Growing up I was more a Beano boy than a Dandy kid, but I always got the annual, and I bought it more often than Topper or Beezer.
I grew up in the dark days of the eighties, when the comics industry was going down the swanny, when the inexorable process of hatch, match & dispatch sped up, when each year left more yellowing newsprint corpses as the audience for children’s titles shrank whilst the speculators created an unrealistic boom in the market for more ‘adult’ material (“COMICS HAVE GROWN UP!” yadda yadda yadda)…
Long story short, by century’s close, the rich lineage of British comic strip weeklies had all been cut down to nothing. Only a few titles remained – and mostly TV- and merchandising-orientated, except for DC Thomson’s stalwarts The Dandy and The Beano. Both were tinkered with to try and make them more viable to today’s youth, to little avail; repositioned, renamed, redesigned. Each time each moved further from the essence of what made each of them so popular in the first place.
Until now. This new version is the closest to the ‘old’ Dandy, in spirit, in look, in attitude for many years. Sure there’s shiny paper, sure some favourite old characters don’t look how old fogies like me might remember them, sure it’s not the same as it used to be. No, it’s not 1985 anymore, and this is the Dandy we need for 2010.
Congratulations to editor Craig Graham and his team, including artists Lew Stringer, Nigel Parkinson and young turk Jamie Smart, for pulling off a stunning coup. A comic I can enjoy together with my boy 🙂
(Quarterly sub is only £15 – gwan, give it a go!)
[More detailed ponderings later, if I get the time – in the meantime check through the report on Down The Tubes.]