Dennis the Menace, by Ron Ferdinand

Ron Ferdinand is an American cartoonist, who has worked on Hank Ketcham's 'Dennis the Menace' since 1981. Starting out with the 'Dennis' comic book by Marvel Comics, he has been the main artist of the Sunday newspaper comic since late 1982.

Early life
Ronald Herbert Ferdinand was born in 1951 on the upper West Side of Manhattan, New York. As a child, he got his interest in cartooning through animated TV series like 'Crusader Rabbit', 'Colonel Bleep', 'Clutch Cargo' and the many Hanna-Barbera productions. He attended the Manhattan School of Visual Arts in the early 1970s, and subsequently spent a year at the Art Students League, learning anatomy from the painter Gustav Rehberger. Ferdinand spent the first six years of his working life printing circuit boards until in early 1981, he learned Hank Ketcham was searching for assistants to help produce 'Dennis the Menace'.

Dennis the Menace
After a few months of corresponding, during which Ketcham sent him some gags to rough out and ink, Ron Ferdinand was hired. Relocating to Ketcham's California house studio in September 1981, Ferdinand was initially tasked with drawing stories for the 'Dennis the Menace' comic book by Marvel Comics (1981-1982), along with Karen Matchette and Brian Lum. When Bob Bugg, who did the 'Dennis' Sunday comics, quit, Ferdinand and Matchette were tasked with creating this weekly color comic for the newspapers. Ferdinand eventually became solely responsible for drawing this Sunday feature. Ketcham kept supervision, but devoted most of his time to the daily panel, until he passed it on to Marcus Hamilton in 1994. Based in Pine Bush, New York, Ron Ferdinand has continued to produce the 'Dennis the Menace' Sunday comic after Ketcham's death in 2001. Both he and dailies artist Hamilton weren't credited until January 2003. Since 2010, both artists work under supervision of the creator's son Scott Ketcham, who is actively involved in the writing, editing and inking too.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate to about 1,000 newspapers worldwide, the 'Dennis the Menace' feature celebrated its 70th anniversary on 12 March 2021. Born in the same year as Dennis, Ron Ferdinand has spent over 40 years drawing the adventures of the Mitchell family, the Wilson's next door and the neighborhood kids Margaret, Joey and Gina. After all these years, Dennis has stayed the same mischievous "five-ana-half" year old kid in red overalls with blond hair and a cowlick. True to Ketcham's original, the havoc Dennis causes is still unintentional.

Ron Ferdinand's only cover illustration for Marvel's 'Dennis the Menace' comic book.

Series and books by Ron Ferdinand you can order today:


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