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Alfred Day Hersh
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The comic The Dandy is published4.12.1937

Wikipedia (16 Jan 2014, 11:58)

The Dandy was a long-running children's comic published in the United Kingdom by D. C. Thomson & Co. The first issue was printed in December 1937, making it the world's third-longest running comic, after Detective Comics (cover dated March 1937) and Il Giornalino (cover dated 1 October 1924). From August 2007 until October 2010, it was rebranded as Dandy Xtreme.

The final printed edition was issued on 4 December 2012, the comic's 75th anniversary, after sales slumped to 8,000 a week from a high of two million a week in the 1950s. On the same day, The Dandy relaunched as an online comic, The Digital Dandy, appearing on the Dandy website and in the Dandy App. The digital relaunch wasn't as successful as planned and the comic ended just six months later.


History

The first issue, under the name The Dandy Comic, was published on 4 December 1937. The most notable difference between this and other comics of the day was the use of speech balloons instead of captions under the frame. It was published weekly until 6 September 1941, when wartime paper shortages forced it to change to fortnightly, alternating with The Beano. It returned to weekly publication on 30 July 1949. From 17 July 1950 the magazine changed its name to The Dandy.

In 1938, less than a year after the comic's debut, the first Dandy Annual was released. Originally called The Dandy Monster comic, this was an annual bumper edition of the comic and has been released annually since then. In 1954 the first Desperate Dan Book was released, mostly consisting of reprints. Another was released in 1978, and it was released yearly between 1990 and 1992. Bananaman and Black Bob also had their own annuals.

Although later issues were all comic strips, early issues had many text strips, with some illustrations. In 1940, this meant 12 pages of comic strips and 8 pages of text stories. Text stories at two pages each were "Jimmy's Pocket Grandpa", "British Boys and Girls Go West", "There's a Curse on the King" and "Swallowed by a Whale!"

In 1963 the first Dandy summer special was published, a joint Dandy-The Beano summer special; the first exclusively Dandy Summer Special was released the following year.

In 1982 the Dandy comic libraries were released, which later became known as the Fun Size Dandy. These were small-format comics usually featuring one or two long stories starring characters from The Dandy and occasionally other DC Thomson comics.

In September 1985, the ailing Nutty was merged with The Dandy, bringing with it the Bananaman strip, currently the third-longest-running strip still in the comic. Just over a year later, the short-lived Hoot was also merged with The Dandy, most notably incorporating the character Cuddles into the pre-existing comic strip Dimples to form Cuddles and Dimples, another of The Dandy's longest running comic strips.

After issue 3282 (dated 16 October 2004) The Dandy underwent a radical format overhaul.3] The comic changed format and content, reflecting a more television-oriented style, now printed on glossy magazine paper instead of gravure. The price was raised from 70p to £1.20 (99p for the first two weeks), a new comic strip called "Office Hours" (a comic strip about the adventures of the writers of The Dandy) appeared, and two supposedly new ones also started, though they were actually revivals from a few years earlier ("Jak" and "Dreadlock Holmes").

In August 2007 (issue 3426), The Dandy had another update, becoming the fortnightly comic-magazine hybrid Dandy Xtreme, priced at £2.50. Unlike previous incarnations, Dandy characters did not necessarily grace the cover every issue; instead, celebrities and other cartoon characters were featured; the first Dandy Xtreme had Bart Simpson on the cover. The Dandy Xtreme had a theme for each issue, usually a movie or TV show.

From 27 October 2010 (issue 3508) The Dandy returned as a weekly comic and dropped "Xtreme" from its title. The contents received a major overhaul, and all the comic strips from the Xtreme era except for Desperate Dan, Bananaman and The Bogies were dropped. Bananaman was also taken over by a new artist, Wayne Thompson, and Korky the Cat, who appeared in the comic's first issue in 1937, made a return drawn by Phil Corbett. Korky's strip was changed from 1–2 pages to 3 panels, to make way for new comics. Many new celebrity spoofs such as Cheryl's Mole became a feature, but other new strips included Pre-Skool Prime Minister and George vs Dragon, drawn by Jamie Smart and Andy Fanton. The 76-page Christmas special featured a pantomime, a 12-page Harry Hill strip, free gifts, and the return of some characters. More recent new strips are "Punslinger", "Dad's Turn To Cook", "My Freaky Family", "Animals Eat The Funniest Things", "Star T.Rex" and "Brian Damage". Song parodies and fake recipes also appeared in The Dandy.

On 19 March 2012 the Royal Mail launched a special stamp collection to celebrate Britain's rich comic book history, which included The Dandy among many others.

A follow-up to Waverly Book's The History of The Beano: The Story So Far, called The Art and History of The Dandy, was released in August 2012, the Dandy's 75th anniversary year. A Waverly book about The Dandy was originally to be released in 2007 for the comic's 70th birthday, but was cancelled with no explanation. The last ever print edition of the Dandy was published on 4 December 2012.

However, The Dandy continued online and in the Dandy App, with long-running characters like "Desperate Dan", "Bananaman", "Blinky", "Sneaker" and "Hyde & Shriek" making the transition to digital alongside a re-imagined version of "Keyhole Kate" - transformed from nosey parker into a schoolgirl sleuth - a new take on former "Beezer" characters "The Numskulls", and a superhero team consisting of revamped versions of former D.C. Thomson action stars - including The Dandy's (and the U.K.'s) first ever superhero, "The Amazing Mr X" - in adventure serial "Retro-Active".

This was quite controversial among most Dandy fans as comparisons were made that the print edition was better and the digital one could be quite unreliable. DC Thomson decided to axe the comic as it didn't ultimately attract the publicity and customers as the company initially wanted.

   
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