In its heyday, The Dandy was staple reading for millions of British school children. The comic’s stars were household names and rainy days were made easier to bear for children as the sound of one of their favourite weekly comics dropped through the letter box or bought home by one of their parents as they came home from work.
D.C. Thompson, the owner’s behind one of the most successful and the U.K.’s oldest children’s comic, has announced that The Dandy will cease weekly print publication after its 75th anniversary edition in December.
It is a sad reflection of the times that the comic, which enjoyed sales of upwards of two million between the 1950’s and 1980’s, has fallen foul to rising costs and a change in what British children want to keep them entertained.
The comic spawned such stars as Korky the Cat, Winker Watson and Desperate Dan and also inherited other comic heroes from the closure of other comics in the past including Bananaman from Nutty and Beryl the Peril.
The first issue, under the name of The Dandy Comic (The comic part was dropped after World War Two) came out on December 4th 1937 and despite a brief interlude during the war remained a weekly comic for children to enjoy.
Ellis Watson, the Chief executive of the Dundee-based publisher’s newspapers and magazines operations, said, “that the 75th anniversary edition on the 4th December will include a reprint of the first-ever Dandy, which went on sale in 1937.” He further added that the future of the comic will be digital.
“On December 4th, we’ll publish our 75th anniversary edition and now that the cat’s out of the bag I can confirm that this will be our last print edition…It’s what comes online then that will set the tone for the next 75 years. Dan has certainly not eaten his last cow pie. All of the Dandy’s characters are just 110 days away from a new lease of life.”
For those that grew up on the likes of The Dandy, The Beano, Whizzer and Chips and Buster, it’s another nail in the coffin of innocent childhood as more children spend their money on the likes of gaming, dvd’s and watching television. It can only be hoped that the version of The Dandy will be a success, it would be a shame to see another British institution fall foul of shifting times.
Ian D. Hall