Some people were disappointed at the Beano's step into the 21st century. Changing the children's comic, a seminal element of British childhood since its launch in July 1938, was not going to please everybody. The Daily Mail, ever the defender of the British institution, frothed: "Politically correct Dennis loses his Menace." Admittedly, Gnasher's new teeth are strangely human for a dog, but otherwise, it appears that the comic's movement has been progressive: in the updated version, Dennis the Menace has apparently stopped bullying his former target Walter the Softy, for example.

Image: DC Thomson

Though the Beano's position has always been vaguely subversive, the renewed brand now aims to instil in its young readers a more constructive disobedience. Speaking at the Festival of Marketing (London, October 2017), Emma Scott, CEO of Beano Studios, outlined how the weekly comic has taken on a new form. Now a digital destination, a website, a YouTube channel, social and production house, the Beano is taking its well-loved characters "and reimagining them for the 21st century", she explained, with a team of ten digital content creators and six comic-book artists alongside a growing web development and analytics department.

Subversion