By Steve Morris
Just like every delicious Cow Pie you’ve ever had the pleasure to eat, The Dandy is now reaching an end. One of Britain’s longest-running publications, the comic was released regularly for the past 75 years, coming out almost every week during that time. For context, only two other comics pre-date it, one of them being Detective Comics. That’s quite the run. Even during the War, it continued on proudly - paper may have been rationed, but the public needed their constant fix of prank falls and good fun.
Although the series will now be going digital, this does see an end to one of our proudest British childhood traditions: going down the shops every week to see if there’s a better toy attached to the Beano or the Dandy. This would then dictate whether you spent the next day talking about Roger The Dodger or Beryl The Peril (who, sidenote, were TOTALLY into each other).
I used to get The Dandy when t’were but a boy, after watching the incredible TV series Bananaman on CBBC. In fact, I think Bananaman may have been my introduction into superhero comics as a whole – ever since a child I’ve been valiantly searching for a new superhero who could ever match his grace and poise. A boy called Eric Wimp, who turns into a superhero every time he eats a Banana? AMAZING. Wolverine can go suck it, Bananaman is where it’s at.
Founded in 1937 by Scottish company D.C. Thompson & Co., The Dandy managed to maintain a traditional sense of humour and fun which has been all-but wiped out everywhere else you look. While Marvel and DC continue to pitch murderous ‘all-ages’ books at children (go find a single Batman story in the New 52 I can show a five-year old), The Dandy valiantly continued to bring silliness for kids every week, without fail. Custard pies and puns were the order of the day here, rather than constant reminders of death and miserable superheroes.
It was a comic my grandpa read, my dad read (although he also liked Topper, to his eternal shame), and I read. Although it remained defiantly in the 60s for the whole of its run, the timelessness of the style spoke to generation after generation. And one of the most interesting aspects of the comic was that it shared a Universe with all the other children’s comics released around the same time – The Beano, of course, but also Beezer, Topper, Nutty and Hoot.
Every so often, an anthology comic or annual would be released which had all the popular characters appear together, and interact. These were AMAZINGLY good fun, and surely formed part of the blueprint for how Marvel, DC and especially Valiant started to structure their own comics. When the various other weekly comics started to go out of print in the UK, The Dandy would adopt them. There was no sense of rivalry between the difDisplay Comments Add a Comment