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Minnie the Minx

Minnie the Minx

Fact File

Started:
1953
Finished:
Present

Pansy Potter, Ding-Dong Belle and other funny females might have kept The Beano from being an all boy comic throughout its first fifteen years, but on December 19th 1953, a character was introduced to the readers for the first time that would go on to fame as the comic's 'First Lady for Laughs'. Minnie the Minx, drawn by Leo Baxendale, burst onto the scene with her trademark beret, flying pigtails, and a hooped jersey that was very similar to Dennis the Menace's own outfit - though her behaviour was, if anything, even worse than Dennis's.

Minnie 8

This junior Boadicea specialised in obliterating little boys by the dozen with her scything punches, defying authority, besting bullies and teachers alike, and running rings round her parents.

Minnie's earliest adventures were shown in six panel strips in black and white, but these very quickly grew to a full page with some colour - mainly red! Now readers could see that flaming red hair of hers, as if Minnie hadn't been alarming enough to begin with. No wonder red signifies danger!

Minnie 9

Leo Baxendale drew Minnie's adventures until 1962. His place was taken by Jim Petrie, an art teacher by day, and a comic artist by night. Jim completed 2000 weekly episodes of Minnie, as well as numerous strips for annuals and summer specials, before retiring from comics to devote more time to other fields of art. During that time, Minnie's popularity continued to grow amongst girls and boys equally, and she moved from a single page to a double page weekly spread. Her sometimes nemesis, greedy glutton Fatty Fudge, was given his own spin-off strip in 1989, which spoofed famous films and works of fiction, giving everything a food-based slant - '2001 - a Space Odyssey' becoming '2001 - A Space Obesity', Tarzan becoming 'Fatman of the Apes', and so on. These were also drawn by Jim Petrie.

Minnie 2

Since Jim's retirement in 2001, a number of other artists have drawn Minnie, including a lengthy run by Tom Paterson, plus occasional strips by Steve Horrocks, Leslie Reavey, Nigel Parkinson, and Laura Howell. Current artist, Ken Harrison, draws the strip in a more realistic fashion than his predecessors, though the familiar touches of Baxendale and Petrie can be seen in his depiction of Minnie herself.

Minnie's importance in the history of The Beano cannot be understated, and visitors to Dundee, the home of the Beano and the Dandy can see proof of this in the life-size bronze statue of the minx, catapult at the ready, that stands with Desperate Dan in the city centre.

Minnie 1

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