I hate this kid – Dennis the Menace #30
I never cared much for Dennis the Menace, not in any of his various incarnations across multiple media platforms. Maybe that was because I was the well-behaved boy growing up, or perhaps I envied his careless troublemaking whilst I lived in mortal fear of my parents’ wrath. Whatever. I’m not a fan.
There’s a nice little story in this old issue, one that breaks the fourth wall in the same way those great DC comics would in the future, when the Flash would head to the DC offices and such. This one starts with Dennis in a predicament that many folks who read this blog have found themselves in at some point in their lives:
Dennis’ mom (not to mention Dennis’ carelessness) would seem to be part of the reason why I have to pay so much *!&%^# money for old comics:
Later, Mr. Mitchell encourages his bratty son’s grabby interest in drawing and comics while they’re out for a walk:
Hey… Isn’t that…?
This kind gentleman takes the two Mitchell men back to his house/office, where he introduces them to his writing partner, who’s horrified by Dennis’ ”help”:
I say again, isn’t that…?
After Dennis destroys the work space like some three-foot-tall freckled tornado, he and his father leave and the two comics creators are left to ponder and brainstorm:
Yes, these were the two Dennis the Menace comic book guys, Al Wiseman and Fred Toole, “meeting” and getting the inspiration for their famous cartoon (though Hank Ketcham was the original creator — Dennis must have wrecked his place at some point). Kind of neat.
For a bit of a bonus, here’s a brief Toole/Wiseman strip from the back of the comic — I think it sums up quite nicely the grandiose plans of childhood and how quickly they’re abandoned:
I always wanted Mr. Wilson to give this kid one hell of a spanking, in much the same way I wanted the poor, starving Wile E. Coyote to finally get his hands on that delicious Roadrunner. Or Mr. Wilson could even have eaten Dennis for all I care. Just do something awful to him.