THE Dandy, Britain’s longest-running children’s comic, is to disappear from shop shelves. The last printed issue will be published on 4 December to
celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson confirmed the demise of the printed form of the Dandy yesterday after years of declining circulation numbers – dropping to less then 8,000 compared with an all-time high of two million.
But it insisted it would not be the last we see of Desperate Dan and his cartoon friends, with “exciting” plans for an online edition. An iPad version was
released last year.
The Dandy Annual will continue to be printed, with the 2013 edition already on the shelves.
Ellis Watson, DC Thomson’s chief executive officer, announced that digital plans were in the pipeline to take the title in a different direction, to ensure the brand remained popular with future generations.
After a week of speculation about the future of the comic – and the launching of a Save The Dandy campaign – he said: “I’m absolutely livid that we’ve had an internal leak about what’s in the pipeline for one of our most popular titles.
“We’re counting down 110 days until the big 75th anniversary bash, and we’re working on some tremendously exciting things. 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.”
The December issue will include a reprint of the first
edition of the
comic. Mr Watson said: “On 4 December, 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, and that’s why I’m so livid these plans nearly leaked.
“I’ve closed down loopholes to ensure much tighter internal security. We’ve heard about people trying to find out the plans by hacking into www.dandy.com so we’ve taken it all offline and moved in to core project
offices. We’re in lockdown.”
A campaign to save the comic was supported by politicians, including First Minister Alex Salmond, Labour’s Tom Watson, and the SNP’s Angus MacNeil.
Comedians Greg Hemphill, co-creator of Still Game and Chewin’ the Fat, and Robert
Florence, the writer and performer behind the BBC Scotland sketch show Burnistoun, also added their voices. Dundee Lord Provost Bob Duncan said: “I am pleased that Dan’s digital future has been confirmed by the company. The creativity of the employees at DC Thomson’s will continue apace and I look forward, with anticipation, to seeing Dan’s adventures entertaining a global audience on the internet later this year.”
At the height of its success in the 1950s and 1960s, the Dandy’s circulation topped two million, but its readership was considered to be much higher as children at the time shared their comics.
But the comic’s fortunes have declined despite a series of
relaunches in recent years.
According to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, it has a circulation of just 7,489.
A book celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Dandy was launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this week. The comic will also feature in
an exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.
There was a quick reaction to the demise of the printed Dandy on social networking sites. On Twitter, fan Simon Bromley said: “I guess issue number 3610 will be it.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West