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Monday, 8 January, 2001, 10:43 GMT
Minnie the Minx artist retires
Beano editor Euan Kerr with Jim Petrie, right
Beano editor Euan Kerr with Jim Petrie, right
The man who has drawn Minnie the Minx, whose cheeky antics have filled the pages of the Beano for 40 years, is retiring.

Jim Petrie, 68, of Dundee, has penned 2,000 comic strips featuring Minnie, and has missed only a few weeks through illness.

"Little Minnie has been very good to me. She has kept me in porridge all these years," he said.

Other artists will take up where Mr Petrie has left off, so Minnie will live on in the comic, which sells some 250,000 copies a week.

Jim Petrie's first Minnie the Minx strip
Jim Petrie's first Minnie the Minx strip
Mr Petrie joined the Beano after the creator of Minnie the Minx, Leo Baxendale, who also created the famous Bash Street Kids, left the comic.

Mr Petrie's first Minnie was published on 6 June, 1961, while he was teaching art at Dundee's Kirkton High School.

It showed Minnie destroying her mother's feather duster to make a Red Indian head-dress and taking her friends captive.

Minnie was caught by her father - Chief Bigfoot - who punished her with a slipper.

"But political correctness has moved in," said Mr Petrie. "You could not get away with Red Indians now, nor with corporal punishment."

The final strip will appear on 13 January.

Minnie will exchange her ginger hair for blonde ringlets and her black and red stripy jersey will become a pink party dress.

Minnie as she is now
Minnie as she is now
Beano editor Euan Kerr said: "Jim has provided Minnie with the energy to get into more scrapes than a rusty razor on Desperate Dan's chin.

"I'd be astonished if any other weekly artist has achieved such a remarkable total as 2,000 adventures."

Mr Petrie will still paint and show his water-colour "dreamscapes", figures of angels and other objects on a background with no horizons.

"I took up gliding some years ago and the floating sensation probably inspired me to do this type of work," he said.

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