Monday, August 22, 2016

Dennis the Menace Meets Jewish Neighbors (1971)

DENNIS THE MENACE comic books were part of kids' reading for decades. Now gone, the comic books, usually ghosted by one of the long-time assistants to creator Hank Ketcham (Al Wiseman, Fred Toole, Owen Fitzgerald to name three), were well distributed, in groceries, drugstores and barbershops. There were regular DTM issues, along with larger (and more pricey) specials, and the smaller digest comics.

In 1971, at a Rexall Drug Store in Lawrence, KS, I spent 35 cents on an issue of the DENNIS THE MENACE BONUS MAGAZINE SERIES No. 99, October 1971 (a magazine published 12 times a year, once a month with the exception of September, November and December, and twice in June, July and October).

In a five page story "Christmas Happy Holidays," I found out about the new milkman in Dennis' neighborhood.

I learned about Jewish people via Dennis. The milkman and his son explained that they were Jews, and the regular milkman wanted Christmas off and they, celebrated Hanukkah instead of Christmas, etc. They told Dennis about their religion.

This was all completely new information to me. What can I say? I lived in a small town in Kansas! (I also did not understand what a golf bag was, so the cover gag was a complete non sequitor to me at the time.)

By chance, I found a copy of this story in a comic book at an antique store in nearby Wells, ME. And here it is.

Related Links:

Fred Hembeck on Al Wiseman and Fred Toole

Dennis the Menace Classic Comic Books Reprint Volumes published by Papercutz and edited by Bill Alger.

-- Edited from a blog entry dated January 26, 2009


Ravi Kumar said...

Dennis the Menace was one of my Favorite Cartoon Show

Donald Benson said...

Back in the early 60s I recall Dennis in a similar story covering Chinese New Year.

What I especially remember are the special travel issues, taking the Mitchells to Hawaii, Mexico, Hollywood, Yellowstone, and presumably other destinations that I missed. Hoping those are including in the reprints at some point.