Monday, November 21, 2011
Sneak peek: The Dandy No.3562
Here's a quick preview of The Dandy that will be on sale from Wednesday. With a festive cover by Nigel Parkinson the issue begins the run up to Christmas with The Dandy Advent Calendar across the centre pages by Nigel Auchterlounie (who also has a brand new series beginning this issue; My Freaky Family.)
And just what is Postman Prat up to?
Be prepared that this week the price has risen to £1.99 (after being the lower price of £1.50 for a year). Unavoidable sign of the times unfortunately, but bear in mind it used to be £2.50 just over a year ago and it cushions the blow a bit. Better still, it's far cheaper if you subscribe at 15 issues for just £15. (Then you'll get your Dandy in advance, like I did.)
Update: It didn't take long for some to start complaining on various forums about the price increase. Dandy-bashing (and Beano-bashing) seems to be a popular sport amongst some comic fans. Well, I say comic fans. I get the impression that Dandy and Beano are the only titles some of them follow, judging by how they seem oblivious to the fact that budget cuts and price increases are affecting many titles.
They also complain about the reduction in originated pages in Dandy and Beano. (Perhaps they haven't noticed that practically every Marvel and DC comic - dozens of titles - have also lost two pages of strip content recently, and that Marvel raised their prices from $2.99 to $3.99.) Folks, look beyond Dandy and Beano. Look beyond comics. There's a recession on and it's not getting easier.
As I've said on various comic forums (and which has pretty much been ignored by the critics) each British comic is allocated its own budget. Sadly, these days, that budget can't always stretch to fill every page with new strips. So editors have to spread it out. Some weeks the comics will feature more new stuff than others. A reduction in new material one week might simply mean more is being allocated for an upcoming issue (eg: the Christmas issue). I think fans should respect the editors for doing a juggling act, not crucifying them for not spending money they don't have. No one likes the situation, but the scrutiny and sneering of some "fans" towards children's comics does no one any good and just creates a growing, unpleasant pessimism on the forums.
And let's not forget that reprints and "filler" (feature) material are not a recent development in British comics. Far from it! For just one example, 40 years ago The Dandy was running three pages of reprint every week, when it just had 20 pages. The IPC comics were often much worse, with reprints being a frequent way to pad out their weeklies. A better awareness of history might calm the outrage of critics somewhat.
Does anyone have a time machine I could borrow? I want to go back to 1890 to moan to Alfred Harmsworth about the number of reprints in Comic Cuts No.1. It'll be the death of the comic industry that one.