To mark the 70th anniversary of Dennis the Menace’s first appearance in The Beano, two exhibitions are opening in London to mark the event.
First up are child-friendly events at Kew Gardens and at Wakehurst with a giant outdoor 3D comic strip created just for the Royal Botanic Gardens.
On a trip to Kew, Dennis and Minnie the Minx discover that a treacherous crime has been committed by Dr Gloom, threatening the future of one of their best-loved foods (and slippery tricks), the banana.
In Beano style, visitors can get up to mischief with interactive activities along the trail. Noise-making whoopie cushion steppingstones, bendy mirrors transforming onlookers into villain-catching superheroes, and foot-pump water pistols.
The events run at the two gardens from 31st March to 18th April.
Tickets to Kew Gardens need to be booked in advance here.
Later this year, an exhibition will open at Somerset House featuring original comic drawings, never previously seen in public, selected across its 4,000-plus editions and rare archive artefacts.
The exhibition will open with the Beanotown Museum, introducing the maverick creators behind Beano, charting how they came to create the original characters. The show then moves to uncover some of the comic’s recurring themes, which resonate with the exhibition’s cohort of contemporary artists and the comic’s many other fans. These will be alongside works from artists and designers based on the Beano spirit of breaking the rules.
The exhibition, Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules, will run from 21st October 2021 to 6th March 2022.
Tickets will go on sale later this year – prices still to be announced.
*Yes, there’s a deliberate joke in the headline and yes, I know that The Dandy was the school playground rival to The Beano, even though both were published by the same firm, DC Thomson.