The Dandy: is this the dawning of a new era

Today, a post that will mean very little to most people but which marks the end of an era for others.

The Dandy reaches the end of its print run today with a bumper farewell edition and a taste of the future too.

British “children’s” comics have a long history but there are two publications which have outlasted the rest- The Beano and The Dandy. With falling sales figures and the fragmented tv-tie-in magazines to compete against, after this week only the Beano will be left standing.

First published in 1937, the Dandy was at its peak in the 1950s with weekly sales of 2 million copies. When you discover that weekly sales can now be counted in the thousands, it’s small wonder that the axe had to fall.

There have been efforts down the years to revitalise the comic but they have all failed. From tomorrow, the Dandy will be an online publication HERE.

My own recollections of The Dandy don’t come from the weekly edition (my comic-buying heyday was in the 1970s and leaned towards the Fleetway publications) but rather from a stack of 1950s annuals that I found tucked away at my nanna’s house. The quality of penmanship in these editions was outstanding and I remember being disappointed on those occasions that I succumbed and bought their modern day equivalent.

The illustration quality in the 70s just didn’t cut it for me, my favourite artists at the time worked elsewhere: Tom Paterson, Robert Nixon and Ken Reid ( who had drawn for the Beano but by then was producing wonderful stuff for Fleetway.

Nowadays the art at the Dandy is a little hit and miss, the standout champion being Jamie Smart

So the Dandy is dead but it’s zombie cousin may yet raise up to steal away children from their electronica and TV sets to finally rule the earth!

And here is today’s doodle to sweeten the pill…

From left to right Bully Beef, Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat and Corporal Clott.

Anyway, must go, I’ve got a bumper edition to read.

(Apologies to all overseas readers- normal service will resume soon).


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