The Dandy – 100% funny (Again!)

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.]

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3 responses to “The Dandy – 100% funny (Again!)

  1. Yeh looks a good revamp and Harry Hill is a good move. We reviewed Beano Max in Now or Never a few issues back and were suprised how good it was. Mind you we were comparing it to Sparkle World which was awful. I know since then Dennis the Menace has had his wings clipped to fit in with the TV tie in but then he was still anarchic. There were also similarities to Viz in some of the strips and while the free toy had warnings to not aim it at people the Minnie the Minx strip had her doing just that – class!

  2. Sorry call me old fashioned but Desperate Dan looked truly desperate in some of the latest specials, I was choking my cornflakes, is that Jamie Smart’s work? Maybe I’ll get used to it
    Haven’t seen new Dandy edition yet but the comic shelf is crying out for proper kids comics. Who can’t laugh at Dan having a shave with his blowlamp or rehashing a road roller into a bicycle. Lets hope the PC brigade don’t stifle the anarchy (don’t ride your road-roller bike on the pavement kids!).

  3. Whilst some of the new renditions are definitely something of a shock, especially to anyone who hasn’t seen The Dandy since they themselves were a nipper, I really do think they carry the spirit of the old days. I have to admit I always liked the near ligne claire look of ‘classic’ Ken Harrison Dan, but was much less a fan of the somewhat pedestrian stories; whereas I think Jamie Smart has injected a whole lot of fun and silliness into the strip with his version that has long been missed.

    Plus his style, dare I say, better reflects what kids these days want to see!

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