Dennis The Menace Has Two Different Versions Published On The Same Day

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dennis the menace two versionsDid you know that there are two versions of Dennis the Menace? What’s even more amazing about there being two different versions of Dennis the Menace is that they were both published on the same day in two different countries. I’m no mathematician but I would think that the chances of that happening are extremely rare. So what happened with the two different versions? Surely it must have been a case of plagiarism and not coincidence? Believe it or not, it was pure coincidence.

The unbelievable coincidence occurred on March 12, 1951. On that day two completely different versions of Dennis the Menace were released in the US and UK, although the UK version was dated March 15 it was actually released on March 12. Unbeknownst to both authors, they had inadvertently chosen exactly the same name for their character, and title for their comic creation.

The most internationally recognised Dennis is the American one created by Hank Ketcham, whereas the version released in the UK by cartoonists David Law, has a stronger following in that country. The two have completely different behaviors and appearances. The UK Dennis is best described as a true menace. He’s a mean-spirited boy who enjoys causing trouble. The American Dennis is a more accidental, well meaning boy who causes trouble by accident.

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But even though Dennis the Menace has two different versions that were released on the same day in different countries, both authors decided not to make a copyright claim against the other. Both comic strips are still in print today, but the UK version has had a title makeover. It’s now called Dennis and Gnasher (his dog).

The most internationally recognised Dennis is the American one, whereas the version released in the UK has a stronger following in that country. The two have completely different behaviors and appearances. The UK Dennis is best described as a true menace. He’s a mean-spirited boy who enjoys causing trouble. The American Dennis is a more accidental, well meaning boy who causes mayhem by accident.

When the movie featuring the American version was released in 1993 it was marketed simply as Dennis in the UK to avoid any copyright infringement.

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