An American icon defined: the third and fourth years of Hank Ketcham's classic. "Dennis the Menace" began on March 14, 1951 (four months after Ketcham's friend and colleague Charles Schulz started his own historic comic strip) and went on to become the second most popular cartoon kid in the world (after Charlie Brown). These initial years were a perfect launching point for "Dennis": the post-war generation, at the height of the baby boom, embraced the perennial troublemaker and turned him into a global publishing, merchandising, and multimedia phenomenon, with over 50 million book collections sold, the fondly remembered live-action TV show from 1959-63, a cartoon from 1986-89, theatrical productions, several cartoon specials, a major motion picture, and a full-length animated film. He is still a staple in over 1000 newspapers nationwide. The reason for "Dennis'" success is easy to figure out: It was one of the most brilliantly observed and empathetic comic strips about childhood ever drawn. Ketcham captured the mischievousness, rambunctiousness, and anarchy of a kid's world better than any other cartoonist. The strip appeals to both parents and children; while parents shake their head ruefully at how accurately Ketcham caught the essence of children's natural zest for mayhem, children identify with Dennis and the chaos that he leaves in his wake. Ketcham was a cartoonist with a vivacious line that was exquisitely suited to depicting adults and children. His gags were funny, subtle and touching. Ketcham drew "Dennis the Menace" from 1951 to 1994, when he retired and let his assistant take over the strip. This second volume of "Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace"publishes every single panel strip from 1953 and 1954 in one handsome and thick little hardcover volume resembling a Big Little Book on steroids. "Dennis" is relatively unusual among long-lived strips in that after just a couple of years, it achieved its definitive look ("Peanuts," for instance, was still morphing toward the end of its first decade). So even though this is just the second volume, fans will find the look, style, and gags as comfortably familiar as today's "Dennis" (albeit with '50s cars, furniture, and clothing styles, all snappily rendered!). And although Ketcham had not yet added any of Dennis's friends (such as Margaret and Joey), an elderly neighboring couple (him cranky, her sweet) begins to appear now and again...poor George and Martha Wilson, little do they realize what's in store for them!Ketcham, Hank is the author of 'Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace 1953-1954 ' with ISBN 9781560977254 and ISBN 1560977256.