Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Five year Flashback: The new-look Dandy

Cover by Nigel Parkinson.
Five years ago today, on October 27th 2010, comic readers had their first view of the new look Dandy as it went on sale in newsagents across the UK. A complete revamp that jettisoned the Dandy Xtreme magazine/comic hybrid version to return to the traditional all-comics format. It was a bold move but the reaction from many was positive, welcoming the changes and enjoying the comic for what it was; 32 pages of all-new, all-daft fun for kids of all ages. 

Sadly the revamp probably came too late to halt the decline in sales that had begun years before. After the expected rise in circulation due to speculators, collectors, and curious types, the sales dipped again (not helped by shops cutting back their orders after the initial push) and The Dandy closed for good in 2012 on its 75th anniversary. But we went out on a high with a bumper issue and it was a comic we were all proud to contribute to. Typically, those speculators, collectors, and curious types came back for the last issue and it had to be reprinted to satisfy demand! That's the comics biz! 

You can read the post I did five years ago about the revamp here:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/dandy-xtreme-is-dead-here-comes-new.html

Thankfully The Dandy Annual survives, and the 2016 dated edition is out now. We're also currently hard at work drawing pages for the 2017 edition, out next July.  

10 comments:

James Spiring said...

I've always said Xtreme did the damage - comics fans turned away because they didn't want a Toxic clone, and people who wanted a Toxic style mag... were buying Toxic. If the 2010 version of the Dandy had launched in 2007, I wonder if it might have survived? We'll never know. In hindsight, 2010 was too little too late. It's good that the annuals survived and the bookazine format summer specials started up though.

Phil Boyce said...

Critically I think it was a great success, if not in sales. James is right, the Xtreme title may have done the irreversible damage, but the new comic definitely ended on a high and was a superb publication from the relaunch through to the final issue on its 75th anniversary. I'd read that as it didn't come bagged with a gift every week supplies were cut back more and more by shops and supermarkets, which definitely didn't help. But everyone involved should feel extremely proud of giving the title a big send off with those final years!

Lew Stringer said...

Agreed. I think those last two years will be remembered fondly by the kids who read it, just as you and others now remember Oink! I have a theory that if creatives enjoy what they're doing, that transfers over to the readers. It's a pity it didn't continue but everyone gave it their best shot, and in a market that's often indifferent to traditional comics it did well to last two years.

Simon Bromley said...

My Five Years Ago thingummyjig over on Facebook quotes me as saying that I could forgive the radical new looks of Dan, Korky and Bananaman because they were I'm keeping 18th the new look. As I said yesterday, the Dandy revamp got me back into comics after a good few years. I've grabbed about 600 or so comics and annuals since (80s mainly, with a few years either side), including about two thirds of Oink!s run. I've also made some good friends through social media as a result of the revamp. I even made an unexpected cameo in a strip as a result of one of these friendships! So yes, the Dandy revamp, while ultimately short-lived, was a great thing, and I just wish it was still around.

Lew Stringer said...

That's great to hear, Simon. Judging by the reactions online, it appealed to a lot of people. The saddest thing was that towards the end of the comic, some picked it up too late and realised what they'd missed. If all of those had bought it from the first revamp issue it'd have stood a better chance.

benpeter johnson said...

I would LOVE to produce a Desperate Dan reboot. Whoever out there owns the rights, this is my declaration. I would LOVE to do Dan! Hire me!

Lew Stringer said...

D.C. Thomson own the rights.

David said...

My bought the Dandy from this relaunch until its final issue for my youngest son. (Five at the time of relaunch). He loved the Dandy and still misses it and recently read through his entire Dandy Collection. I bought him the Dandy Annual yesterday (which is hidden away until Christmas) and it was good to see one of the newer strips in the annual (George and the Dragon). A great strip and one of his favourites.







Lew Stringer said...

I always have mixed feelings when I hear a story like that. I'm pleased that your son enjoyed The Dandy so much but saddened that it's no longer around for him and thousands of others.

James Spiring said...

Even the digital Dandy is gone now - the website redirects to the DCT Shop. Updates stopped two years ago so it was going to happen sooner or later.

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