Wednesday, 10 November 2010

WILL YOU ALWAYS KEEP A DANDY HANDY?


A more polished version of Jamie Smart's Desperate Dan

As regular readers will know, there are certain aspects of the new DANDY
I'm not too keen on. JAMIE SMART's DESPERATE DAN strip has come in
for a bit of a kicking elsewhere on the internet, and I have to admit that I'm
not its biggest fan either. It's all just a little too rushed-looking and roughly-
finished to suit my tastes. (Although not in the above pic - read on.)

However, intrigued by those who claim to like his artwork, I had a look at
his website - http://www.fumboo.com/ - and I was surprised to see that his
style seems less jarring on characters I haven't seen before, and even has
a certain rough-hewn charm. In fact, even his Desperate Dan strips on his
site appear to have had a bit more care and attention lavished on them.
(The illustrations on this page are "borrowed" from over there. Let's hope
he won't mind.) 

So I had another look at the first couple of issues and - guess
what? That's right - they still didn't work for me. Perhaps he was under
pressure and had to produce his Dandy pages in a hurry; perhaps he's
experimenting with a rougher, more organic look - who knows? He does,
but he's hardly likely to tell me.

Another slightly smoother look

What I will say, however, is this. To all those old-timers who aren't too
keen on his Dandy pages, take a look at his website. Divorced from
traditional, familiar characters we all know and love (and let's face it -
who - with the possible exception of KEN H. HARRISON - could compete
with DUDLEY D. WATKINS?), his pages don't seem as jarring and as
shocking as they do in DCT's relaunched comic.

If DAN had to have a new look, I think I would have preferred to see
TOM PATERSON or HUNT EMERSON (I liked his LITTLE PLUM - ooer,
missus) have a go at him. I still don't think Jamie's style (or, to be more
precise, the version of his style that he uses on DD) quite works. However,
if he just shaved off some of the rougher edges from the strip and it had a
more consistent lettering font, I feel that much of the criticism it has
received might be dissipated somewhat.

I'm sure Mr. Smart cares not a jot for my opinion - and that's perhaps
how it should be. However, I'm also sure I'm not the only one who hopes
that he may yet see the wisdom in aiming his strips not only at new readers,
but the older ones as well. That way everybody's happy. Have a look at
his website anyway. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The new dandy is so poor I'm wondering if the big re-launch was a tax write off

JJ

Kid said...

To be honest, I don't think they'd go to all the bother if that was the case. DCT are proud of the fact that it's Britain's longest running comic - and there's still too much merchandising potential to be had from it to just let it die.

I think the re-launch was a genuine attempt to give the comic a kick-start, but it still needs fine-tuning.

Anonymous said...

bought #1... basically its crap(
but im over 30!!!!!

Kid said...

It shouldn't matter - done right, it could appeal to all age groups - in greater numbers than it has been.

Anonymous said...

It's too childish but i guess it's easy us being archair critics what can be done to save this great British institution

Kid said...

It certainly needed something being done, that's for sure. I just feel that they could have aimed higher in some respects.