|Current/last artist||Barrie Appleby|
|First appearance||Issue 1363
|Regular characters||Gnasher, Gnipper, Dennis, Bea, Mum, Dad|
Gnasher is the pet dog of Dennis the Menace in the British comic strip Dennis the Menace from The Beano. First introduced in 1968, in issue 1363 dated 31 August 1968, seventeen years after Dennis the Menace started in The Beano. Dennis's first strip also featured a dog but this dog was unnamed and looked very different from Gnasher.
Gnasher was developed by Ian Gray (writer) and Davey Law (artist) from an original concept from staff writer Jim Fowler based on an article in a local newspaper about pets looking like their owners and/or vice versa. This article was used for a number of stories and led to the ongoing development of Gnasher and also the Bash Street Pups. As Davey struggled to picture the dog it was suggested he simply draw Dennis's hair and "put a leg on each corner and two eyeballs at that end". The result was one of the most enduring images for publishers DC Thomson. Soon after his introduction Gnasher's appearance changed from looking like Dennis' hair on legs to the more dog-like recognisable character he is today.
The G on the beginning of both Gnasher and his son Gnipper's names is not pronounced. Most of their speech bubbles also consist of normal English words beginning with the letter N with a silent G added to the beginning (e.g. Gnight, Gnight).
After being in the Dennis strip for nine years Gnasher eventually gained his own strip entitled Gnasher's Tale. It ran from issue 1818 (21 May 1977) to 1986, and was drawn by David Sutherland. In the strip, Gnasher would tell stories from when he was a puppy.
Although Gnasher's Tale officially ended in 1986, occasional new episodes by Barry Glennard, the artist for Gnasher and Gnipper since 1993, can be seen in annuals (namely the 2001 and 2007 ones).
Gnasher and Gnipper
Following a story arc in 1986 which was reprinted in the 1990 Dennis the Menace Annual as a 16-page story entitled Who's Gnicked Gnasher, Gnipper (alongside a whole litter of Gnasher's puppies) was introduced to the comic. The character first appeared in issue 2286, dated 10 May 1986. During this story arc the Gnasher's tale strip was replaced with Foo-Foo's Fairy Story, Foo-Foo being the pet poodle of Walter the Softy (another character from the Dennis strip). After Gnipper's introduction, Gnasher's Tale was replaced by a new strip entitled Gnasher and Gnipper. This story arc also introduced Gnasher's daughters: Gnatasha, Gnaomi, Gnanette, Gnorah and Gnancy, although these are rarely seen. Gnatasha had her own strip in The Beezer and Topper, and appeared in the 1994 Beezer Book
Gnasher and Gnipper was a comic strip in The Beano starring the dog Gnasher (from Dennis the Menace), his son Gnipper, Dennis' Dad and Dennis' Mum. It does not always feature Dennis himself, or his sister Bea. However Dennis was the owner of both dogs. The strip first appeared on November 1, 1986, replacing Gnasher's Tale. It was originally drawn by Dennis artist David Sutherland, but was later taken up by Barry Glennard around 1993, who drew the vast majority of subsequent stories.
Gnipper has one long triangular tooth and otherwise looks almost exactly like his father. He loves to chase cats. The dogs get up to lots of mischief. They are both Abyssinian Wire-Haired Tripe Hounds. Gnasher also has five daughters, Gnancy, Gnatasha, Gnaomi, Gnanette, and Gnorah, all of whom resemble smaller versions of Gnasher with white fur. They rarely appear in the strip, and it has been suggested they live with their unnamed mother. The two dogs share a common canine enemy, in the form of Walter the Softy's pet poodle Foo Foo, who they are very commonly seen menacing.
In 2008, Dennis the Menace received a second strip in the comic, appearing on the inside back pages in most issues as well as on the front each week. As a result, Gnasher and Gnipper began to make less frequent appearances in the comic, although in 2009 they made a brief return as several reprints of earlier 1990s Barry Glennard strips appeared in the comic. The strip did not appear after Dennis the Menace was revamped for his 2009 CBBC TV series, as Gnipper's backstory was changed so that he now lived with Dennis's Granny.
Since the redesign of the Dennis the Menace related characters to match the 2009 cartoon series, the Gnasher and Gnipper strip has been absent from The Beano. In April 2011, Gnasher was given his own solo strip again, called Gnasher's Bit(e) however lately the strip has begun having Gnipper in it as well. This was initially drawn by Jimmy Hansen, but since October 2011 it has been drawn by Barrie Appleby, who is also the current artist of the main Dennis the Menace strip. It is written by Ryan C. Gavan, the features editor of The Beano. This strip has a similar name to Gnasher's Gnews Bites, a one page newsletter, written by Gnasher that no longer appears in the Beano. In August 2012, Gnasher's Bite returned to the old Gnasher due to Dennis the Menace being reverted to pre-2009.
Following the 75th Anniversary relaunch of The Beano, Gnasher's Bit(e) was removed and Gnasher went without a strip for many months, until January 2014, when a short lived revival of Gnasher's Tale was launched, still drawn by Barrie Appleby. In March 2014, Gnasher and Gnipper was revived, as always drawn by Appleby and is now written by former Dandy writer, Stu Munro.
Changes over the years
Barry Glennard took over the strip in 1993-ish to ease the workload of David Sutherland. Although most cameo characters were drawn in his style, Gnasher and Gnipper were drawn in a very similar style to Sutherland. However, in early 2001, Gnasher and Gnipper were revamped in their strip. They were given a more Glennard-type style, and their fur became bouncy and fluffy. This was because David Sutherland was no longer drawing Dennis (though he had actually stopped a couple of years earlier). It is worth noting that in later years, Dennis' dad is back to normal, while sometime in 2002, his head had become round. In 2009, Gnasher had a slight makeover in which his legs are tan coloured, slightly wider and have no wrinkles. In July 2011, Gnasher was turned into a cat after Dennis watched a Harry Potter film and was inspired to perform magic tricks, although Gnasher's Bit(e) appeared as normal during this two-week story arc.