Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dandy Xtreme is dead. Here comes the NEW Dandy!


The news is out, and so is the comic, in shops tomorrow (Wedneday October 27th). After all the rumours and speculation the all-new relaunched Dandy is here!

Harry Hill, comedian, writer, and presenter of TV Burp is the new lead strip of the comic, with a regular story inside written by Harry and drawn by Nigel Parkinson. There are many other brand new strips in the comic too; fresh new characters for a new generation of Dandy readers.

Amongst the comics 32 full colour pages are two new strips I'm involved with. First up are the Kid Cops, created by the Dandy editorial but written and drawn by myself. Two kids, Sgt. Nick and officer Bobby, protecting the world from Political Correctness Gone Mad and helping out other kids against oppressive authority figures.

My other new strip is Postman Prat. Again, created in-house by the Dandy staff and drawn by me from scripts supplied by Dandy editor Craig Graham and Ally Bernard. Basically he's a postman who's, er, a bit of a prat. He comes up with harebrained schemes to make delivering the mail easier but it often backfires on him.


On a personal note I'm extremely pleased to be in the comic. The Dandy was the first comic I ever read on a regular basis. In fact it helped teach me to read and put me ahead of the other kids in class when I was four. (What happened since I don't know.) When I was trying to break into comics in the 1980s The Dandy editor of the time politely turned my work down. In retrospect he was right; I wasn't ready for the comic back then. I did some work for Dandy Fun-Size about ten years ago but never the weekly, until now.

Although I'm proud of all the comics I work for, freelancing for The Dandy was one ambition that had eluded me. Now it's a lifetime ambition fulfilled, and to start in the comic in the same week as a major relaunch is even better.

Enough self-indulgence. What else is in the comic? Bananaman and Korky the Cat like you've never seen them before, Desperate Dan by Jamie Smart, and a host of brand new characters and funny features.

It's a whole new beginning for Britain's longest-running comic. A Dandy unlike any other previous incarnation of the title. Some traditionalists may hate it, but in truth The Dandy has always evolved and now this is a Dandy for the kids of 2010. Hopefully everyone who's said "Why can't comics just be comics instead of stuffed with magazine filler" will also enjoy it.

The all-new, no-reprint, all-fun Dandy. This week and Every Wednesday. £1.50
Buy one, or two, or more if you're feeling generous! Wednesday is D-Day!


The Dandy is now on Facebook.

More info will appear on Nigel Parkinson's blog: http://www.nigelparkinsoncartoons.blogspot.com/

Want to know how the new Dandy came about? There's no other person better than Nigel Parkinson to reveal the story...
http://nigelparkinsoncartoons.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-dandy-go-get-it.html

47 comments:

Peter Gray said...

May I be the first to congratulate you..

Also to get two new strips..

Well done Lew;))

Now to just get my copy..tomorrow..

I got the Harry Hill conection and TV comic bit right..well just gethering all the blog titles of Nigel's Blog...so I was first..;)

Lew Stringer said...

Yes you were Peter. Well done! We couldn't confirm it at the time but in all the guesses you threw out on the Comics UK forum, that one hit the nail on the head. :-)

Leeann H said...

There is something so whimsically cute about Korky peeking out from behind the logo. :D

*want him as a plush!*

Simon Williams said...

Postman Prat has just had me laughing out loud!!! What an awesome name for a character... can't wait to see your strips, Lew! And again, congratulations on getting to work for the Dandy :o)

Mike said...

Haha, me and my friend came up with a character called Postman Prat on the school bus back in 1999/2000. Our version was rather more, erm, rude. And violent. I even started to do an online "story book" about him but i can't link to that in polite company. Hope your version is more successful (ie runs for more than half one of one story XD)

Tim Perkins said...

Well, like I just said in my comment on FaceBook, your pic of Postman Prat had me nearly choke on a piece of fruitcake when I opened up the picture to larger format...

Congratulations and Good Luck with it all mate...

Here's to success!!!

It's my reason for going out first thing tomorrow...before starting work on the GN again...
("j)

Tom said...

The whole package looks absolutely brilliant. Never thought I'd say this but I'll be buying the Dandy tomorrow.

Was nice to see you at BICS Lew.

boo909 said...

Really excited about this. Going to grab it as soon as the newsagent is open. My son is a Beano man but I'm hoping the new incarnation will sway him.

Well done for fulfilling a life's ambition Lew, looking forward to the strips.

ickleford stores said...

morning lew, in extra early this morning,3.30AM !. Tote boxes open and 6 copys of the new dandy all crisp and new looking at me ! just had to have a cup of tea and a read ! wow love it ! took me back many many years. I would Almost say it looks a little like the 'krazy Comic' from the late 70's. And even better as far as a shop keeper is concerned is ...... NO FREE GIFTS !!!
i have 5 on sale beside the counter and one on it's way home with me !

Lew Stringer said...

That's excellent! Thanks for writing. It's good to hear from a retailer on the front line like this. I hope The Dandy sells well for you.

It's great how people are saying it reminds them of certain less-conformist comics of their youth. Someone commented on Facebook that it reminded them of 'Oink!' Personally I see a bit of 'Wham!' in it. It must be the sense of enthusiasm that's being conveyed from the creators to the readers. We're all enjoying working on the comic so hopefully the kids will have fun reading it!

James Spiring said...

boo909, why not get your son both comics? Don't buy The Dandy instead of The Beano, buy it as well!

Steve Saul said...

Congratulations.

I am really really impressed with the all new Dandy.
Postman Prat has so much potential.

I was lucky enough to speak to the editor during my show on BBC Radio Manchester today, and that was exciting for me as a Dandy/Beano fan.

I can't imagine how thrilling it must be to actually have your own strips in the comic you used to read as a child.

Hoping for continued future success.

Mike Noon said...

Fantastic. The Beano for one son and The Dandy for the other. Never warmed to the 'extreme' version. And your first Dandy was the one published the week I was born.

boo909 said...

@James, Oh don't you worry about that, he's getting both. Plus Iron Man and Simpsons, he loves his comics (being the little Frenchman that he is it comes naturally, having said that I don't think he'll get a lot of the celeb references in The Dandy, living in France).

I really enjoyed it, there was a certain Oinkyness about it, i agree with that.

Loved the two strips Lew, especially Kid Cops, loads of potential for fun there.

Dave W said...

Congrats to you on producing not one but two great strips in this flawless 'new' comic.

The relaunched Dandy is just what the comics industry has been crying out for and I sincerely hope it is the first step in a revival of kid's comics in this country.

No obstructive bags, no bulky 'free' gifts, inexpensive.. and top quality strips from cover to cover.
I'm actually optimistic that this comic will appeal to a whole new generation of kids who have never even read a comic.

Well done to you, Nigel P and all involved in its creation.

Manic Man said...

It's good but I'm afraid i can't be as over the top with the 'great' comments as everyone else.. True, i haven't picked up an issue in a long time but.. i really didn't take to what has been done over the last few years with Classics like Bananaman, Dan or Korky.. Some of the new strips are good, even though I'm not a fan of Harry Hill, but it does seam very heavy on the media side.. Too much based on current 'flavors' in TV then in more long lasting characters. Personally, i didn't get the Noel Edmond's strips at all and can't see them lasting long. Interesting to read that there seams to have been a bit of lying and confusion and Harry Hill doesn't write his own strip, but adds the odd joke into it.. I did hear something about being able to 'vote' off bad scrips.. a not too bad idea, reminding me of the old STC data Strip where you could suggest ideas for new comics based on your favorite games..

So.. i think a lot of the art is good.. about half of the strips seam good to me.. but I'm not quite sure if carry on the TV side is much good and i can't see it lasting more then a few years.. True, as the Old TV stars go, new ones come in, but in the past, has topical children's TV parody mags done that well? really, my Favorites in the issue are all more timeless, Your Kid Cops and Postman Prat are both something that can run independent of current TV fads, and George vs Dragon has a style that suits it, and seams to be another more timeless strip.

Lew Stringer said...

It took me a little while to get used to the new Bananaman too, but I can understand why he and Dan needed to change. The new Dandy isn't aimed at people who remember the classics. It's targeted at totally new readers; kids who may have never read any comic before, so it needs to have a 21st Century look.

Mr Straightman said...

WHIRRRRR. What's that noise? The sound of Dudley Watkins, Ron Spencer, Charles Griggs, Jimmy Hughes and all the old-school Dandy artists turning in their graves.
Seriously, when did children's comics get so UGLY? Much of the new Dandy looks as if it was drawn by twelve year olds during a boring history lesson. What happened to the craftsmanship, love and attention that went into the meticulously drawn, hugely attractive Dandy strips of old? Do people think kids won't like or relate to artwork that doesn't look 'mod' enough? I dunno...
Sorry to be negative here, but my love of cartooning and comics was sparked by the people who gave us plenty to look at and plenty to read...people like Baxendale, Tom Paterson, J.Edward Oliver, Dave Sutherland, George Martin, Ken Reid, John Geering, Jim Petrie, Gordon Bell, Ken Harrison and so on. Even the much-maligned Jimmy Hughes had an excitement and energy about his artwork. An energy and excitement that seems missing from the new look Dandy.

Lew Stringer said...

I'm sure fans of W.F. Thomas must have said the same about Leo Baxendale. Time moves on.

As long as today's kids like it, that's all that matters. (It's too early to tell yet of course.)

PS: I'm pretty sure Charlie Grigg is still with us!

Anonymous said...

Mr Straightman is 100% correct. Further to that, I would say that the new Dandy is absolute rubbish. Only Nigel Parkinson displays anything resembling a professional drawing ability - the rest is utterly amateurish verging on doggy-poo.

No wonder comics are going down the toilet, given the crap that's printed on them these days.

The new Dandy? Massive failure.

Lew Stringer said...

Funnily enough some adults said exactly the same things about Oink! back in 1986. However these days I meet lots of people who read it as children who absolutely loved it.

I guarantee that in 25 years time 30 somethings will be waxing nostalgic about how great the 2010 Dandy was. As long as contemporary children's comics appeal to contemporary children it doesn't matter what the older generations think. So it goes.

Anonymous said...

My 9 year old son isn't really interested in comics, despite living in a house with a comic obsessed Dad and several thousand 60s, 70s and 80s comic. He enjoys a Beano Annual every year and occasionally Beano or Dandy funsize, not mainly his pocket money goes on Football Magazines.

I gave his a copy of the new Dandy and asked his to read it and tell me what he thought. He disappeared upstairs into his bedroom. I went up fifteen minutes later expecting to find him ignoring the comic and playing with his Football cards... But no! He was sat in his bed with the Dandy open on his knees giggling away to Postman Prat. There he stayed until he'd finished the whole comic - The first time I've ever seen him read a comic cover to cover.

His verdict - "Fantastic" and "Can you buy it next week Dad".

When question "Harry Hill" was his favourite strip (and he's never actually seen Harry on TV - He doesn't like watching TV much apart from sport).

I told him I only had time to read Harry and Five more strips before I went out, so which were the best other five strips to read. He picked out 'The Bogies' 'Pre-Skool Prime Minister, 'Postman Prat', 'George Vs. Dragon' which were 'really funny' and 'Robot on the Run' which was 'really cool'.

So big hit with my 9 year old and the new Dandy will be appearing weekly in my house from now on.
Well done everyone involved.

David

Anonymous said...

"As long as contemporary children's comics appeal to contemporary children it doesn't matter what the older generations think. So it goes."

And here you hit the nail squarely on the head. As a trainee primary school teacher I spend a lot of time inside schools with the new Dandy's target audience. This is exactly the sort of comic that will appear to them.

When allowed to bring in their own choice of reading books, I've seen the likes of Posh Spice's autobiography and other celebrity books (in a year 5 - 9/10 year old - class). They won't be interested in a comic with 'Korky the Cat' on the cover. Harry Hill however will get their attention - as will the likes of Simon Cowell and Eastender's inside. These are the things that appeal to this generation who have grown up much faster than we ever did.

Time and sales will tell, but I'll certainly be taking a few copies into every school I go to in future and throwing them in the wet weather comic box.

David

Lew Stringer said...

It's great to hear that your son enjoyed it David, and I'm also very pleased to hear that the "wet weather comic box" is still part of school life! I actually used to look forward to it raining so I could read comics at school! (I still remember, from 1964, reading a 1963 Dandy from the "Wet Day Comics" and thinking it was ancient because it was a year old.)

Good to read so many opinions on the new Dandy, pro and con. Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

I thought the subject under discussion is whether the new Dandy is actually any good or not, not just whether the kids of today will like it. If the new Dandy is rubbish, that's a step backwards regardless of how well it sells. It's a matter of quality not popularity. The Sunday Sport apparently shifts by the ton, but that doesn't make it a quality newspaper.

Lew Stringer said...

Humour is of course in the eye of the beholder. As The Dandy is mainly aimed at children it's not so likely to exercise the chuckle muscles of adults. It's as futile as complaining that a circus clown doesn't make us laugh anymore.

As for the artwork, the UK humour comics style has been evolving for over 100 years. I'm sure people who grew up on the work of Roy Wilson in the 1930s might have thought that the Sixties work of Leo Baxendale, Graham Allen, and Les Barton was basic in comparison but the truth is they were all good at their craft.

Life isn't static, and neither are comics.

Anonymous said...

It's that kind of reasoning which leads to piles of bricks and unmade beds being offered up as art. Besides, all the artists you mentioned could actually draw, which hardly makes the case. I have nothing against a variety of styles as long as they're of a professional standard. However, going on the evidence of the new Dandy itself, Jamie Smart can't actually draw. I'd suggest that just because the comic is for children doesn't mean it has to look as if it's been drawn by children

Lew Stringer said...

Jamie's work is actually popular with children AND adults. Perhaps you haven't heard of his 'Bear' comic published in the USA by Slave Labor Graphics?

Here's a list of all the rules that humour comics need to follow in order to appeal to readers:

1: Be funny.

That's it.

The feedback to Jamie's work over the last few years has shown he's achieved that for many Dandy readers, which is why he's playing a large part in the relaunch.

Perhaps it's not to your tastes as an adult and that's fair enough, but I guess you're not seeing it through the eyes of a kid.

Lew Stringer said...

Also, as several professional editors have published Jamie's work then it undoubtedly IS "professional standard". How else can we judge the standard of a profession if not by the people within that profession?

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with the strip you mention, and it may be that Jamie Smart is a better artist than his strips in the Dandy suggest. There's also an element of truth in what you're saying about comics changing down through the years, although you're stretching it a bit thin. Tastes do change but not always for the better. Also, if as you say the only rule applying to a humour strip is that it should be funny, then I'm not sure most of the Dandy content qualifies even on that score. And if you're right in your definition of professional standards then Tracey Emin's tent is an artistic masterpiece. I certainly think the new Dandy could be a lot better and that's an goal which readers and contributors alike should always aspire to.

Lew Stringer said...

I'm sure we are all aspiring to do the best job we can. That's certainly always been my aim, and I'm pleased to say that when I now meet adults who grew up reading Oink, Buster, Transformers or Sonic the Comic it seems to have worked for them.

alistairrobb said...

I'm sorry, who is this "Anonymous" who isn't David? I mean if YOU want a comic for YOU then please, be my guest and write and draw one for YOURSELF. If it's pleasing to its target audience, then it's done its job. Go away and read your Eagles (YAWN) and don't bother others again.

Good work Lew. And my best wishes to everyone involved in this endeavor, a serious attempt to get kids back into comics.

ALISTAIR (there, I'm not ashamed to put my name up)

Anonymous said...

I'm only explaining, as have others, why I'm not bowled over by the new Dandy. No need to feel threatened by other people expressing their opinions. John Byrne isn't missing much, is he?

Gareth said...

The person who seems threatened is you Anonymous, hiding your name and saying Jamie Smart can't draw. Perhaps you feel alienated by a new comics culture that has excluded you?Its called getting old.Stick to your John Byrne comics and let the kids enjoy Dandy.

MALCOLM said...

AS SOON AS GROWNUPS START COMPLAINING ABOUT COMICS NOT BEING WHAT THEY USED TO BE WERE IN GRANDDAD TERRITORY I BET ANONYMOUS HATES RAP MUSIC AND SKATEBOARDS TOO HA HA

Mike Collins said...

What a revolutionary idea-- a kids comic, full of comic strips!

You've got to applaud the variety of artstyles in it -from Nigel's DCThomson classic through Lew's (still!) anarchic looking work to the sublime ShaoLin Punks (and I LIKE Jamie's work too, makes me smile) with every strip looking fresh and distinct. If I was 8, this would be the best comic ever. I'm 49 and I'm still impressed!

Cheeky said...

Hi, Lew - Steve Matthews here. ( I used to draw 'The Jailbird' strip for 'Six of One') I remember how you were instrumental in helping me to get a couple of strips accepted in the 'Buster' back in the 90's when Bob Paynter was in charge and have always been grateful. These days I have a weekly strip published in 'The Black Country Bugle' featuring a tramp and his dog and titled 'Oscar & Wild', so if you're ever in that part of the country - check it out! I will send some examples to Craig at the 'Dandy' as I'm toying with an idea entitled 'Green Peter' ( he gets lost on his way to school in the 1st strip cos he's so used to being driven!) an extension on an idea I used in 'Billy's Genie' for the 'Buster'. The new format is certainly interesting and certainly more cynical than the comics I remember! My first memory is 'Cor!' which my older sister read and I just studied the drawings. Favourites were 'Krazy' and 'Monster Fun' with my biggest influence being Robert Nixon whom I can't believe is no longer with us. So sad. Anyway keep up the good work and with a bit - or rather alot of luck - I may be sharing the pages with you soon! All the best - Steve. ( B C N U )

Cheeky said...

As Dave W posted earlier, hopefully the relaunch of the 'Dandy' will pave the way for more children's comics although I remain doubtful. I blame the PC age and increase of juvenile parents for the vertual dead children's comic industry in this country today. I can see where Craig Graham at the Dandy is coming from by homing in on this new Celebrity Worshipping society we seem to have become, although I can't imagine what the likes of Jordan and Shane Richie would do on 'Morecambe & Wise' if they were alive today! I was practically brought up on comics even before I could read and attribute this to being voted 'Young Cartoonist of the Year' by the Daily Star ( I wish I could say it was the Telegraph! ) in 1985. During my childhood, I would'nt have dreamed that the comics would have vertually become a dead industry and I feel an immense ammount of frustration at having been born at a time when I could appreciate the medium during its hey day only to 'miss the boat' when it comes to relying on the industry as a possible career in adulthood later on. It sounds silly but I feel cheated. By the way - if I may be 'cheeky' - if there's anyone out there who's from the Midlands or anywhere in the Black Country, I shall be venting my frustration in an upcoming 'Oscar & Wild' strip in the 'Bugle' in which Oscar the tramp gets a job as a store Santa and suffers a child demanding a 'Wii'. Being a technophobe, Oscar promptly directs him to the toilet until the single parent in the next panel explains the misunderstanding. For an extra gag, Oscar holds the 'little darling' up in the final panel revealing his soaking lap, exclaiming he was "right first time!" Forgive me Lew for shamelessly advertising on your own blog but the strip is only 10 weeks old and I need all the publicity and feedback I can get! Finally, there's one good thing about the demise of IPC...atleast we can be sure the new look Dandy won't be 'cheerfully' announcing ( due to cut backs ) that next issue will be titled 'Buster & Dandy' with 'twice the fun' and featuring 'all' our favourite characters. No wonder I've grown up so cynical! All the best - Steve Matthews...B C N U...( hopefully )

Lew Stringer said...

Do you have a blog Steve? They're free to set up and a good way to showcase your work!

Peter Dunn said...

Greetings Lew - Bought Jack the new Dandy today. He said he liked the Harry Hill the best but he did like Postman Prat - I could see him laughing out loud when reading it.

Peter Dunn

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Peter. That's what I like to hear. I hope he enjoys the rest of the comic too and becomes a regular reader. :)

Cheeky said...

Thanks for the tip, Lew! By the way - came across a 1968 copy of the Wham! annual in a charity shop the other day and was fascinated by ken Reid's original version of Frankie Stein (eventhough it was clearly a 'ghost'artist-pun intended!) Wham! was slightly before my time (I was born in '67) so my first memory of Frankie was in 'Shiver & Shake' then drawn by the brilliant Robert Nixon. However, Ken Reid used to produce the strip for 'Shiver & Shake' annual but they were probably reprints. B C N U...

Jez M said...

The thing to remember about 'Anonymous' and a remarkably similar grouch on other blogs is that they want to be RIGHT. It's all about them. It's easy to tear a comic down. In today's climate the odds are stacked against a comic succeeding so if or when it fails the grouch can have the smug satisfaction that his critiques must have been accurate. Hey they should have listened to me, they'll crow.

Personally I LIKE the artwork in the Dandy and I think children will too. There I've said it. Hey I might be proven wrong but I can live with it, unlike the grouches. Lol.

Lew Stringer said...

Fair points Jez. I think The Dandy's detractors are genuine though. They simply don't like certain art styles and the way that comics have changed.

If they ARE just waiting to be proven right, then it's up to us to prove them wrong! So far the detractors are definitely in the minority, I'm glad to say.

Raindrop2000 said...

http://n-europe.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28789

There's your problem.People are just too old to read the Dandy now.What we need are more adult orientated graphic novels not kiddie fare.

Lew Stringer said...

Erm, the human race IS still breeding you know. ;-)

Cheeky said...

You're right there, Lew! I've never seen so many prams and pushchairs - oh, and teenage parents too! It sounds insane but I won't be at all surprised when the first pregnant baby is born (perhaps it's already happened). Maybe I should extend this idea for 'Viz'! B C N U...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...