IN the 80 years of their existence, Dennis, Gnasher and the Bash Street Kids have made mischief in some pretty strange places, writes Nan Spowart.

Yet few of their fans would have expected them to turn up in the worlds of pop artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney.

However, a “special” addition to the McMenace exhibition in Dundee shows Dennis and Gnasher appearing in Hockney’s LA swimming pool and the Bash Street Kids surrounded by pop art.

READ MORE: David Walliams to guest-edit Beano's special 80th birthday edition 

The creations are the result of a collaboration between the classic children’s comic and Horace Panter, bassist of 2-tone band The Specials, who is also a pop artist.

Panter graduated in 1975 with a degree in Fine Art from what was Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry. It was there that he first met Jerry Dammers and the concept of the punk/ska band materialised.

In later life Panter began exhibiting his art and took work to LA and New York for the first time in 2016.

The 80-year-old has now loaned two works to the Dundee exhibition which celebrates Beano’s 80th anniversary.

The pieces, which took him six months to create in his Coventry studio, are being unveiled today at the McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum which has changed its name to the McMenace for the exhibition.

“Growing up, there was always Beano around; those characters were an integral part of my childhood,” he said.

“Dennis, Minnie the Minx and, my personal favourites, the Bash Street Kids – street smart, irreverent anti-heroes for the under 12s and when punk rock came along it seemed like the Beano set to music!

“I’d like to think the paintings are funny and irreverent, but paying homage to both my favourite artists and to the comic characters. For me, it’s the ultimate labour of love.”

Mike Stirling, Head of Beano Studios Scotland, said Panter’s work guaranteed an “extra-special sort of mischief” for the comic’s birthday week.

“What’s more, the McMenace Summer School: Department of Making a Din will be creating musical instruments and demonstrating how to play them like a Bash Street Kid,” he said.

“After visitors have rocked McMenace, I’d love them to pop across the road into Beano’s Meadowside HQ, where the rest of Horace’s incredible Beano pop art collection will be on display.”

Sinclair Aitken, chair of Leisure & Culture Dundee said it was another “great opportunity” to wish Beano a very happy 80th Birthday in its hometown.

“The McMenace exhibition has become the must see show of the summer,” he said. “Horace has a huge fanbase of music fans and this a great opportunity for everyone to see that he is a very talented artist as well.”

Bash Street’s Back at the McMenace is at the McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, until Sunday October 21, 2018.