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Friday, 30 November 2012

Death of a Dandy

The penultimate edition of the Dandy is in stores now - yep, next week's issue, numbered 3610 will see the Dandy stop publishing after 75 years. It's a sad moment indeed and although I stopped reading the comic more than thirty years ago I am painfully aware this icon of UK pop culture is coming to an end - yeah the comic will continue online but no matter how you look at it this is an end of sorts.

During the 1950's the comic sold more than 2 million copies a week but gradual changes in the reading habits of children saw the comic drop to its current circulation of just 8,000 each week. It seems to people of my generation that The Dandy and its sister title, The Beano has been around forever and indeed in comic book terms 75 years is akin to forever.

I picked up a copy this morning of issue 3609 and this is perhaps the first time I've picked the comic up in more than three decades. I still buy both The Dandy and Beano annuals at Christmas every year as it's become a tradition - I've got an unbroken set since 1969 but I don't think I've picked the weekly up since I was maybe ten or eleven years old - shit, that's like thirty something years ago now.

Flicking through the comic I am aware of how much it's changed since I was a regular reader - for one thing it's on glossy paper - the only characters I remember from my youth in the comic are Winker Watson, Beryl (though I remember her as Beryl the Peril and I'm sure she was in the Topper Comic when I was a wee lad) and Desperate Dan - it seems that most of  my one time faves have gone - Bully Beef and Chips are nowhere to be seen, same goes for Black Bob, Smasher and Korky only appears in the cover image which comes from one of the Dandy annuals.

I'll be picking up next week's final issue for a keepsake but the comic is no longer the title that I used to read each and every week as a kid. Still times change and things move on, but I, like many other people, will no doubt shed tear when the Dandy fades away into print oblivion.

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