Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Anniversary year dawns for The Dandy
The New Year editions of The Dandy and The Beano were out earlier in some areas than scheduled. Tomorrow (January 4th) was the planned publication date but I bought copies from my corner shop on New Year's Eve.
This year is an important one for The Dandy, with it reaching its 75th anniversary at the end of 2012. (The Beano will celebrate its own 75th seven months later in 2013.) Both titles are the longest running comics in British comic history. Although a few older collectors may yearn for the comics to return to the style of their childhoods, it's the evolution of the comics that have kept them fresh for new generations to enjoy. Yes, sales have still fallen over the years. They've been falling for the past 60 years at least as they try to compete with the other distractions children have. If some of the more relentless critics really believe a retro-looking comic would appeal to today's children perhaps they could spend their time producing one, getting it on the shelves, outselling current comics, and proving their point constructively.
This week's Dandy and Beano are significant for two reasons. The Dandy No.3566 is the first issue since the revamp without a Harry Hill strip as the series ended in the Christmas edition. Sadly it's lacking any Nigel Parkinson strips whatsoever, but I hope that will be rectified soon as his work is truly one of the comic's strengths.
There's still a lot to enjoy though, including Wayne Thomson's eye-catching Bananaman cover and the return of a classic favourite guest starring in a very funny Mr.Meecher strip.
Over in The Beano, there's a stack of great material including work from Laura Howell, Hunt Emerson, Barrie Appleby, Nigel Parkinson, and a classic Billy Whizz reprint from the 1960s. There's also a special Super School strip that I drew as Bananagirl sets off to herald the arrival (next week) of... Bananaman! What? Will the character now be appearing in both comics? New strips in The Dandy and the classic style in The Beano? Stick with 'em and find out.