One of Beano’s most loved and cheeky characters, Gnasher, disappears in the latest issue of the iconic British humour comic. It’s not the first time this has happened, of course – but this time, it’s all in a good cause!
The bespoke storyline which runs across two issues from 29th August to 5th September, has been created to announce the new partnership between Beano Studios and animal welfare charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
The unique collaboration was created following new insights from Beano Studios’ consulting team of ‘Trendspotters’. The group of 9-12 year olds who share the latest crazes, trends and opinions from the playground, have continually highlighted in the 350+ hours of research that animal care and responsible pet ownership are important issues to kid’s today.
The comic reveals an offer in the Beanotown newspaper of free sausages for every dog that goes to their local vet to get microchipped. Gnasher, already microchipped, is intent on destroying the adverts and goes on the run in a bid to keep the meaty treats to himself, leading Dennis on a mission to find his missing best friend.
Fans are invited to take part in the search for Gnasher on Beano.com, which features exclusive content to help solve the mystery with Dennis and his friends as to where Gnasher is. This includes an interactive game to ‘Crack the Code’ with one lucky winner receiving a Nintendo Switch.
Eager to be reunited, Dennis has designed posters appealing for the return of the infamous Abyssinian Wire-Haired Tripe Hound, which were spotted this week by dog walkers and passers-by in Battersea Park, London. The posters are also available to download from Beano.com for readers to help Dennis in his ongoing search.
The storyline aims to raise awareness of the need to microchip pets. In 2017, nearly a fifth (18%) of dogs arriving at Battersea were not microchipped, making it difficult to reunite them with their owner.
Mike Stirling, Editorial Director at Beano Studios said: “As one of the nation’s most loved dogs, I’d like to issue a plea for people across the country to help us find Gnasher. Whilst it appears that Gnasher may have a dastardly plan to scoff all of the sausages, we’d like to get him back safely to his partner-in-crime, Dennis. Thankfully, we had Gnasher microchipped following his last disappearing act and we are hugely grateful to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for keeping a watchful eye out for our mischievous hound!”
Ali Taylor, Head of Canine Behaviour & Training, at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said: “Luckily Gnasher is microchipped so when we track him down we should be able to reunite him with Dennis. However, many dogs arriving at our centre as strays, are not so fortunate.
Microchips are key in identifying stray dogs and locating their owner. We have our suspicions that we’ll be seeing Gnasher soon, but until then, we hope Beano fans will help join Dennis in his efforts to find him.”
Created in a Dennis strip written by Ian Grey and drawn by original “Dennis the Menace” artist Davey Law, Gnasher made his debut in Beano in 1968. He was described as having “teeth so tough they can bite clean through solid granite and even make a dent in a British Rail sandwich” – and caused pandemonium in 1986 when he went missing for six weeks, then returned – with six pups.
There have been other occasions when he’s gone on the run, too. For example, he also disappeared following the discovery that a rare dinosaur bone has gone missing from the National Museum of Scotland in 2014, as we reported at the time.
• “Gnasher Goes Missing: Part One” comic strip can be seen in this week’s Beano and is available to buy on Wednesday 29th August 2018. The comic strip will conclude in the following issue and will be available to buy on Wednesday 5th September 2018
Beano, Dennis and Gnasher © Beano Studios