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's 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 my 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
issue 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 ever 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 a strip by
DAVEY 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 impostors are revealed in all their impotence. At
least the 'real' DESPERATE DAN makes a return for the final issue. (The
KEN H. HARRISON illustration on the back would've been better 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. As it's incomplete, we could be
forgiven for wondering as to 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 in its 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 just 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.
 

48 comments:

moonmando said...

Was`nt much of a party at the end up.All the real talent had gone home early to bed,leaving behind the self congratulory toadies and sycophants to oversee the baby slipping down the drain with the bathwater.
Leave the yougsters to enjoy their,"virtual fun",Kid.Like yourself i`ll settle down with my memories of better days,spent in the real world.

Kid said...

Good lad.

Mr Straightman said...

Disappointing to say the least. Why were the people largely responsible for its demise even invited to the party? Sounds like watching someone drive a business to bankruptcy and promoting them as a reward. But what do I know? I'm just a wretched, scabby vulture.

Kid said...

At least they were outnumbered by genuine talents - that's some consolation. I checked my local Smith's again just after 4pm - they were completely sold out, and probably had been for some while. (Unless, of course, they've got more in the back of the shop, which they'll put out when they can be bothered.)

Anonymous said...

The online Dandy don't work. What a disaster. They should have thrown in the towel 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

And the shops are out of stock. What a disaster as I said.

Kid said...

Online comics don't 'work' for me anyway. I prefer the real deal!

And DCT printed 50,000 copies, which, when you think about it, was a bit of a risk as the weekly only sold around 7,000. If they've sold out, that's a success (sort of) - shame that those who bought them couldn't have supported the weekly before it was cancelled.

Anonymous said...

The last issue has had good press coverage on TV and Radio in Scotland (and probably to a lesser degree in the rest of the UK) Was a bit telling when UK BBC news showed it to kids in Stevenage one said he had never heard of it another said the strips were "cheesey" still about a dozen old gits in Dundee and Glasgow (and I man old from 40 - 70_ all thought it was good (but preferred the old stuff as you would expect) I don't bother buying it (it was sold out in 3 WH Smiths I pottered into and another large newsagent that sells it here) but will ty look out a copy as wasn't aware of any Ken Reid work - I had a look at the web version (weel the free issue "0" wasnt impressed at allI assume the "real" rhing is better???) - so was it a good or just an ok issue? Sad day for all assocated with the comic = McScotty

TwoHeadedBoy said...

I knew I wouldn't be able to get one in the shops, so ordered it online. Guess what?

Still haven't got it! Maybe tomorrow's post will bring some happiness...

Kid said...

I think that, overall, it's quite good and is well-worth having. I still think it would've been better with less of the newer strips 'though. Some of them don't bear up well in comparison to the classic pages from the '60s & '70s.

******

THB, I'm sure you'll think it was worth waiting for (in the main). It wouldn't surprise me if DCT reprinted it to meet demand.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Kid to be fair not many strips would bear up against artists like Ken Reid etc I would assume that the comparisons between the two styles would show up instantly? McScotty

Kid said...

McScotty, in my humble opinion (for which I'm justly famous), it's like night and day in some cases.

Ribbit said...

Self-congratulatory toadies? Sounds more like the posters on Kid's blog who agree with his wild claims, not the humble artists on Dandy.

Kid said...

Heaven forfend that anyone should ever agree with me - that would never do. Humble artists? There's no such thing, o deluded one.

Isn't it time for your medicine?

ace said...

Kid, would you have really made a scene in Smith's and insisted on your right to buy more copies if you had wanted them?

The comments section around here is going to be a lot more dull, now that there will be no more internecine warfare with your old victims, your perceived incompetent cartoonists who brought down the Dandy. Let's take a moment to wish them well and hope that they continue to improve and build strong careers for themselves. They must be more disappointed than anybody.

Kid said...

You know, it really is possible to insist on something without making a scene. However, I can guarantee that I'd have got more copies if I'd wanted them.

Interesting use of words - 'internecine', 'warfare', 'victims' - methinks, perhaps, that you may have an overdeveloped sense of drama and a tendency to overstate the case. I regard the events to which you refer as no more than a storm in a teacup.

Somewhere, on a previous post, you'll find a comment from me (in response to being told that Mr Smart would no longer be drawing Desperate Dan) along the lines of: "Let's hope he finds something else to replace the lost income."

That's what people don't seem to get. I don't have a problem with certain artists getting work - just so long as it's something more suited to their talents. The Dandy wasn't it.

However, I have to be honest: whether they get work or not has never really been something I've concerned myself with. (As I'm sure is the case with them when it comes to me.)

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity you didn't "insist" on having more copies. It would have made another one of your unitentionally funny anecdotes as you tried to convince the newsagent that copies reserved for other people should rightfully be yours.

As for tearing down the work of artists, sneering at their abilities, then wishing them well on other projects, that sounds like some kind of passive aggressive behaviour to me. At least with Dandy gone you'll be moving on to new targets now.

Kid said...

Ah, I see you've had your daily cup of 'spite'. Firstly, you're overlooking the fact that I didn't actually want further copies. Secondly, the copies out on sale on the shelves WEREN'T reserved for other people - they were there for whoever wanted to buy them.

(So well done for getting your facts wrong and using something I didn't do and had no intention of doing as an excuse to vent your bile against me.)

Thirdly, describing an honest and accurate critique as 'tearing down' and 'sneering at' sounds like you can't distinguish between your own nasty, small-minded 'ejaculations' and reality.

Fourthly, maybe you should consider getting treatment for being a pillock?

Anonymous said...

Make your mind up. You said you were told you could only have two copies because it wouldn't be fair on those who had phoned in to reserve theirs, now you say those copies wren't reserved for others. If they were there for "whover wanted to buy them" then it's nonsense about you saying you'd have "insisted" on buying more if you wanted them? Sounds like the scenario only happened in your head. No change there then.

Kid said...

Nope - again you're wrong. I wasn't TOLD I could only have two copies (nor did I say I was) - that's you reading your own thing into what I wrote. (A case of the scenario only happening in your head, you might say.)

I picked up two copies - which was all I wanted and all I had money on me for - and took them to the till. The assistant, for whatever reason, took it upon herself to volunteer the news in a pompous, officious way, that lots of people had 'phoned the shop to ask for a copy to be put aside, so she wouldn't be allowing people to buy three or four copies. (However, me buying only two was as a result of MY predetermined choice - not any arbitrary restrictions imposed by her.)

That being the case, I'd sensibly assume that 'reserved' copies had already been taken from the shelf (if they'd even been put out to begin with - reserved copies aren't usually kept out in the front shop) and therefore the copies on sale were for whoever wanted to buy them - just like everything else in the shop, in fact.

Therefore, in the hypothetical situation of me wanting to buy three or four copies, I would have been perfectly entitled to - and would, in fact, have insisted on it had I been told otherwise under these circumstances.

See? The application of thought before shooting your mouth off goes a long way. (As does reading what was actually written instead of what you THINK was written.) Try it sometime.

Anon3 said...

The stock belongs to the shop until a transaction is made. If they didn't want customers to buy three or four copies each they're entitled to impose those restrictions, unfair though they may seem. You'd have no rights there.

Kid said...

Strictly speaking, yes - but by the same token they're just as entitled to refuse to sell someone even ONE copy if they don't want to (and with no reason given). (In law, just because they're offering something for sale, doesn't mean they're obligated to accept someone's offer to buy.)

However, when I said I would be 'perfectly entitled', I didn't mean by law, but, rather, the 'normal' conditions under which they usually conduct their business. For the purpose of good public relations, it would be seen as unreasonable of them to impose such a restriction. After all, a comic isn't a 'necessity' in the same way that food is.

Also, I think the assistant was applying her own arbritary concept of 'fairness' in this case - I don't think it was the shop's 'official' policy. (It was 8.30am - it's unlikely it even had one in regard to The Dandy.) And it shouldn't really fall within their province to decide the quantity of what can be bought (in the case of non-essentials); they're in business to sell, not make judgements.

Can you imagine someone walking into a clothes shop and wanting to buy every suit of their size in the place being knocked back on the grounds that it wouldn't be 'fair' to anyone else who might want to buy one? The staff's reply would be "Certainly, sir."

Anonymous said...

I wonder if your viewpoint would be different if you were one of the people who couldn't get a copy because others had bought 2 or 3?

Kid said...

If I were one of the people who couldn't get a copy because others had bought 2 or 3, I'd have thought to myself: "I should've got down to the newsagents earlier!" - not blamed others for being quicker off the mark. When you're doing your weekly or monthly shopping in Tesco's and there are only two tins of beans left (or loaves, or whatever), do you leave one for someone else? Doubt it!

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone buys an extra tin of beans they don't intend to eat. (Or sell on Ebay at inflated prices as some have been doing with Dandy.)

Kid said...

No-one buys 'extra' of anything edible that they don't intend to eat - what a redundant statement. However, if you're doing a weekly shopping (for example), you buy things to last you through the week. Two tins of beans might not be enough in some instances.

Someone buying a copy of The Dandy for themselves might have been asked to get some extra ones for a neighbour's kids, or nieces or nephews, or to send to relatives abroad. Not everyone buying more than one copy was necessarily purchasing them for 'mercenary' reasons.

Shops (or self-righteous, over-zealous members of staff), being ignorant of the circumstances, therefore shouldn't presume to limit the numbers of copies each customer can buy. Unless, perhaps, there's a long, restless, desperate queue outside, all wanting a copy. That was hardly the case in this instance.

Now, I think I've been extremely patient with your increasingly banal remarks - don't you have some homework to do?

Anonymous said...

Being called a "toady for voicing an opinion that doesn't agree with certain others on here may well be preferable to what I would actually be by agreeing to some (not all) of the folk on here with opposing viewpoints going by their emails - right that's my panties unbunched :o) - McS

Anonymous said...

I meant to add re the "tin of beans" comment you obviously don't know my mum she has enough tins of beans (ie she buys more than she eats??) in her cupboard to see her through the zombie Armageddon - I think I even saw 2 tins of Creamola foam in there (probably means nothing outside the West of Scotland)!!! McS

Kid said...

I remember Creamola Foam. Can't remember the last time I had some 'though.

A.NONNY NO said...

May I ask moonmando what any of the Dandy artists and writers have done to him to warrant being dismissed as not "real talent" and "self congratulory toadies and sycophants"?

Kid said...

I'm sure he'll answer for himself, but, at a guess - irked him by not being 'real talent' and by being 'self congratulatory toadies and sycophants' perhaps? Although I suspect that last part is not confined to (and perhaps not even directed at) certain artists. I'm sure he'll elucidate in due course. (If he feels like it.)

ace said...

Dear Kid

Bang to rights on the "overdeveloped sense of drama," spotter's badge for that. Bit like the guy Samuel Johnson was talking about when he said, "...no sooner does he take a pen in his hand than it becomes a torpedo to him, and benumbs all his faculties." And apologies for starting that rather foolish thread about your consumer rights. I've not been sleeping well. Just look at the time for fucksake.

Just want to make it clear that there was no knock on you intended. There were some interesting views exchanged around here, and some lively discussion with the Dandy artists who, very commendably, showed sufficient gumption to engage you in debate on your home turf. I was in no way attempting to take you to task for any harsh opinions you may have expressed. You all generally kept the debate quite civilised, notwithstanding your strong and opposing opinions, and if anything I just wanted to emphasise that there seemed to be no personal acrimony involved and that I'm sure you would wish all the Dandy's erstwhile cartoonists the best of luck in their future careers - no matter how much you detest their work. (There's that torpedo again.)

Kid said...

"Language, Timothy."

Had the artists concerned been employed by DCT on a new comic which their styles were more suited to and was aimed at a different audience, I wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. (I wouldn't have opened my wallet to buy it either, mind you.)

However, The Dandy has a history, and a style, and certain things are expected of it. What we were left with after the 2010 relaunch wasn't the comic that most people knew and loved, and that's what turned readers off to it. It just wasn't The Dandy anymore.

Had DCT issued a new comic called 'Kersplatt!' (for example) and used the more 'controversial' artists, it might have had a better chance of success, as no one would have had any specific expectations of what it should be.

I see the medication's kicked in. (There's your torpedo back.)

moonmando said...

My reference to the toadies and sycophants was a direct analogy to the politicians whom, of all parties who shake hands with themselves in self congratulatory conceit when their policies are evidently do not work and fail consistently.
This was after i heard the Dandy editorial spokesperson on radio2 laud their bold new move into cyberspace with no mention of the sad demise of the comic itself,or indeed why that decline came about.
Why the declining sales is indeed a matter of speculation.Perhaps a change in the demographics of those purchasing,said comic,coupled with what i believe,like the Kid,were/are just plain substandard comicbook artwork.I am no expert unlike the Kid who is,and i am not toadying up to him as i do know that he really does know what he`s talking about!..Rather,i am a mere reader and appreciater of this art medium and am, like many others sad to see it go.
I do realise that i am of an older generation and possibly out of touch with many of the trends associated with the Yoof of today,but i do through my own experience, believe there is a dearth of flair,creativity and innovation in the arts in general and this can only be substantiated by the willing acceptance by said culture of the banal and uninteresting material presented/force-fed to them in all areas of the arts.
As for the said Dandy artists,perhaps they are only catering to the generation i`ve just mentioned and are indeed dumbing down their style to suit that demographic.I would love, therefore to see their whole portfolio of work and thus prove themselves to be the fine crafstmen that i`m sure they are.

Kid said...

And I would add that I'm not so sure about that 'fine craftsmen' bit, for two reasons: firstly, if they COULD draw properly, they WOULD, and secondly, if they COULD and they HAVEN'T, well - shame on them.

A.NONNY NO said...

Thanks to moonmando for taking time to reply. moonmando, if you Google artists like Jamie Smart you'll see other material they're drawn. Some of it is very intricate. Kid is no expert. He's just a comic fan with an opinion, like the rest of us.

Ah, Kid, I think I see now where the big obstacle for you is in appreciating the Dandy, you don't see their styles as 'drawing properly'.

There is no 'proper' way to draw cartoons. Millions of strips, millions of styles. No one is expected to like everything, but to say a comic isn't drawn 'properly' because it's not a style that YOU like is quite arrogant don't you think?

Kid said...

What I think is that it's arrogant of you to say that there's no proper way to draw cartoons. One might just as say that there's no proper way of doing anything. And you've got it backwards - I don't say it isn't drawn properly because I don't like it. I don't like it because it isn't drawn properly.

And it's also pretty arrogant to say that I'm no expert. You're no expert on the subject of me so you can hardly know what you're talking about, now can you? 50 years of buying comics and 15 years of working in the medium certainly qualifies me as an expert if anyone is.

And why don't you have the b*lls to put your real name to your comment? Something to hide, perhaps?

A.NONNY NO said...

If a cartoon strip makes people laugh then it's done properly. The two artists you singled out have made readers laugh so their work is done properly. Can't say fairer than that?

Anonymous said...

psssst. Kid! Calling yourself an expert isn't the best way to disprove you're not arrogant. It makes a good Friday smile for us though.

Kid said...

A badly prepared, under-cooked meal can fill a belly just as well as a nicely prepared, properly cooked meal can. Still doesn't mean that the former is as good as the latter. Same applies to cartoon strips. Just because some people may enjoy a badly-drawn one doesn't mean it isn't badly-drawn. I thought we were well-past having established the principle that people liking or disliking something is no measure of whether it's good or bad. Other criteria must be brought to bear, so I'm afraid you're just going 'round in circles. Saying something over and over again doesn't make it right, as you seem to think.

And you'll note that I said I'm as much an expert as anyone is. As you (and some others - although it's difficult to tell with all these anonymous comments just how many people I'm dealing with) seem to think that everyone's opinion is of equal merit, then that either rules out there being such a thing as an expert (in your view), or it means that everbody is one. You seem to want things both ways. I'd also point out that you saying I wasn't an expert to begin with is no way to disprove that you're not equally as arrogant as you claim I am.

Also, your side's whole 'argument' seems to be that people liking something means it must be good, so for you to criticize your misconception of what you think my viewpoint is, is to do the exact same thing you accuse me of.

Is it too much to expect a little consistency? But, by all means, continue to prove how illogical, irrational and ridiculous your argument is, fuelled by your arrogance in thinking that because I don't see things YOUR way, then it must be because I'm arrogant. That strikes me as being more than a tad insecure, otherwise you wouldn't bother trying to convince me that I'm wrong.

But thanks for the great Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday laugh you've provided at your own expense.

Anonymous said...

I've got to hand it to you Kid. You're brilliant at tying them up in knots.

Kid said...

Actually, they tie themselves in knots, because they start with a tangled premise from the outset.

Anonymous said...

I think you tie yoursef in knots to be honest or you wouldnt keep getting into these debates with people all over the place.

Kid said...

Ah, but you're not being honest, are you, Mr 'Anonymous'. You're one of those people 'all over the place' who come to MY blog to engage in 'debate' with me. Trouble is, you're not up to the job. And you (and they) KNOW it, otherwise you'd all put your name to your comments. I can see just why you don't 'though. That way, nobody knows exactly who it was who received a good drubbing.

"NEXT!"

Anonymous said...

That's REALLY how you see it? wow. Just... wow. Have a good weekend Kid, assuming it is the weekend where you're at.

Kid said...

Nice try, but feigning astonishment doesn't alter reality. A reality which your cowering behind anonymity clearly demonstrates.

And don't worry - I'll have a great weekend.

("Wow. Just...wow!")

Anonymous said...

I meant do you really see your responses as giving people a good drubbing? Because they come across as you trying to wriggle out of a hole whilst sinking deeper into it.

Re: anominity, are you implying you've never posted anonymous comments or used a pseudonym anywhere? lol.

Kid said...

Then you're clearly incapable of recognising logical and reasoned argument. Either that or you're reading someone else's comments section. No one who thinks their point of view is a sound one hides behind anonymity - like you do, even though you can't even spell the word.

Must be a b*gger not being allowed to leave the house. Does your electronic tag itch much?

Used various pseudonyms on lettering jobs years ago, because some companies prefer not to have the same names appearing throughout their comics. Anonymous comments? Why would I hide my light under a bushel?

Now, I'm clearly extending you too much courtesy by according your impotent barbs the dignity of a response, so don't bother with any more. I'm not wasting my time playing games with an obvious pillock who's only trying to amuse himself 'cos he's got too much time on his hands. You'll just have to repair that puncture on your inflatable boyfriend.