In a message left on their Facebook page, The Dandy’s publishers DC Thomson have denied that the series is over for good – although confirm that the digital Dandy IS over for the time being. Stating problems with the technology used in the comics app, their press release states that they’re looking to get back to publishing Dandy storylines at some point in the future.
Here’s a post written by cartoonist Jamie Smart, whose work is seen regularly in comics including The Beano, The Phoenix and the now-departed Dandy. Following the wake of the latter’s cancellation, Smart’s written a piece about the need for there to be accessible all-ages comics available for every generation. It’s considered, on-point, and definitely worth reading.
The Digital Dandy, which took the place of the cancelled physical weekly comic, has apparently concluded its run. Confirmed by cartoonist Wilbur Dawbarn a few moments ago, it appears that last week’s edition will be the last one shipping.
by Laura Sneddon
The Dandy, a UK comic for children, is one of the oldest comics in the world, first appearing way back in 1937. Along with its sister publication at DC Thomson, The Beano, these comics are pretty much the main reason why the entire population of Britain knows how to read a comic, even if they never make the jump later to more adult fare. Earlier this year, there was a huge amount of press attention given to The Dandy, as it emerged that poor sales were leading to the publication ending its historical run.
But fear not cow pie fans! For The Dandy, that pioneer of British comics, was simply reinventing itself for the demands of its young readership. This week The Dandy Online has launched, bringing favourite characters including Desperate Dan, Bananaman, The Numskulls, Brassneck, and an all new team of classic British superheroes, Retro Active, to its fans.
Everything has been based around portability, with a dedicated app set to launch as soon as possible. Each comic has been created with screen size in mind, and the animation – when used – mimics the reading of a comics page. Pacing is set by the reader, with each panel finishing on the text, much as a reader would find when reading a conventional comic.
Some of the comics include little minigames that advance the plot, but equally are skippable if you don’t fancy them (or are re-reading). The website contains more content including puzzles and shorter comic strips, along with videos and projects to print out and make.
Issue Zero is free to read, and while there are obviously some niggles to iron out, I’ve had a peek behind the scenes (crikey!) and can confirm that there are some very exciting things coming up! Make sure to check out Jamie Smart‘s The Numskulls in particular, a clever reinvention of the characters I knew as a child, and keep an eye on Retro Active which is particularly interesting for old school fans – and fans of female superheroes!
I’m really looking forward to seeing the app come out for my phone, and as I’ve talked about elsewhere, I think the growing audience of children reading comics in the UK will be really into this once it is up and running in full. It’s wonderful to see one of the oldest comics in the world leading the charge into a new frontier rather than fading away, keeping the spirit of The Dandy alive but bringing it to where the audience now resides. Exciting things are afoot!
By Steve Morris
Just like every delicious Cow Pie you’ve ever had the pleasure to eat, The Dandy is now reaching an end. One of Britain’s longest-running publications, the comic was released regularly for the past 75 years, coming out almost every week during that time. For context, only two other comics pre-date it, one of them being Detective Comics. That’s quite the run. Even during the War, it continued on proudly – paper may have been rationed, but the public needed their constant fix of prank falls and good fun.
It’s an obscure title here in the US, but in the UK, The Dandy is akin to Sesame Street and Peanuts all rolled into one. It’s the UK’s longest running comic, but it’s 75 year run might just be at an end, the Guardian reports. With sales that have slipped from 2 million a week to in 50s to 8000 today, you can see why.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.