Saturday, 17 December 2011

THE CHRISTMAS DANDY - A REVIEW...


Copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

The DANDY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL comes in at a whopping £3.99 for 44 pages, at least nine of which are comprised of adverts and/or 'filler' material.  A contents page?  In a comic?  Give me a ruddy break!  The cover - by JAMIE SMART - is surprisingly not too bad, and demonstrates that, at least with large single illustrations, he can turn in an acceptable drawing from time to time.  Unfortunately, however, although his outlines are far more smoothly rendered than the last time I looked, the interior DESPERATE DAN page suffers from the same crammed, confusing, minimalistic storytelling technique which ensures a headache to anyone trying to determine what's happening.  (There is a slight improvement though.  Perhaps if he works at it?)

Unfortunately, Smart doesn't have a monopoly on a lack of coherent and sequential narrative style.  Far too many of the interior strips are comprised of flat, static, repetitive and uninspired drawings, which don't serve to advance the story from one panel to another.  Verbosely lettered word balloons abound, fighting for space with the art, which seems to be trying to force its way into view from the edges of the panel borders.  There are exceptions of course.  LEW STRINGER's POSTMAN PRAT is quite amusing, but even the usually competent (if often uninspired) Stringer seems to be trying to match some of the less well-rendered offerings with a more simplified approach than he normally employs.

NIGEL PARKINSON is the undisputed star artist in The Dandy, though even his wonderfully drawn HARRY HILL strip is a bit 'top-heavy' with dialogue.  Perhaps that's unavoidable with a strip based on a character known for his humorous patter, but at least the lettering is legible and well-rendered.  CUDDLES & DIMPLES is also nicely illustrated - again by Nigel - but in a slightly different style.

The lettering of the word balloons in the issue is better (in the main) than when the comic was relaunched last year, but there are still a few instances where it could be improved.  It's slightly disconcerting having to adjust one's eyes to different styles from one strip to another, and I can't help but feel that the overall reading experience would be improved with a more consistent font throughout the comic.

This issue comes with a load of useless tat that even the most simple and easily-pleased child would be hard-pressed to get excited over, but it's included in an attempt to justify the vastly-inflated price of £3.99, which I'm sure many a parent must balk over.  If you buy The BEANO Christmas number also, both comics will set you back a whopping £7.98.  Yet for one pence more (£7.99), you can currently pick up both The Beano and The Dandy Annual in a 'buy one, get one free' offer at WH SMITH 's.

If you want my advice, buy the Annuals, which are far better value for money.  At least £2 has been added to the cost of each comic by the inclusion of a pile of plastic sh*te which isn't worth 50 pence and will be discarded and forgotten about in minutes.

  Click here for THE CHRISTMAS BEANO REVIEW.    

10 comments:

ChrisB said...

You have hit the nail on the head regarding the art and how can they hope to pick up new readers with prices like that. I can't see a kid spending 4 quid of their pocket money on something they have never read before.

Great blog by the way ;-)

Kid said...

Thanks, Chris. Glad you like it.

Scooter said...

Pocket money?

ChrisB said...

I must be showing my age again Scooter but pocket money was the money our parents gave us every week, in my case to spend on comics.

I know I'm out of touch with todays "yoof" but whats it called nowaday's?

Scooter said...

We always referred to it as our allowance Kid.

Kid said...

Wasn't me who asked - it was Chris.

Anonymous said...

You put into words that which many of us were thinking. x

Mr Straightman said...

DC Thomson seem intent on stumbling from one disaster to the next. Shocking.

Anonymous said...

What a spiteful review.

Kid said...

Spiteful? Not at all. I think 'accurate' is a far more apt description.



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