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Wednesday, September 16, 1998 Published at 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK


Sibling rivalry for Dennis the Menace

The new baby is already proving a little Menace

Readers of the Beano comic are in for a surprise when they open this week's issue of the popular 60-year-old publication.

Dennis the Menace, black-and-red striped scourge of Beanotown, has acquired a baby sister.

Last week's edition of the comic showed Dennis's mother being whisked off to a maternity hospital following the shock revelation that she was pregnant.

After a gruelling seven days in labour, she has finally given birth to "a bouncing baby bundle of grief ..."

[ image: Baby Menace (pictures courtesy of D.C.Thomson)]
Baby Menace (pictures courtesy of D.C.Thomson)
Judging by the headline: 'Injured Midwife on the Mend', the newborn menace to society is already showing the same delinquent traits as her notorious brother and his Abyssinian wire-haired tripehound, Gnasher.

The Beano's editor, Euan Kerr said: "Mum and baby are doing very well, although I don't think you could say the same for the doctors and nurses at Beanotown hospital.

"Dennis is very relieved that she seems to be the same sort of character as him. He was very worried in case she turned out to be a softy."

[ image: Dennis: cover star for 20 years]
Dennis: cover star for 20 years
It has taken 47 years for Dennis's parents to produce a sibling for the world famous comic character, and her birth marks the first time that publishers D C Thomson and Co Ltd have departed from their strait-laced, no-sex policy for their family comics.

In the past, comic babies have been delivered by storks and found in cabbage patches, but D C Thomson have recognised that such myths are no longer suitable for today's sophisticated young readership.

Over the coming weeks, the little girl will prove as great a menace as her big brother and will eventually become the star of her own strip.

The baby's name has already been chosen, but it is being kept under wraps for the time being.

[ image: The new baby joins a host of colourful charcaters]
The new baby joins a host of colourful charcaters
However, readers have been invited to guess the baby's name via the Internet. Bea is the current favourite due to the infant's yellow and black bumble bee stripes.

The ageless Dennis has disgraced the front-page of the Beano for more than 20 years. He is the third cover star in the illustrious 60-year history of the comic.

He has a fan club of more than 1 million people including bishops, soccer stars, and Prime Minister Tony Blair who was granted honorary membership of the Beano Club this week.

You can watch the new arrival's antics via a special webcam direct from the Beanotown Post Natal Ward at:

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