Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dennis And The Bible Kids!

In 1977 Hank Ketcham allowed his Dennis the Menace character to be used for a series of six religious comics telling Bible stories. The artwork on the covers of the Dennis and the Bible Kids from series from Word Books is typically eye-catching.

In 1980 Ketcham and crew added four more books for a total of ten. This last quartet is not as strong in its cover design as the original six were. And indicative of the inflationary times, the price per comic had jumped a whopping twenty cents in just three years.

Anytime comic characters get used in some other way like this, it's usually effective. Comics speak to us in very fundamental ways and using them as vehicles to proselytize can be very effective. Archie was doing much the same thing at Spire Comics at the time and like these Dennis comics are very memorable. I think the little icon of Dennis with the halo above his head plays neatly against his somewhat less benign  and well established reputation in comics and elsewhere.

For a bit more on these books check this out.

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  1. Good grief - there's no way in a million years would the British Dennis The Menace be used to tell bible stories !!!

    1. I know nothing about the British version aside from seeing him on many cover images. I didn't even know that until the internet revealed his presence to me. He seems quite the anarchic figure.

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