Hank Ketcham’s Complete Dennis the Menace 1955-1956 (Vol. 3)
I am the first to admit that I am not really into newspaper strip collections. As a kid I read my share of the funny pages but as I grew older I left the newspaper strips behind for comic books. However, for fans of the newspaper strips there are some very nice collections out there; Well-established long-running newspaper cartoons such as Prince Valiant, Peanuts, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracey and others have all been collected in hard cover for fans of those series. The other day I became aware that Dennis the Menace has also joined the ranks of the recently collected. I was browsing through the markdowns section of a local independent book store when I came across a couple of Dennis the Menace hardcovers collecting the strips from the 1950s onwards. I asked the cashier if there were any more of these available and he told me that they were likely a clear out of left over stock from the publisher (Fantagraphics) and all that they had left. This got me thinking that maybe these books are equally scarce on amazon and, sure enough, they are – well some of them anyway.
It turns out that the volume of the series that I saw, Hank Ketcham’s Complete Dennis the Menace 1955-1956 (Vol. 3), is one of the harder ones to find and that the price for it on Amazon reflects this fact. As of this post the current amazon minimum price for a new copy is $99.99. There are also apparently boxed sets of some of the earlier books available too and one of these (collecting volumes 3 and 4) is also going for well above cover on amazon.
Needless to say, if you have any interest in the collected Dennis the Menace material and see it sitting in a bookstore or LCS somewhare, you had better grab ’em now.