Wednesday, 28 November 2012

DOOMED DANDY NOT DEAD YET - ONE ISSUE TO GO...

 
Art by CHARLES GRIGG from the 1987 Dandy Annual
 
You're looking at the cover of the latest DANDY (featuring a
decades-old illustration) which, even if I wasn't already buying the last
few issues, I'd definitely purchase for the above picture alone - simply
because it's just so nice to look at. That's something that seems to have
been forgotten by a whole slew of contemporary cartoonists working in
what is laughably called the 'industry' today. In their desire to be 'modern',
or 'cutting edge', or 'with it', or 'down with the kids' (or whatever), they
overlook what can be achieved by merely producing an attractive, well-
rendered drawing that is simply a pleasure to look at. Good art that not
only tells a story but stands on its own two feet in and of itself. Art for
art's sake, as it were.
 
When I reviewed two pages in last week's Dandy, I received some
criticism from certain minority quarters attempting to cast doubt on the
motives behind my honest observations. Coated in a superficial veneer
of 'politeness' and 'civility', but equally mined with thinly-veiled facetious-
ness and sarcasm, comments came in from obviously emotionally-stunted
individuals who clearly took exception to my detailed and specific analysis
of the glaring deficiencies which were all-too apparent in sections of the
75 year old comic. (Never mind that I also featured what I liked about
the selfsame issue.)
 
However, as I've pointed out before, I've never once compared the
work of any artist in The Dandy to any level of artistic ability I perceive,
pretend, imagine, wish, or delude myself that I may have, but rather against
the recognized greats of yesterday and today. (And there's far too many to
list.) Any aspersions on my motivations, therefore, simply do not bear up
to even the mildest scrutiny. Interestingly, going by recent reader reactions
to the new BILLY WHIZZ strip in THE BEANO, it seems there is far wider
agreement with my view than my critics allow for. Current artist WILBUR
DAWBARN has elected to emulate the style of original artist, MALCOLM
JUDGE, and so far there has been no negative reaction (that I've seen)
to a return to a more traditional style. (I feel obliged to say that there's
no good reason why that lettering balloon in panel 6 should stray
so far outside the border, but that's not Wilbur's fault.)
 
 
When I look at the art of some alleged cartoonists working in comics today,
all it does is make my head hurt with a violent assault of almost-abstract
imagery. Oh for the days when comic strip art was nicely rendered, crystal
clear and easy on the eye. Just like the pages on this post, in fact.
 
As usual (fool to myself), the comments section is open to all those who
want to agree, disagree, argue the toss, or simply hurl outrageous
aspersions and vile invective. Ready, steady...GO! 

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

All fair comment, Kid, because you haven't insulted the artists themselves this week. Good work.

Kid said...

If to remark on an artist doing a good job is 'fair comment', then why shouldn't remarking on an artist not doing a good job be regarded in the same light? A case of flattery equals 'fair', criticism eguals 'unfair', perhaps? I'm afraid I don't pander to people's egos.

Anonymous said...

What I meant was your criticism of the work is fair comment. (Even tho' I might not agree with it.) Sometimes you've gone on to make snide comments about the artists themselves, which I felt was unnecessary.

Kid said...

My criticism of the work in my previous post on the subject was also fair comment, I'd suggest. And I made no 'snide' comments about the artists themselves, according to a strict definition of the word. Although, if I HAD made such comments, many would say they were justified in response to the malicious insinuations certain individuals made about me.

As I said at the time, my critiques were intended as simple statements of the facts as I perceived them. To call my remarks 'snide' is to ascribe to them a quality which simply doesn't apply and was certainly never intended.

People are often going to have their feelings hurt when someone else's assessment of their capabilities doesn't tally with their own. That's what comes from having an inflated opinion of one's own talent, I'm afraid. And that's not being 'snide', that's just the way it is.

Thanks for commenting.

BeanoKev70 said...

Kid,

I've read your post's with interest over the months & have to say have found some of your critic unfair.I'm an older comic fan (42) have been reading The Dandy since 1977 (seems a long time ago)& agree with you on certain areas of the relaunched Dandy, but have found the art refreshing in its approach. To be honest when I first saw Jamie Smarts Desperate Dan I thought it was a change to much but have really enjoyed it & will miss it from next week. I don't understand your obvious vocal hate of Andy Fanton, I love Andy's style & his George vs Dragon was one of the strongest strips in the new Dandy. The Dandy has failed because over the last 10 years there has been to many changes to the comic itself & too many well know characters have been ditched there should always be a good balance between old & new in comics. I understand everyone has an opinion I don't like Dave Easbury's style or Barry Glenard much but wouldn't say they are bad artists just find the style boring. Both Andy & Jamie's style is my cup of tea, just as I love Nigel Parkinson & Lew Stringers style, I respect your opinions but feel it has been to close to personal attacks sometimes which is a shame.

Kid said...

At least you put your name to your comments. I was beginning to think that nobody had one anymore.

First let me make a curious observation. A criticism aimed at every adult who isn't keen on The Dandy is that they're too old for it. Strangely, however, the age factor seems to become irrelevant whenever a 'grown up' expresses a liking for the comic. Then age suddenly becomes a 'positive' - "Lots of adults like my work!" It can't work both ways, I'm afraid, so a little consistency would be nice. It would be just as ridiculous for me to ignore your favourable opinion of the comic because you're an adult, as it is for my view to be dismissed on the same grounds.

Resistance to my remarks basically boils down to this: "Well, I like it, so you're wrong!" I'm afraid that's not an objective criteria, any more than me saying "Well, I don't, so I'm right!"

The fact is that those who like the new incarnation of The Dandy are in an extremely small minority of comic readers. D.C. Thomson have never denied that the comic lost half its readership within a very short time of the relaunch because readers didn't take to it and voted with their feet.

At this point someone is bound to chime in and point out that this was due to a whole load of 'other factors' and had nothing to do with the content. Pants, I'm afraid. The Beano and loads of other comics operate under the exact same conditions but were not similarly affected. That means there was some specific aspect that was exclusive to The Dandy - and, quite simply, it was that people didn't like it so consequently stopped buying it. If the numbers ordered by outlets were eventually reduced, it was only because it didn't sell to begin with. (After an initial rise in sales.)

And I certainly don't hate Andy Fanton or even Jamie Smart - I don't even know them for a start. Any criticisms of their work has been simply that - criticism of their work. It is others (and to some extent themselves) who have sought to make the issue a personal one. I can quite understand them not liking negative responses to their art, but, quite frankly, they need to rein in their egos and learn that someone being less than enamoured of their efforts isn't intended as a personal attack on them as individuals.

And you're right: artists aren't necessarily BAD artists just because you may find their styles boring. However, by the same token, neither are they GOOD just because you may like their styles. I'm basing my opinions on a little more than that, however - like, how well a strip does its job in telling a story; how much work is put into each individual panel; can you tell what is happening on the page at a glance even if the lettering were to be removed, etc.

Smart's work is often a jumble of confusing images drawn in a shorthand style, and Fanton's is an extremely basic, what-he-can-get-away-with, minimalistic collection of mainly close-ups or medium shots. I can see why some kids like those styles - they seem closer to what they themselves can emulate or aspire to.

So, in conclusion, I feel that your impression of my opinions being closer to personal attacks is unfounded and I'm obliged to disagree. I doubt you'd be of that opinion had it not been for certain individuals suggesting such a thing merely to invalidate my assessment of the art itself.

Mr Straightman said...

That Billy Whizz strip looks fantastic! I wasn't keen on Wilbur Dawbarn's 'Mr Meecher' strip but this is a delight.

Kid said...

I don't remember being too impressed by it myself, but I'd have to check to refresh my memory. I didn't even realise the two strips were by the same artist. However, he's done himself proud on Billy Whizz.

(Apologies for the 'cut and paste' of Mr Straightman's response, but I felt compelled to correct a typo in my previous comment.)

beanokev70 said...

Kid,

My words were probably a little wrong in my previous post rather than saying hating Andy it should of been his work. I respect your opinion & all I'm trying to do is add an alternative opinion to your debate & say I love it. Its different & not to everyone's taste I get that. But to be fair your words have been harsh & comments like its no better than a 14 year olds efforts are personnal or Kids like it because they can easily emulate it. I can see why they did try to defend themselves. They are certainly not responsible for the comics downfall DCT should take the blame for this for the constant changes they have done over the last 10 years. The Beano is still very much recognisable today as it was 30 years ago where The Dandy isn't. Age also shouldn't matter I've seen many a great comic from younger readers on various sites enjoying the current Dandy & all its artists.

Kid said...

My words have certainly been plain and forthright, and I can see why those directly concerned might find them harsh, but that's unavoidable, I'm afraid. I'm sure that 'singers' on X-Factor who disagree with the judges assessment of their 'talents' no doubt also regard such criticism as being harsh, but there's no easy way to tell someone they're not as good as they think they are.

As for my remark about being no better than a 14 year old (with a hint of promise that needs developing, remember), that is my sincerely held opinion on the matter and genuinely reflects how I honestly feel. I thought it was the most accurate reflection (in my view) of the standard of art produced by the individual you mention. Your comments about the styles of certain artists being 'boring' could be regarded as equally harsh (and 'snide') to some over-sensitive soul. (Not that I think they were meant in that way.)

Certainly the fact that The Dandy was transformed into something that no longer resembled The Dandy was a large part of why it failed, but the rather too 'way-out' styles of the two individuals mentioned were a major factor in that result, in my opinion.

As for age not mattering, that's what I've always maintained, but my critics seem to insist that it does in my own case. Also, I think you'd find that even if the two artists concerned had never been in The Dandy, those readers who enjoy the comic would probably still like it every bit as much.

Anonymous said...

Your opinion seems to be 'I don't like the work of Andy and Jamie therefore that was a factor in what damaged sales'. Yet feedback shows that their work is popular.

Can you not see the flaw in your logic? I'm sure SOME readers don't like Andy and Jamie's work, and others might not like the artists that you like. But to constantly pick on Andy and Jamie's pages shows a reluctance to agree that other opinions are equally as valid as yours imho.

Kid said...

There is no flaw in my logic - at least, not any more than there is in yours. Which is: YOU like Andy & Jamie's work, therefore it can't have been a factor in what damaged sales.

The comic was clearly inferior, which is why it didn't sell. Andy & Jamie's work contributed to that state. To deny it is to show a reluctance to accept the obvious.

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented here before, but I think there's a point that hasn't been raised. And that is the amount of payment that artists get these days for the finished (full-coloured) page is a lot lower in real terms than they used to get (for black and white only pages)
Or so I'm led to believe.
So if modern cartoonists like Smart and Fanton have to cut a few corners to produce their pages, then I think that's not unreasonable.
Having said that, I think Smart does it more successfully than Fanton (who, I agree with you, is quite a good writer but not yet ready to be a professionally published artist)
Smart's style is rather better developed and more pleasing on the eye (though I agree also that it can be a bit overwhelming and jumbled sometimes). Yes it's minimalist (the audacity of the man, to create a style where the characters don't even have legs most of the time!) but it works, and for the modern age, where page rates are so low, who can blame him.

Anonymous said...

Read what I said again. I said "I'm sure SOME readers don't like Andy and Jamie's work". I'm not denying that SOME readers would have dropped the comic because of their strips, just as some would have dropped it because they didn't like Harry Hill, or because their parents wouldn't fork out the extra expense of it going weekly again.

Your view seems to only focus on your own tastes, ignoring many other factors.

Anonymous said...

Jamie and Andy's work isn't 'Refreshing' and "Excellent" as some people say.

Jamie Smart's rant on his website illustrated how inflated his ego is, i lost some respect for him after that, I have more respect for Andy who argued his case.

The decision to let Jamie design a cheap unimaginative logo was a disaster, no brand experience when it comes to logos.

The magazine was poorly laid out with too many three panel style artists.

People say kids like it because they can imitate the style. The BBC animated cartoon 'Charlie and Lola' looks like a five year old whipped out their Crayola crayons and started drawing but they're considerably more creative than some of the work in the comic.

I've met and worked with a lot of illustrators in my time who got lucky with work and i'm afraid this is the case with a few of the Dandy artists.

There was room for them in the new Dandy, but they were given too many pages with too little talent.

And for all the kids who liked the artwork, there were many more who didn't and stopped buying the comic.

Maybe they were drafted in to work on the digital edition. The simpler the drawing, the easier to animate it (like those cheap flash animations on the internet).

Back to the drawing board lads.

Kid said...

Anon 1: D.C. Thomson have always paid notoriously low page rates compared to other companies, but, as you point out, they're apparently lower (in real terms) nowadays than they used to be. On the plus side, however, they pay regularly and quickly. (Unlike IPC's Youth Group after Maxwell acquired it.)

As for Smart and Fanton perhaps cutting corners because of low rates, while it would indeed be understandable (if such is the case), it's unfair on other artists who unstintingly give their best efforts. Also, if they are cutting corners, they're hardly in a position to complain when people notice the results of them doing so, are they?

******

Anon 2: I don't need to read what you said again, I caught it the first time. However, what you're overlooking (because you're focusing on your own tastes and ignoring other factors) is that the most often cited reason for readers abandoning the comic (that I saw) was that they didn't like the art in some of the strips. Smart's and (to a lesser degree) Fanton's were the pages that garnered the most negative internet attention.

And I do make allowances for other factors, but bad drawing seems to have been the defining one. You're also overlooking the fact that, with no continued stories, parents weren't obliged to buy the comic weekly - they could have continued to buy every second copy. The Beano doesn't seem to suffer any adverse affects from being published weekly, so it seems to me that you're clutching at straws in order to deny the obvious - which is: overall, the comic was crap.

******

Anon 3: Nothing I can really disagree with in such an astutely observed comment.

Anonymous said...

What evidence do you have, kid, that Jamie and Andy's strips were the most negatively received? Fact is, the positives outweighed the negatives, and that's why they received more and more work.

Again, you assume that the fall in sales reflects your personal tastes. It isn't so.

Kid said...

Read what I said again - the answer's in there. However, that aside, it's obvious - the more work they were given to do, the more the circulation declined. A simple case of cause and effect. (And I don't remember anyone criticising Nigel Parkinson's art. Your two favourites were a different matter 'though.)

We're just going 'round in circles now. You assume that the fall in sales DOESN'T reflect my 'personal tastes', instead preferring to believe that it had nothing to do with the strips YOU like. You're doing exactly the same thing you accuse me of.

If one is comparing the art of Paddy Brennan with that of Dudley D. Watkins, one's preference is largely down to 'personal taste' because both are accomplished artists. If, however, one is comparing the art of Smart or Fanton to that of Baxendale, it is akin to comparing spam to steak.

Some of us are smart enough to know the difference - you, clearly, are not.

Anonymous said...

As you think the Dandy is 'clearly inferior' and 'pants' why do you buy it Kid?

Kid said...

"Oh do pay attention, 007!" Try reading before commenting - then you won't look so daft for asking a question already answered.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kid,
Anon 1 here again (My name's Dave, I should've signed)
I wasn't trying to defend Smart and Fanton for cutting corners, nor was I suggesting that anyone had any right to complain about criticism. I was just raising a point which I'm not sure anyone else has raised.
I actually have a fair bit of sympathy with your point of view.
Basically, I'd say my position is I agree with you about Fanton (lazy, undeveloped art style, please try harder), but disagree with you about Smart because I think what he's done is very clever:- He's created a very classy, simple art style for the modern age, which still looks good despite being ridiculously simple (I can't think of another cartoonist who doesn't even draw legs).
I actually think you're the one who doesn't know the difference between spam and steak by lumping the two together.
Oh the Billy Whizz is very nice, too, that's something else I agree with you on.
-Dave

Kid said...

Well, I think you were sort of defending them for cutting corners (if that's what they're actually doing) by saying it was 'not unreasonable' because of the low page rate (sounds like a defence to me), and in Smart's case, by saying 'who can blame him?'

Also, I wasn't suggesting that YOU were saying they HAD the right to complain about criticism, I was merely pointing out that I didn't think they had that right in the context of that situation.

As for Smart's style, I have to say I think you're wrong. It's ALSO not very well laid out, roughly rendered, and not always clear in portraying what's happening. Panels either have too much space or not enough, and it's just generally sore on the eyes. Some of his single page cover illustrations are not bad on occasion, but he's simply not a very good storyteller. In that respect (storytelling), he's very much in the same category as Fanton. Classy? No - simply lazy.

Both of them are spam, but Fanton may be a bigger sized-tin.

As for steak: Tom Paterson, Ken H. Harrison, Charles Grigg, Dudley D. Watkins, Leo Baxendale, Robert Nixon, etc., etc. Smart or Fanton aren't even close to being in the same league, in my opinion. Comics are sequential art and, so far, neither of them have mastered the craft.

Anonymous said...

Well, we'll have to agree to differ on Smart, although I do agree his pages can sometimes be a bit too crowded and jumbled.
As for Fanton, I feel a bit bad about joining in with the genral bashing, and I'll say one thing for him, his writing's not bad. In the old days,I suspect he'd have been hired as a writer, but a more competent draughtsman would have drawn the pages.
-Dave

Anonymous said...

And I wasn't defending them over the page rate thing as such, although I see where you might have got that impression. I was just trying to explain why art standards are perhaps not always as high as they used to be.
Page rates may have always been low at D C Thomson, but I gather today the artists are expected to produce full-coloured pages when in the past they would have got a comparable rate just for black and white art.
-Dave

Kid said...

Actually, Desperate Dan gave me a faint hint of a chuckle this week (first time ever); perhaps if a more accomplished artist drew the strip (as you suggest with Fanton), it might work better.

I hear what you're saying, and you may not have meant to, but to suggest that corners may have been cut due to low page rates and then say it's 'not unreasonable' is to defend the practice to some degree, as it sounds like a justification.

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I like Jamie Smarts work but I really don't he is that suited to work in the Dandy certainly not as a main artist on the book - I do like his more "alternative" work a lot (Bear etc) and think that (along with PC game type work) is where he will make his mark - Not going to target individual artists n the Dandy but I have to say I am a bit stumped at why some folk are being so precious over some (not all) of the art , come on its obvious some of it is bloody awful - McScotty

Kid said...

Ah, McScotty - where have you been these last couple of months? As I've previously said before (ages ago), Smart's art is not as glaringly out of place on some of the contents on his blog, but it sticks out like a sore thumb in The Dandy.

That was the main problem in my view. The relaunched Dandy just didn't look like the comic that most people remembered - and Smart was the person responsible for the rather lacklustre design throughout. Add to that the somewhat weak storytelling abilities of some other artists and it was a recipe for disaster.

oldun said...

Mcscotty - it's not "obvious" some content is awful. Art and humour has its individual appeal. It might be "awful" to you and others but appealing to other readers. So not "come on its obvious" at all. My two love the strips.!
Expressing opinion is one thing, but when a blog continually tries to browbeat that opinion week in week out it becomes a vendetta. This little virtual lynch mob for a kiddie comic is almost as funny as The Dandy itself. Lol.

Kid said...

No, you're wrong. Just because that which is awful may appeal to some people does not negate its awfulness. And to imply that all standards are of equal value is presumptuous, to say nothing of ridiculous.

Also, your suggestion of a 'vendetta' simply because someone expresses an opinion on a remote corner of the internet - which nobody is obliged to read, remember - is puerile in the extreme.

I'm bound to say that your comment is almost as pathetic as The Dandy itself.

oldun said...

Kid - I will just say this in response to your rudeness. Your insistence that you are the judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to comic art is what is really "nothing of ridiculous".
Your assessment of The Dandy is just an opinion, no more no less, on equal footing to the opinions of children who like the strips you don't. Remember that art is subjective.

Kid said...

You are the one being rude by implying that a 'vendetta' is being conducted simply because my assessment of the comic is different from yours. Art is subjective? What utter poppycock! It's that kind of thinking that has led to a decline in standards and allowed the pernicious notion that everything is of equal value. Half a sheep in a glass case? A pile of bricks? A tent with some names sewn on? Crudely-rendered 'cartoons' that inadequately tell a story? Art? Don't make me laugh.

To compare the substandard scribbles and scrawls of what passes for art these days with the sheer craftsmanship of someone like Charles Grigg is an insult.

I'd be interested to know whether you apply your 'principle' that children's opinions have equal validity to that of adults in all other areas of life? I somehow very much doubt it.

Anonymous said...

"Oldun" I really am glad your kids liked these strips (which I expressly did NOT name, so maybe deep down you really do know what is "poor") I do however disagree with your "virtual lynch mob" comment as "Kid" said I've not been on-line for a few months so hardly part of a mob and have barely made more than a couple of comments on the Dandy's demise - but the discussion here is about the Dandy and why its sales have plummeted so much - some folk seem to think its nothing to do with the content of the comic some, like me (ie my "opinion") disagree and think it has a lot to do with the (sometimes) poor content of the comic (with I accept some other issue playing a more minor role) - -I have no axe to grind re the "poor" strips/artists (again which I did not mention I only stated I like Jamie Smart)I wish them well in their future work - - McScotty

oldun said...

"All" other areas of life? Of course not. What a strange thing to suggest. If their opinion is about children's reading matter, yes of course their opinion is as valid as any adults. Unquestionably.!
I respect your opinions Kid but not the aggressive way in which you sometimes dismiss the opinions of others. Have a good weekend.

Kid said...

Plain, certainly; direct, definitely; forthright, indubitably. Aggressive? Don't make me laugh. You're all-too obviously projecting the cliched, stereotypical traits of the aggressive Glaswegian onto me.

You're also missing the real issue here, although you're right about one thing: when it comes to what people regard as enjoyable, then one person's opinion is as valid as another. However, where you're wrong is when you insist that, in the case of determining the actual quality of something, all opinions are of equal worth. For the purpose of the latter, I would maintain that an accepted, recognised standard must be brought to bear.

It is not enough to say "I enjoy it, therefore it is good!" because some people are less discerning than others in recognising what constitutes good quality. An infant may well be just as happy playing with its poo as a piece of plasticine, but that doesn't mean the two are of comparable quality, even though in each case the level of enjoyment derived by the child is the same.

The same applies to adults. You may enjoy warbling in the shower and mayhap your devoted wife may even enjoy listening to you; however, should it be the case that you're both in possession of 'tin ears' and couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, then it would hardly be accurate (or fair) to pronounce your out of tune screeching as being of the same quality as Nat 'King' Cole's or Mel Torme's dulcet tones, now would it?

You say kids enjoy the art of Smart and Fanton. Some adults may even enjoy it. All very fine and dandy (pun intended), but it's hardly the point. What's at issue here is whether the standard of their artwork - regardless of how many people enjoy it or not - is of a comparable quality to that of other artists, recognized and acclaimed as giants of the industry.

And the plain, unvarnished truth of the matter to anyone with a sense of what constitutes good drawing and storytelling is that it's not.

Those who are colour blind are unable to discern certain hues, and 'though it's not their fault, the fact remains that they can't see what others do. In the same way, unfortunately, there are those who are also quality blind and can't see what the rest of us can - that not every page in a comic is necessarily of the same high standard and that some of them, in fact, are simply sh*t.

What is all-too evident at the end of the day is that those who insist on bleating on about everyone's opinion being of equal merit are the very ones who have the biggest problem in tolerating a viewpoint which isn't in accord with their own. Hence all the ridiculous aspersions and insinuations which they resort to in an attempt to dismiss anyone with whom they happen to disagree.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Who says the decline of sales is NOTHING to do with content? In truth I haven't seen anyone state that. Content plays a part and always has but the problem on this blog is that content becomes the main whipping boy.

Kid said...

Several people have asserted that the content of The Dandy had nothing to do with its poor sales, in previous posts on this blog and elsewhere. And while I have always acknowledged that other factors have their part to play in the steady decline in sales of all periodicals and publications IN GENERAL, in The Dandy's SPECIFIC case, the main reason for its rapid decline was more than likely the content. After all, it didn't lose HALF its readership until AFTER its 2110 relaunch. A simple case of cause and effect. Elementary, you might say.

And I'd also point out that on THIS blog, the main whipping boy seems to be ME.

Anonymous said...

So by your logic then, Dandy Xtreme was twice as good quality?

Kid said...

Don't be shy - you mean by the distortion and misapplication of logic which you seek to impose on my words, don't you? One's thing's for sure. Twice as many people thought better of it than they thought of the relaunch, that much is obvious.

However, I have stated before that, in just the same way that a strip being popular is not necessarily evidence of it being 'good', NOT being popular does not necessarily prove it is 'bad'. (See how fair-minded I am?) Other criteria must therefore be applied, in conjunction with a consideration of the circumstances.

Normally, if other, GENERAL, factors (which apply to all periodicals) are responsible for a comic's decline, the process is much more gradual. However, The Dandy's sudden death-dive after its much publicised relaunch - which initially increased its readership (to the triumphant exaltation of those involved) - seems to indicate that some other element was at work.

Remember, not only did the comic (relatively) rapidly lose its new readers, it also lost half of the old ones. This unprecedented occurrence can't really be accounted for (in the main) by the other aspects that normally apply, and which some people have sought to use as an excuse for the comic's sudden plummet towards oblivion.

Therefore, the most likely and obvious cause is that readers simply didn't like it. The content was therefore to blame - regardless of whether it DESERVED to be blamed or not. However, in MY considered opinion, SOME strips were so awful that the conclusion is inescapable that they let the side down and were instrumental in turning the tide of public opinion against the once-popular publication.

My opinion is based on no mere whim, but the application of a set of criteria designed to determine whether a strip meets certain drawing and storytelling standards which equip it for its task; some strips didn't measure up, and - in the relaunched Dandy's SPECIFIC and UNIQUE circumstances which no other factors satisfactorily account for - it's this aspect which seems to have been mainly responsible for driving so many readers away in droves. I think you'll also find that this was the consensus of public opinion on the internet at the time, so I'm hardly in a minority on the matter.

I hope that helps you understand the context in which I formed my conclusions.

Incidentally, I've never denied that the comic was in a state of decline anyway, and that possibly nothing may have been able to save it. However, I just think that the relaunch accelerated the process and hastened it to its doom.

Anonymous said...

Re the comment on "who says content had nothing to do with the Dandy's demise" (or similar words) - errr seriously? I can name at least 3 main comic blogs with artists, fans and creators have stated that they are so proud of what they have done and the great work ( ie content) they all put into to the comic (and to be fair some did some good work, which I and others have stated) - I also (in brackets) CLEARLY stated there were other issues at force in the demise of the Dandy (but that imho these were not as major as the content). Still it seems to be that some (not all) folk think all was hunky dory except for distribution - maybe valid maybe not - the end result the Dandy is sadly kaput now please dont make me do "brackets" again please ! =McScotty

Kid said...

McScotty, this is par for the course I'm afraid. Some people appear to have difficulty accepting the fact that others might agree, either in full or in part, with my views on this particular subject. For some reason they seem to see it as a personal insult - and are provoked into trying to dismiss my opinion by the most ridiculous means possible.

They then seek to deter anyone who might hold a similar view to myself from commenting on the topic, by insinuating that do do so is to participate in a 'vendetta' being conducted by an aggressive, enraged, histrionic, paranoid, bitter, unbalanced individual with an axe to grind. (As opposed to an ordinary bloke commenting on a matter of interest on his blog about comics.) Note that all these pejorative descriptions are the very ones used by my detractors, who claim that they are being 'civil' and that I'M the one indulging in personal insults. (When, in fact, all I've done is comment on some pages of art.)

Obviously, most people wouldn't want to be perceived in the same light and would perhaps think twice about admitting to thinking as I do. You can bet there are loads of folks who haven't (and won't) add their voices to the discussion, simply because of all the negative attention and personal insults it might bring them - ironically from the very people who claim to be 'tolerant' and 'accepting' of other people's viewpoints.

You gotta laugh.

Anonymous said...

...or because they simply don't agree with you?

Kid said...

That's what I call a statement of the bleedin' obvious! I think you'll find 'though, that the reason why most people don't comment is simply because they don't know this blog exists.

However, out of those who do, the ones who DISagree usually feel more compelled to tell me than those who agree. The latter don't take it as personally.

Anonymous said...

Compelled, says the man who'se been slagging off a kids comic for two years.

Kid said...

Says the anonymous man who's compelled to give me a piece of his mind. (Trust me, bud - you can't spare it.)

Anonymous said...

George Shiers is the man when it comes to blogs about British comics. His blog just can't be beaten. Here he presents us with exclusive news about the digital Dandy.
http://www.wackycomics.com/2012/12/more-information-about-digital-dandy.html

Kid said...

I guess that's what's called an unabashed plug. Maybe I should charge for advertising? Also, I think you'll find that George is still a teenager, not yet 18.

(Might have at least taken the trouble to say something nice about my blog. Flattery is usually a nice bribe.)

Anonymous said...

The claim that other blogs say content had nothing to do with the dandy losing sales is a fallacy as far as I can see. It's a false argument, as is the claim that dandy artists are all egotistical. Unless you can prove otherwise with evidence??

Kid said...

See, that's the trouble when people don't take the time to think about what they've read before commenting. First of all, as far as I'm aware, no one has said that ALL Dandy artists are egotistical.

Secondly, other people on other blogs (and also on other posts on this one) have categorically stated that they don't think the content was responsible for losing sales. So, your comment is just a tad redundant I'm afraid.

As for evidence: The Dandy is relaunched in a blaze of publicity and actually increases sales as a result. Within a short time it not only loses its new readers, but also half of its old ones. Pretty indicative, I'd say - even allowing for other factors.

Anonymous said...

No. I asked for your evidence of people saying content had nothing to do with falling sales. Did any blog ACTUALLY say that and if so where or is it a false argument?

Anonymous said...

It may be a "fallacy" and a "false argument" from your perspective as you obviously have not read the blogs concerned. I was going to trawl through them for you but I've got more to do with my time - (I ve noted the most obvious one below from the (very good imho) Jamie Smarts blog as it is the easiest to track down) if you actually want to read the comment then log into "Down the Tubes", "Comics UK" etc etc and check it out for yourself (it is out there and to be fair so is the opposite end of that argument) Again I have no issue with these comments as such as people have every right to feel proud of their work (and as I again clearly stated some of the work in the Dandy was IMHO very good). My issue was only that the content was IMHO a major part of the fall of the Dandy and that a LOT of people thought otherwise - I simply stated the facts that based on the evidence from some creators and fans (in their and other blogs) that their feeling was that the content was pretty darn good and was not a major issue re the end of the Dandy. At no point have I EVER said any artist was egotistical so no idea where you got that from.

"We believe we have delivered real quality comics, and that The Dandy has been a shining light ......" from Jamies blog.


McScotty

Anonymous said...

It's kid who said they were egotistical. No evidence.

Kid said...

Anonymous, I'm not about to compensate for your laziness in looking for or at the evidence yourself, which is there for all to see. In fact, I don't see how you can have read any other posts on the subject and failed to miss examples of people who disagree with me denying that content had anything to do with the Dandy's situation. You being ignorant of the evidence (or ignoring it) is not the same as there being none.

What you seem to be saying is that no one has claimed that The Dandy's declining sales didn't have anything to do with the content. If that's true, then the suggestion is that no one (including yourself) disputes my claim and that it is therefore true.

Consequently, it's a bit unclear which view you actually take on the matter.

As for evidence for a COUPLE of artists being egotistical, there's PLENTY. Firstly, denying even the possibility that their work was at least part of the problem; secondly, declaring what a brilliant job they think they've done despite complaints to the contrary; thirdly, being so incensed that anyone would dare to criticize their work that they'd engage in a back and forth debate in an attempt to browbeat someone into changing their mind, etc. Anyone who can't tolerate criticism without resorting to some of the comments they've come out with certainly isn't short of ego.

I think I see the problem. You're in your own little world which 'the obvious' can't penetrate, aren't you? Either that, or you're on a 'wind-up'.

Anonymous said...

I thought my question was clear: where is the evidence if people saying content had NOthing to do with falling sales? If you have no evidence why have you brought it up time and time over the last 2 years? Did you make it up?

Kid said...

Yes, you're on a 'wind-up' - what a pillock! I don't think you even know whether you're asking what you think you're asking. My answer to your 'question' is also clear. Shame you don't seem able or willing to comprehend it.

Anonymous said...

Sigh! Anyway sad news about the Dandy going burst isn't it? I wonder what happened :0) - McScotty

Anon 3 said...

I thought he was asking a fair question myself.

Kid said...

'Anon 3', assuming for the moment that you ARE actually a different anonymous and not the same anonymous simply lending support to yourself - even if it was a 'fair question' the first time he asked, it's been quite comprehensively answered by both McScotty and myself. Various blogs abound with people denying that the content was anything to do with The Dandy's demise, so if he's genuinely unaware of it, he shouldn't be commenting on something he hasn't even done the groundwork on. However, nobody can be so perpetually stupid as to ignore the answers to a question and keep repeating it, so he's obviously 'at it'.

******

Yes, McScotty, a great shame. I just bought the 2013 Annual tonight (£3 at Sainsbury's) and I'm getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to buy a couple of copies of the last issue. Maybe I'll wear a black armband. As for what happened - dunno. You don't think it could have been something to do with the content, do you? Nah!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

I don't think, In years to come, people will regard some of these pretenders as great Dandy Artists. And If the content was that good I think the Dandy would still be around.

DC Thompson must have been either desperate or knew what was going to happen if they gave 'Smarty pants' design control.

To basically give a person free range to bastardize a publication in such a way was suicidal.

I was a supporter of the new Dandy but after a while, like many folks, I realized it wasn't up to scratch.

I wouldn't give the comic to my kids, they'd rather read my old collection.

The sales don't lie.

If the content was good there would be a buzz, and other sections of the media would pick up on it straight away. That alone would help sales and encourage newsagents and retailers to stock it.

It may be a class thing too. Many comics had working class roots.
I remember growing up in the seventies, the middle class kids would read 'Look and Learn' while working class kids just read fun comics.

Were DC Thompson trying to aim the publication at 'trendy', 'right-on', middle class kids with a simpler, 'creative' style that Jemima and Daniel would like?

Maybe we'll find out one day.

Kid said...

On an interesting note, The Sunday Post ran an article about The Dandy in which they interviewed the editor, Craig Graham. (Although they called him Craig Ferguson for some strange reason. Don't DCT even know his correct name?) This is part of what he said on the subject of political correctness:

"...some things that were once acceptable aren't now. The Dandy had a cartoon called the Jocks and the Geordies which was about Scots and Geordies getting into loads of fights! We wouldn't run that now."

However, the 2013 Annual has a couple of Jocks and Geordies strips where they end up fighting. Doesn't he even know the contents of his own title's Annual for which he wrote the introduction? And to think DCT have made him editor of The Beano.

Anonymous said...

Craig Ferguson is the editor of the new digital Dandy, Craig Graham was the editor of the print one.

Kid said...

Ah, so they DO know his correct name. It wasn't quite clear that he was the 'new' editor. Ta.