Monday, December 3, 2007

Xmas cards from Hank Ketcham and 'The Dennis The Menace Gang', 1985 - 1989

It was my 3rd grade elementary school teacher who suggested that to better hone our handwriting skills, my fellow students and I should begin sending letters.

She suggested that if we wrote to some of our heroes or other famous people we might be able to obtain autographed pictures or other booty.

I remember sending off a few - - I got a signed photo from
Carol Burnett, one from Darren McGavin, and I got some stickers and a neat catalog from Mattel toys when I told them how much I liked their Hot Wheels cars.

The biggest pay-off was from my letters written to cartoonist Hank Ketcham, creator of Dennis The Menace. ➤

I was a big fan of the newspaper strip and the comic books, and I had a bunch of the paperback collections. At the time I had no clue that Ketcham was not the sole artist on all things Dennis.

I never got a personal response, but I received a photo and some 'form' cartoons that had my name inserted.

I also managed to get on Hank Ketcham's Christmas card list.

This was the very early 1970's.

Before long I'd ceased correspondence, and my interest in Dennis The Menace became less avid over the next few years - - but still, every December I'd receive a card.

This went on for about six or seven years running before they stopped coming.

Sadly, sadly, sadly, I no longer have those cards I received in the '70's.

(Click on image to 'open' card) ⬇

The ones I've scanned and posted here are from a second run of cards I received.

I'd been out of high school a few years when I mysteriously began receiving Hank Ketcham Xmas cards again.

I guess an old mailing list resurfaced - - ?

I'm especially fond of that characteristic 'Dennis Script' font that shows up time and again, even on the envelope's return address tags.

I think it's also interesting that Ketcham begins to fade from the forefront a bit over time, and the cards are from the 'makers', or 'the gang'.

⬅ Text on the back of this card says the art "...was especially designed for the Boy Scouts of America celebrating their Diamond Jubilee 1910 - 1985."

(Click on image to 'open' card) ⬇

-Sigh- - I still just wish I had some of those older ones to show you. Some were pretty nifty, as I recall.

One of the '70's cards I hazily remember was an elaborate fold-out 'Gothic-Dennis' triptych, and there was another that was printed on a translucent plastic sheet, as sort of a
'stained glass' affair.

Anyone else out there happen to receive or remember any Dennis/Ketcham cards?
How about other cartoonists?

Drop a line!

See also:
My previous post - -
'A Different Side of Hank Ketcham, circa '46 - '54'
(click to link)

⬇ Detail from '89, which was a large fold-out poster featuring twelve Xmas-themed Dennis dailies. ⬇

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