Desperate times for 'Dandy' as publisher considers closure
THE FUTURE of Britain’s longest-running children’s comic is being reviewed by its publisher. The Dandy, best known for cartoon character Desperate Dan, who can “lift a cow with one arm” and has a penchant for cow pie, could face closure following a huge drop in circulation.
Dundee-based DC Thomson said it was reviewing all of its magazine titles due to the “challenges” being faced by the publishing industry, but added that no final decision had been made.
It is understood the Dandy, which was first published in 1937 and is now in its 75th year, will continue to be available online even if the hard copy of the comic is taken off shelves.
The review was prompted by falling circulation numbers, with only about 8,000 copies of the Dandy being sold a week, down from more than two million during its peak in the 1950s.
The Dandy has featured characters such as Bananaman, Korky the Cat, Cuddles and Dimples and Beryl the Peril.
Fans took to social networking site Twitter to air their concerns over the potential closure.
Scottish comedian Robert Florence tweeted: “Let’s all buy the Dandy this week. You with me? You got kids? Buy the Dandy. Let’s see if we can save something worth saving.”
Father Ted and IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan posted: “Very sad. UK’s longest-running comic, Dandy, to close.”
A bronze statue of Desperate Dan stands in Dundee city centre, alongside Minnie the Minx, from the Dandy’s sister title, the Beano.
A DC Thomson spokeswoman said the company was carrying out a review of its magazines business “to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing publishing industry”. “Throughout 2012, DC Thomson is continuing to develop its magazines operation and portfolio to create an efficient business model that will build on the strength of our existing brands and products,” she said.
“There are many challenges within the industry at present but we’re excited that the digital revolution has also given us an opportunity to innovate and develop.”
She added: “We’re celebrating the fact that the Dandy has been in print for 75 years and we’ve a lot of planning to do to ensure that our brands and characters can live on in other platforms for future generations to enjoy.” – (PA)