|Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd|
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
THE DANDY - END OF AN ERA...
Well, here it is at last - the final print edition of the 75 year old DANDY. I was first in the queue (of two people) at the door of my local WH Smith's this morning, waiting for it to open. Those who mail-ordered their copy direct from D.C. Thomson enjoyed the luxury of having it delivered to their homes a few days ago, but I didn't pursue that option as there was no guarantee of the condition in which it would arrive.
So, tired, weary and sleep-deprived, I made the trek in icy conditions to collect copies for myself. Truth to tell, I felt like a little boy again, as the last comic I remember not being able to wait 'til morning for was either the first issue of WHIZZER & CHIPS or THUNDER, or perhaps an early ish of The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL. I was advised in stentorious tones that I couldn't buy multiple copies (not that I tried to) as it wouldn't be fair on those who'd 'phoned to ask that a copy be put aside for them. I only wanted the two I had taken to the till (which I got), but had I wanted more, I would've insisted on them, on the grounds that all those lazy b*ggers should've done what I did and got out of their beds to buy a copy.
So how does the last issue measure up? At £3.99, it's well-worth it, but I couldn't help but be disappointed by a lack of consistency in the choice of strips presented. For example, WINKER WATSON is the original version by ERIC ROBERTS, and CORPORAL CLOTT looks like the style of DAVID LAW, but disappointingly, The SMASHER and KORKY The CAT are the newer incarnations. Competently enough drawn, but not the characters I remember. That sentiment is even captured in one of the strips inside.
At the risk of being accused of 'pursuing a vendetta', the pages of some current artists are revealed as feeble forgeries when compared against those of the 'Masters' they appear with. When you measure the likes of MY DAD'S A DOOFUS against BING BANG BENNY, by KEN REID, then the modern im-postors are revealed in all their impotence. At least the 'real' DESPERATE DAN returns for the last issue. (The KEN H. HARRISON drawing on the back should've been on the front, but 'classic' Dan has been added to the cover to reassure us.)
This edition also carries a pull-out facsimile of the first issue of The Dandy, but, like the one featured in the 75th Anniversary Special, it contains only 24 pages of the original 28. Being incomplete, we could be forgiven for wondering whether it actually meets the description, but it's still nice to have all the same.
And so the curtain comes down on a chapter of history. I won't be following the comic's digital incarnation, as it's now morphed into something else entirely, something in which I have no interest at all. For me, the thrill of holding an 'actual' comic in one's hands is an experience that can't be matched, never mind beaten, so nothing remains but for me to slip quietly away from the party and leave the 'youngsters' to it.
Something that annoys me about the facsimile Dandy #1 is that the lettering on the masthead has had an outline added to make it more discernible. Here, from an earlier presentation, is the cover before it was tampered with.
Posted by Kid at Tuesday, December 04, 2012