Minnie the Minx is the third longest running Beano character, behind Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger. Minnie was initially created and drawn by the legendary Leo Baxendale (creator of The Bash Street Kids, Little Plum and The Three Bears). Minnie‘s first appearance in The Beano was issue 596, dated 19 December 1953.
When Baxendale left The Beano in 1961, 28 year old art teacher Jim Petrie took over drawing duties on Minnie The Minx.
40 years later, on the 13th of January 2001, the final Jim Petrie Minnie The Minx strip was printed in The Beano. Jim had notched up exactly 2000 strips for Minnie between 1961 and 2001, the second highest single artist run for a strip behind Dave Sutherland’s Bash Street Kids, which he has drawn for over 100 years. Well, not quite, but I bet it seems that long to him.
In the final Petrie Minnie strip she meets up with the artist and bids a (sort of) fond farewell after minxing him. Jim himself can be seen assuring readers they’ll enjoy the “new artist”, Tom Paterson (of the insanely excellent Calamity James).
Tom’s Minnie was a very different character, and went through quite a few changes. Her parents seemed to foster her out to Sweeney Toddler‘s parents for a while and she ditched her red striped jumper for a yellow one. She was going through that difficult phase that all 50 year old children do, the mid-life crisis.
Desperate Dan artist Ken Harrison took over the strip in 2008, reversing much of the changes and bringing the character back to her roots. The red jumper returned and with it came new writers and an invigorated strip much closer to the Jim Petrie era.
In late 2012 Minnie was passed over to Nigel Parkinson, who draws it to this day (alongside his drawing duties on Dennis The Menace).
In late 2013 this run of excellent artists was finally put to an end when, on the eve of Minnie‘s 60th birthday, a terrible artist was given the chance to ruin the character for everyone.
Drawing ‘Breaking Dad’, in which Minnie manages to injure her long suffering dad every week, was nothing but an unadulterated pleasure for me. Artists often talk about fulfilling childhood dreams, and working for The Dandy & The Beano has certainly been that for me – but drawing Minnie The Minx is the absolute high point. I honestly can’t think what could top it.
Unless they let me draw for the annual of course…
See Minnie The Minx in The Beano every Wednesday, available at all good newsagents, WH Smiths, Sainsburys, Asda, The Co-Op and the little corner shop on Winter Road, Milton, Portsmouth (just up from The Shepherd’s Crook pub opposite Milton Park).