Friday, 2 November 2012


"Do people laugh at your pathetic drawings?"  If the answer
to that is "yes", then you already draw The Dandy Way.  With
the comic destined to cease publication in little over a month, I think
the editors still haven't quite grasped where they went wrong.  They
should have remembered the old adage: "You can't give what you
don't have".  I picked up a copy of the latest issue today and, with
a few honourable exceptions, the standard of artwork in far too
many strips is distinctly amateurish.

So, do you want to learn how to draw 'The Dandy way'?
Seems the way to do that is to draw as badly as you can, but
I'd aim higher if I were you - it should pay off in the long run.


TwoHeadedBoy said...

Or maybe not - this lot've sucked the Dandy dry and left it to rot, whereas there are countless "good" artists out there who can't pay bills.

Something's gone wrong somewhere!

Kid said...

You'd think they'd have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the last few issues of the comic would go out on a high. Some of the artwork looks as if it's been drawn by schoolkids. And that bloody scrawl which passes for lettering - it takes up too much space and obscures the art. Let's hope that The Beano isn't destined for the same fate.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

It won't happen if they're clever - whenever I get the Beano nowadays (as long as I ignore the Dennis strip) it's mostly very good, as if I never stopped reading it!

Kid said...

Ah, but there's the rub. If they were clever, it would never have happened to The Dandy.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Maybe they should've left it as an "experiment" like I'm assuming The Dandy Xtreme was - and then when it obviously wasn't working, change things again.

Sadly it's all shoulda woulda coulda now. At least the Beano staff have the sense to use the Beano Max as their "experimenting with a different audience" thing.

Kid said...

The Dandy Xtreme was an experiment too far, sadly. Unfortunately, the 2010 relaunch was just as bad. They should really combine Beano and Dandy into a comic like Whizzer & Chips was. That way they have a chance of adding 7,000 readers to the Beano circulation. That'll happen to some degree anyway when Dandy subscriptions switch to The Beano, but readers who purchase their comics from newsagents will probably be lost.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Most of them, sadly yes. There's one kid who buys the Dandy from my shop every week, and I asked him what he's going to do when it's over - he is indeed going to start getting the Beano.

A few months ago I gave him a stack of Dandys from the early 1990s, which he liked a lot. Might do the same with Beanos for him!

One Headed Man said...

I'm getting the impression that 'Kid' and 'Boy' are well beyond the age the Dandy is intended for.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I had to laugh at this appearing in the Dandy (maybe it was meant to be an "in" joke?) To be honest I'm not down on Jamie Smarts art as much as others, then again neither do it thik he is a "genius" like some folk (I actually like some of his stuff ) but for me its not right for the Dandy) and there are some (imho) good artists in the Dandy Lew Stringer NP etc but I have to agree with your post heading spot on the lettering especially annoys me McScotty

Kid said...

'One Headed Man', The Dandy has never been aimed at 'my' age group, but that never previously prevented it from being far better drawn than it is now. Seems you're suggesting that as it's for kids, it's okay to give 'em any old crap.


McScotty, I wasn't restricting my criticisms to Smart's Desperate Dan - there are other strips that are appallingly drawn, such as George Vs Dragon and Secret Agent Sir, for example. Nigel Parkinson is exempt from criticism of course, as is Steve Bright (and one or two others) who does a wonderful job emulating Davey Law on the Beryl strip. I think it says a lot 'though, when the Bubba and the Bear strip in this week's issue was one of the better looking pages in the comic. It was certainly the easiest to read.


TwoHeadedBoy, your Blue Peter Badge for generosity beyond the call of duty is in the post. I hope you re-read those comics before parting with them to remind yourself just how good The Dandy used to be.

Jamiefan said...

Kid half of the Dandy is reprint now. The strips you like by Nigel Parkinson, Steve Bright and that Bubba strip are all reprints.

Let's be fair tho', a lot of people HAVE enjoyed The Dandy since its 2010 restart as a quick Google will show you. The main criticism online has come from Lee James Turnock and, er, you!

One Headed Man said...

'Seems you're suggesting that as it's for kids, it's okay to give 'em any old crap.'

No, I'm suggesting you're too out of touch to appreciate modern cartoonery.

Kid said...

Jamiefan, never let the facts get in the way of a good story, eh? I was a latecomer to The Dandy debacle - your hero had come in for quite a pounding on the web before I politely pointed out that I wasn't a fan of his DD style. And I was actually alluding to the fact that the Bubba strip was a reprint - that was my point. The reprinted strips are better than most of the newer material.

Let's be even fairer - FAR MORE people HAVEN'T enjoyed The Dandy since its 2010 relaunch. That's why it's now being cancelled. Or had that little fact escaped your attention?


One Headed Man, your habit of quoting what you want to address indicates your true identity, but regardless, your point is fatuous. It has nothing to do with 'modern' cartoonery and everything to do with GOOD and BAD cartoonery. Unlike you (and The Dandy editor), I know the difference.

Anonymous said...

The comments of Mr. Robson and Mr. Davies have been noted. I would remind you that The Dandy is evolving not ending and I hope you may find the new product to your satisfaction.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Sad to see how the British comics industry has fallen so much over the years.

Kid said...

You're telling me, Chris. And too many people still seem to have their heads in the sand.


The Comments of Mr Anonymous have been noted. I would remind you that The Dandy recently evolved into a pile of poo and I hope that the new product learns from the mistakes of the old. I won't be following it as I prefer my comics to be in the traditional format.

Anonymous said...

Christopher, I wouldn't take Kid's word as gospel on the state of comics. He's bitter because he never fulfiled his ambitions to be an artist in comics and now he spends his days trying to tear down the achievements of people who're younger, faster, smarter than he is.

Kid said...

I simply had to publish the above comment. It's the epitome of what "bitter" (and twisted) is all about. First of all, I fulfilled (note the spelling please) my ambition to make a good living from working in comics for 15 years. Whether it was by being a cartoonist or calligrapher was unimportant to me. I went where the money was - that seems pretty "smart" to me. I probably made more money 20 years ago than most of those "youngsters" make today. As for "tearing down the achievements of people who're "younger, smarter, faster" than I am - what achievements are those? Speeding The Dandy to its doom? Earning a pittance from churning out bad art that's as artistic as a mummified turd? Thanks for the laugh - and for demonstrating what utter pillocks I sometimes have to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Claim what you like. You wanted to be a humour artist in comics like Whizzer and Chips and the like and you failed. You simply were not up to it but you settled for being a lettering bod. Get over it and stop being bitter about the successes of today's cartoonists. You've been going on and on about how you dislike The Dandy for two years now. Bor-ing! The saving grace of Dandy finishing is that you'll finally have to shut up about it. #gratefulforsmallmercies

Kid said...

As I said - an utter pillock. Firstly, I never wanted to be a humour artist on Whizzer & Chips - or any other British comic, and I never even tried to be. I wanted to be an action/adventure artist for Marvel and DC Comics. However, again, I never even tried to be, because once I saw how much dosh I could make from lettering, I stuck with that.

Inventing your own versions of my aspirations and personal history and trying to pass them off as fact merely reveals how pathetic you are - and how scant your regard for the truth is. It also demonstrates how obsessed you seem to be with yours truly. Vendetta, anyone?

And as for "going on and on" about The Dandy, nobody's forcing you to read this blog you know. It's only your own unnatural obsession with me that keeps bringing you back. Sheesh! There sure are some weirdos around. Probably believes he's actually anonymous.

Anonymous said...

You're deluding yourself. On this very blog you have shown us the Kevin Talking Socks strip that you submitted to a British comic (rejected). You even developed a traditional artistic style based on that of UK comics. Why go to the long effort of doing that if you had no ambitions in that regard?

At least try to keep your tales consistent. Although it's funnier when you don't.

Happy Guy Fawkes night.

Kid said...

The only person on this site who is deluded is you. You either can't do joined-up thinking or simply can't read. Go back and see if you can spot your colossal mistake. Here, I'll even help you...

1) Bob Paynter INVITED me to come up with an idea for a strip that HE could send to the people who were producing OINK! - I didn't approach him or the comic. I produced a rough, which took me all of half an hour over a cup of tea in Portsmouth library.

2) Bob sent the rough to the OINK! lads for consideration. Had it found favour, SOMEONE ELSE would have written and drawn the strip on a regular basis. I was just glad to be asked to come up with an idea.

3) The finished version of the strip was produced for MY OWN AMUSEMENT some months later - a fact which is CLEARLY STATED in the blog post you refer to.

4) My idea clearly had merit, as OINK! produced their own version of it with HECTOR VECTOR & HIS TALKING T-SHIRT.

5) My "traditional artistic style", as you call it, was no doubt subliminally influenced from years of reading comics and was the result of natural talent - no "long effort" required, although I can fully appreciate just why you'd have no comprehension of such a quality.

6) I've previously described exactly where my comic ambitions lay - and why I revised them once I started earning serious wads of dosh. Here's a tip: keep your eyes open when you try to read - it helps.

7) My artistic leanings were fully satiated by the many advertising jobs I did OUTSIDE of comics, as well as spot illustrations and resize drawing for annuals and specials, plus re-creation and restoration of pages for MARVEL U.S. That's right, MARVEL U.S. - perhaps you've heard of them? They're quite a big company.

You see, with nominal reading skills and the application of a little thought, you could easily have avoided revealing yourself as the total thicko that everybody now knows you to be. My tales ARE consistent - it's just your comprehension of them which is lacking in that department.

I really don't think it's a good idea for you to try and match wits with me when you're clearly only half-equipped. Now, surely you should've been at the top of that bonfire an hour or two back.

Anonymous said...

So despite the numerous artists he had on his books, despite all the wannabes submitting samples, the editor asked a letterer who wasn't hankering to be a comic artist to create a comic strip.

Got it.

Thanks for the explanation. I won't bother you again. ;-)

Kid said...

So, despite the numerous times I've demonstrated your spurious interpretations of the facts to be false, you still persist in imposing your own distorted fantasies on things you know nothing about. Not because you believe your views to be true, but purely because you have nothing better to do with your time than to spend it in futile attempts to diminish my achievements.

For all I (or you) know, Bob may also have asked the (not-so) numerous artists he had on his books to create a comic strip at the same time as he asked me. (Someone who can draw AND letter, not just the latter, as you seek to suggest.) The fact is, Bob appreciated my talents and did his best to generate work for me. 'Twas he who got me the gig resizing pages for the Buster and Whizzer & Chips comic libraries because he recognized that I could draw. He responded to my enthusiasm for comics and perhaps wanted to give me the chance of drawing a regular strip. That wasn't how I regarded the opportunity 'though. I came up with Kevin & his Talking Socks merely because I was flattered to be invited to contribute.

And hell, there's even a slim possibility he may have asked me just because I was in the building at the time.

Glad to read your closing remark. I think it's well past time you got back to 'bothering' yourself.

Anonymous said...

I've joined this string pretty late but the fact is people didn't take to the style of the Dandy.

DC Thompson made a mistake with Xtreme, they also made a mistake with the relaunch in 2010.

I followed Lew Stringers advice to support the Dandy as it was 'good' but you know what...? I had an Emperor's New Clothes moment and realised it wasn't good at all. As Kid has said (and I agree with him), Jamie Smart is a good illustrator just not for the Dandy.

I'm also fed up of people saying it's not for adults it's for children. Whatever age you are, you can appreciate good artwork and kids didn't like the style or the typography as it goes, make it readable for everyone (it would be interesting to find out if dyslexic kids found the comic difficult to read).

The logo was terrible and cheapened the brand, inside the artwork was too similar, the strips merged into one and as I have experience in magazine design, I know the importance of pacing in any publication.

Drastically changing characters like Desperate Dan and Korky the cat was suicide. You would never see Disney or Warner Bros change their characters to that extent.

So whether or not Kid is bitter, we can't deny the fact that there are a few artists out there who got a lucky break but were wrong for the Dandy.

I stumbled across an excellent book 'The Complete Artist's Cartoon Course'. It's a great guide to drawing cartoons and I’m sure it has been imitated by another publishing house. I'm not plugging it but you have to know the rules before you break them.

It's sad to see the Dandy disappear from the newsagents but there are a few people at DC Thompson who are in denial saying how hard they worked to produce a great comic.

They tried their best, but ultimately, it wasn't good enough.

Jones Johnson

Mr Straightman said...

Have you actually seen any of those YouTube videos?
I think a small part of me just died.

Kid said...

Sounds like a good book, Jones Johnson - I'll keep an eye out for it. (Not that I think I need it of course.)


Mr Straightman, one glance and I didn't bother playing them. Someone should do an alternative - How NOT to draw The Dandy Way.

Anonymous said...

I got it wrong, the book I mentioned is titled 'The Famous Artist's cartoon course'.

Here's a blog I found with images:

It's out of print, about 40-50 years old but it's could be described as the ultimate Bible for Artists and illustrators. It covers everything from Lettering to movement, even composition.

This is one book that should be in every illustrators library.

Jones Johnson

Kid said...

Once I've had a coffee, I'll take a look at that site. Thanks Jones.

Kid said...

Right, I've had a look - great stuff. I'll be visiting that site again. Thanks Jonesy.

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