In 1953 Ketchum received the Rueben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Over the years the strip has been adapted into several television shows, both live action and cartoon, as well as movies. The character has also been used in various advertising and marketing campaigns for several national companies. Dennis even had several comic books by various publishers including Marvel. Ketchum wrote and illustrated the cartoon until he retired in 1994. Since that time it has been written and drawn by his former assistants, Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand. Dennis the Menace is currently distributed to at least 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and translated into 19 languages. Ketchum passed away in 2001.