Beryl the Peril

Beryl the Peril

Beryl the Peril was created by David Law, the creator of Dennis the Menace, for Issue 1 of The Topper comic (dated 7 February 1953). Like Dennis, she had black and red apparel, and devilishly torments her parents and other members of her community.

Her parents looked identical to those of Dennis the Menace, and her best friend (but sometimes worst enemy) was Cynthia.

In 1986 she became the Topper's front page star, replacing Tricky Dicky. Her dog Pearl was also introduced shortly before that time, although before that she had a pet turkey called Gobbler.

When Law retired in 1970 her strip was taken over by John Dallas. Her costume changed at some point in the mid 1980s from her red top underneath a black dress to a blue and white striped jumper underneath a red dress. In 1987 Robert Nixon took over, a cartoonist who followed in the steps of noted cartoonist Ken Reid, and her overall look became smoother and fuller. She remained with the comic when the Topper merged with The Beezer in 1990, becoming 'The Beezer and Topper'.

However, when this comic finished in 1993, she joined The Dandy comic. She was originally still drawn by Robert Nixon, but was taken over by Ollie Fliptrik artist Karl Dixon in early 1999, as Nixon had to go into semi-retirement because of health problems. A year or two later, Beryl, for the millennium, was revamped. She reverted back to her black and red clothes and her hairstyle became much more like that of Dennis the Menace - but her pig tails remained.

Beryl disappeared for a while after the October 2004 Dandy relaunch. Bar one appearance in December that year, she returned from issue 3302, dated 12 March 2005.

As revealed in the The Dandy dated 3 March 2006, Steve Bright has taken over Beryl as artist and she has now reverted back to how she was drawn by David Law, and has gone through another costume change - A baggy Green and Red t-shirt with baggy black Jeans and trainers. Steve Bright is better known as the artist for Bananaman, and imitated the David Law style for the use of Bad Max, another character in The Dandy. However, she disappeared when the Dandy relaunched in August 2007. She later re-appeared for four issues, but as reprints. Beryl could be seen by some as an important female role model; she was certainly not "sugar and spice and all things nice". When the staff of one Rape Crisis Centre decided that they should all use the pseudonym "Beryl Thomson" when dealing with officialdom, one of them wondered later if they had been subconsciously thinking about Beryl the Peril.


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