Farewell to the Dandy

It was announced this week that Britain’s longest running comic, the Dandy, will cease publication in December with a special 75th anniversary edition. Weekly readership has dropped to less than 8,000, resulting in cancellation of the printed version. (Hopefully the new electronic edition can get more readers.) 

Considering the average life of British comic titles, even in their heyday of the 1970’s, was probably only a few years, people can say that it’s had a good run. But it’s still tremendously sad that something that had formed part of the fabric of British culture has passed on. (There’s even a statue of Desperate Dan in the publisher’s home town of Dundee).

However, and contrary to the impression given by some news reports, it’s not the death of British comics just yet.

But there’s not many left either.

The Beano, the Dandy’s long time stablemate, is still in rude health, with weekly sales of 38,000. But of the other comics of my childhood, only 2000AD and Commando remain.

While it’s not my place to tell the children of Britain what to read (I’ve not picked up a copy of the Dandy in almost 25 years), I do find the general British view of comics somewhat striking.

Compared with America, Europe and Japan, we generally seem to view comics as a disposable, childish medium. Kid’s stuff. And now we seem to be not even be willing to give some comics to our kids.

Maybe we should start doing that again.

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About pointlessephemera

Blogging about the geekier end of popular culture...
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2 Responses to Farewell to the Dandy

  1. Lola says:

    I seem to find comics, in some form on places like etsy, are comic readers now a different clientèle?

    • I think that the comics market is probably changing. It’s more for adults and becoming more niche.

      Or perhaps there’s several niches, American super-hero comics being arguably the largest, but also manga, bande desinne and others.

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