|Cover illustration by Ken H. Harrison|
Although it's published to commemorate The Dandy's 75th anniversary the contents mainly focus on the early decades of the comic with nothing beyond 1980. Personally I'm fine with this, as the choices are from the golden years of the comic and as it's a nostalgia collection it makes sense to focus on the past. (Besides, the 75th anniversary hardback, also out now, is a more comprehensive overview of 75 years so there's no point in mirroring that book.)
|Art by Allan Moreley|
All of the material in this bookazine is of the highest quality and the strips are superb choices. There's a good selection of Allan Morley strips and some early Desperate Dan pages by Dudley Watkins.
|Art by Davy Law.|
From the 1960s there are a bunch of great strips by Davy Law (Corporal Clott), Eric Roberts (Winker Watson), Ken Reid (Big Head and Thick Head) and others. Adventure strips are also represented, including chapters of Blitz Boy, The Crimson Ball and The Umbrella Men.
|Art by Charlie Grigg.|
This publication would be ideal both for young fans wanting to know more about Dandy strips of the past and for older readers wishing to remind themselves of their happy childhoods. The reproduction of the strips is excellent. It looks as though they've been scanned from the actual comics but they've been cleaned up to a high standard that still retains the fine linework and original dot-screen colouring of the originals.
|Art by Ken Reid.|
The last 24 pages of the bookazine are printed on a rougher, pulpier, paper stock and reprint the first issue of The Dandy. For some reason four pages have been omitted (it originally had 28 pages) which seems to defeat the object somewhat.
|Art by Dudley Watkins from The Dandy No.1|
As I said at the top of this item, this Special Collectors Edition is only on sale at WH Smith due to an exclusive deal with that chain of stores. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be in every branch, and some (such as my local one) had it tucked well behind this week's Dandy, on the top shelf. If I hadn't spotted the 'D' of the classic logo I wouldn't have noticed it. I would have thought an exclusive deal would mean that Smiths should have them displayed more prominently than that, so happy hunting!