In praise of the Dandy


The humble comic is under pressure. Long credited with keeping children quiet and entertained for hours on end, one of the best-known publications has finally ceased its print run.

After 75 years, the Dandy, Britain’s longest-running weekly comic, printed its final issue last week.

Vendors reported record sales for the final print edition. However, sales had dwindled to 8,000 per week (down from a high of two million in the 1950s) when publisher DC Thompson decided in August to move the comic online.

The news has prompted a flood of reminiscence and outrage online, and even reignited old rivalries between the Dandy and the Beano.

A surprising number of commenters credit the Dandy with teaching them to read. Some fear today’s children will not become literate without the incentive of reading it. Others are concerned that moving the Dandy online will create a problem for future archaeologists.

“Is nothing sacred?” asked Peter Lanky, a BBC reader.

“Thank you for making my childhood fun,” wrote one commenter on the BBC website, who must have had a deprived youth indeed. Does this mean the end of Desperate Dan’s reign as the world’s favourite cow pie muncher, or will his digital counterpart win him a new generation of followers?