Thursday, July 12, 2007
Dandy Summer Special published
Despite fan rumour that there wouldn't be a Dandy Summer Special this year, the 2007 edition has just been published and is in the shops now.
This once-a-year treat has been published regularly since 1964, although it's changed considerably since the early years. Back in the sixties, the Dandy Summer Special (and its Beano equivalent) were 32 page tabloid-sized comics, truly distinct from their 16 page newsprint weekly versions. Over the years the weeklies have evolved into summer special style comics themselves (32 pages, glossy, full colour throughout) so the actual Summer Specials have to try harder to be... special.
The solution is that the Dandy Summer Special now comes bagged with a free toy. (In this year's case, a "Triple-Loading Disc-Launcher". Yes, free gift guns are back in fashion.) It also has more pages than Specials of yesteryear; 44 pages instead of 32, and is full colour. (The old Specials had some pages in black and white.)
I was pleased to see there's a suitable holiday theme to most of the strips, as some Specials of recent years didn't follow that tradition. However, the images of deckchairs, Blackpool Tower, and Brighton Pier of the sixties comics have been replaced by beach mats and generic beaches, reflecting changes in society's holiday habits.
There's a good mixture of fun features, games and puzzles breaking up the strips too, adding to the "special" feel to the comic, so I'm sure today's kids will be just as pleased with this publication as we were with our Summer Specials of years ago. Artists in the 2007 Special include Ken Harrison (who provides an excellent cover), Wayne Thomson, Jamie Smart, Nigel Parkinson, Steve Bright, Nick Brennan and Karl Dixon.
Recent news reports claim that we face a summer of rampaging kids embarking on crime because they're bored in the summer holidays. Pathetic! Strewth kids, just read comics or play with your toys like we did, ya spoilt brats, and stop moaning. ;-) Start with this publication, which should keep you happy for half an hour at least.
Dandy Summer Special 2007 D.C. Thomson, £2.99 (Interestingly, the cover price is also accompanied by an equally prominent "Spain 5.20 €" suggesting that plenty of copies of this will be available at Spanish holiday resorts.)