Ivy the Terrible is a character who had her own strip in the UK children's comic The Beano. She is a four-year-old girl who loves to cause mischief and provides a constant source of annoyance for her parents. Ivy has black hair with two pigtails and is typically seen wearing red dungarees over a yellow jumper, with blue play shoes. Her appearance is based on the daughter of former Beano editor Alan Digby, who originated the strip and as a result considers it his favourite strip in the comic.
Ivy's strip made its debut in the Beano in issue 2233 of the comic, dated 4th May 1985. It was drawn by Robert Nixon and replaced the short-lived Pepper the Pony and Lucinda. The first story focussed on Ivy's attempts to become the toughest character in the Beano. In the story, she challenges Dennis the Menace to a fight, but Dennis waits until the evening when Ivy falls asleep. He then comments that she 'almost looked cute'.
The strip quickly became very popular with Beano readers and rose to sixth in the readers' poll, almost toppling Minnie the Minx at one stage. As a result of her popularity, she was briefly given a spin-off called 'Ivy's Favourite Nightmares' in which the readers could see her favourite dreams, and in Beano issue 2931 (dated 19th September 1998), Ivy's popularity led to her story being extended to two pages. Alan Digby cites Nixon's artwork as one of the main factors in the strip's success, feeling that his style breathed charm and life into the stories. There was a slight change in emphasis of the stories over time, with the theme of Ivy trying to become the Beano's toughest character giving way to more strips about her tantrums and the household mischief she created.
Nixon continued to draw the character until his death in October 2002. His replacement was Tony O'Donnell, who retained the strip's feel, drawing Ivy in a very similar style to Nixon and making no significant changes to the characters or stories. However, through 2003 and 2004, a number of strip's were drawn by Trevor Metcalfe, who also kept the strip's overall look similar to the original artist, but gave Ivy a noticeably less malicious and more child-like personality (similar to that of former Beezer character Baby Crockett). In early 2007, O'Donell retired from drawing the strip and the comic started to run reprints of the Robert Nixon stories from 1989-1998, with one new strip appearing in April 2008 drawn by Lew Stringer.
Ivy shares a number of similarities with Bea, Dennis the Menace's younger sister, and in August 2008 their strips merged, with the joint strip retitled Bea and Ivy. This was drawn throughout its run by Nigel Parkinson, who had been Bea's artist before the merger. A year later, the Dennis the Menace strip received a revamp in line with his new television series launching at that time which led to Bea and Ivy being split up. The story reverted to Robert Nixon reprints, but this time using the post-1998 two-page strips.
These reprints continued until October 2010 when a new artist, Diego Jourdan Pereira, took over the strip and gave it a considerable revamp. The stories were reduced to a single page, a new tagline was introduced, 'Be Thankful She's Not Your Little Sister' and each strip was given a unique title panel which often referenced famous films such as Rocky and Fight Club. Unfortunately, this run only lasted until February 2011, when Alan Digby retired from his role as Beano editor, and new editor Mike Stirling dropped the strip. A few more strips appeared over the next couple of months, but these were simply stockpiled strips that had yet to be used.
In the 2008 and 2009 Beano annuals, Steve Horrocks drew Ivy's story, with Dave Eastbury drawing the strip in the 2011 annual. She again appeared in the 2012 Beano annual, this time drawn by Laura Howell.
Powers and abilities
PowersShe was able to cause Walter the Softy pain by crushing his fingers, after she had tricked him into shaking her hand when she was playing at being a princess.
AbilitiesIvy clearly possessed a high level of physical strength.
She's only four years old.
Lots of toys.
Ivy's name parodies that of Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of All the Russias (died 1584 AD).
- Appearances of Ivy the Terrible
- Character Gallery: Ivy the Terrible
- Images that feature Ivy the Terrible
- Fan-Art Gallery: Ivy the Terrible
- Ivy the Terrible quotations
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