Minnie the Minx is a comic book character that debuted on 19 December 1953. She was created by Leo Baxendale (1930), a British comic artist for The Beano, as a female counterpart to David Law’s “Dennis the Menace.” Since her initial appearance, Minnie has become the third longest-running character in The Beano’s history, as well as the longest-running female-led comic at Beano. She has been well-received by fans and has even “met” comic versions of several celebrities and athletes.
Minnie is depicted a rambunctious adolescent girl with short, red pig tails. Her iconic tomboy look consists of atam o’shanter (a traditional cap) and a red and black striped long-sleeved top with a black skirt. Her appearance was briefly changed in 2007 to resemble a look on a 1965 The Beano cover, which depicted her wearing yellow instead of red, with a blue skirt. However, the look reverted back to the original red and black colors in 2008.
In a typical “Minnie the Minx” comic,Minnie’s hilarious hijinks and misadventures usually result in her causing trouble for others (and sometimes getting away with it). She is the only child to unnamed parents (a common practice in Beano comics) and has a cat named Chester. Minnie can be characterized as mischief-loving with violent tendencies (as evident when she puts up barbed wire around a fence to stop her friends from leaving a party early). She often resorts to intimidation to get her way.
“Minnie the Minx” and “Dennis the Menace” have had several crossover comics which usually pit the two characters against each other; the first of which occurred in 1954. After Leo Baxendale left The Beano in 1962, artist Jim Petrie took over and drew “Minnie the Minx” until 2001. During this time, Minnie transitioned into a fully-colored comic and had additional crossover comic book adventures with another Baxendale creation: “The Bash Street Kids.” After Petrie departed from his extensive tenure drawing the character, several artists stepped in including: Tom Paterson, Keith Reynolds, and Steve Horrocks. Ken Harrison became the illustrator after sales had declined in 2008 and worked on “Minnie the Minx” until 2012, when Nigel Parkinson took over. The pages of “Minnie the Minx” have varied over the years and are often between one to two pages long.
Minnie the Minx has also made appearances in film, the video game: Beanotown Racing, and has even shown up in an amusement park. In 2011, Minnie’s likeness was made into a statue that resides in Dundee, Scotland. She is considered a pop culture icon in the United Kingdom, and is beloved by many fans.
— Michael Baker
- Baxendale, Leo. A Very Funny Business – 40 Years of Comics. London: Duckworth, 1978.
- Chapman, James. British Comics: A Cultural History. London: Reaktion Books, 2011.