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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Always keep a Dandy handy

The artist Jamie Smart's work on childrens comics has come in for some harsh and over-the-top knocks recently from a handful of critics. It even reached the ludicrous extreme of one of them setting up a hate page littered with vile personal abuse. However, perhaps even those critics would find Jamie's cover to this week's Dandy a superb example of great design and funny cartoonery. Shown here for your viewing pleasure is one of the best covers seen on The Dandy since its relaunch, and it's had some stiff competition.

Hats off to the cover designer too. That logo with its blue background should really jump off the shelves, assuming the retail staff don't place it back to front or behind The Beano again.

There are 22 pages of brand new material in this week's issue (not counting the jokes pages and suchlike). Highlights for me were Nigel Parkinson's Harry Hill strip as always, plus Alexander Matthews' Nuke Noodle, and, my particular favourite this week, the hilarious Swamp Bloke, the latest story in Wilbur Dawbarn's Rocky's Horror Show series.

There's also a new Postman Prat, with a script by David Mason and artwork by me.

As they used to say, "Always keep a Dandy handy". A phrase that never quite caught on like "Never Be without a Beano", but the intention was the same. The Dandy No.3555, out now, £1.50. Support Britain's longest-running comic!

And for those of you who prefer vintage Desperate Dan, don't worry. Jamie's equally valid and hilarious version didn't erase the original Dan from history. He's still out there, either in your old comics or popping up in parts of the Internet when you least expect him. For example, check out Nigel Parkinson's blog, where Nigel recently showed a classic early Desperate Dan strip from 1938, when Dudley Watkins was drawing in a more raw but nevertheless excellent style:


Peter Gray said...

A good story Postman Prat a nice surprise ending!

Also liked the monster of the week feature as well...I was expecting Frankiestein again didn't realise it would be different each week..

Also Nigel P and Jamie should always do the Dandy covers..
also liked the singing in the rain one by Nigel...and Jamie's totem pole as a test your strength machine..also whop ate the pies one..

Also for any critics of personal feeling there is room for all types of styles..see his Doctor Who book which very well contracted and fun!!

Tom said...

I think it probably is a large part of the reason for the decline in readership. Many people can't handle change. More's the pity.

Rabsmith said...

An excellent cover I thought, Lew: if Jamie can come out with more of this sort of eye-catching material, I'll keep an open mind on his cartoons.

Peter said...

I agree with Lew I thought it was a strong issue this week and my two favourite strips were also 'swamp bloke' and 'nuke noodle' both very witty and well drawn.

I think Jamie Smart exhibits a brilliant knack for free wheeling mad cap humour,which is very fresh and original, and whilst i'm a convert now that wasn't always the case.When I first saw his work I found it hard to read his lettering and because he doesn't always vary his line depth much I found some of the panels quite 'full' and confusing, but then it just sort of 'clicked' and now I really like it and always look forward to reading anything he's done.I've also thought for a while Jamie should be let loose on the cover, as I'm not too keen on the tabloid style ones.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lew,
I noticed this cover in Tescos on thursday. it is certainly the best cover that i have seen on the 'new-style' Dandy. I admit im no fan of the artist's comic strip art, but I think his heavy black outline graphic style is effective as a full page design.

locusmortiis said...

I think its a pretty awful cover but then it isn't aimed at me or my sensibilities.

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