Dennis meets early stars of 'The Beano' in 65th birthday special

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The Independent Online

Hairy Dan, Thrill a Day Jill and Musso the Wop have come and gone but The Beano is still going strong. The comic, with its cheeky characters, celebrates its 65th anniversary this week.

In a special edition, its most famous character, Dennis the Menace, meets characters who featured in the first issue on 30 July 1938. A £5 copy of that edition of the comic, which sells200,000 copies compared withtwo million in its heyday, is being printed. An original recently sold for more than £7,000.

"We may be entering the ranks of the grey brigade, but there is life in the old dog yet," said the editor, Euan Kerr.

Some of the stars who will be revived include Lord Snooty, Whoopee Hank (the slap-dash sheriff) and Tin-Can Tommy. Wartime strips included Addie and Hermy (Adolf Hitler and Herman Goering) and Musso the Wop (Benito Mussolini).

Fame was secured in the 1950s when a new range of characters was introduced, with Dennis the Menace at the forefront. Its newest character, Ricky Grainger, ("he laughs at danger") is barely two months old.