Liv Siddall talks about the Dandy’s recent switch to digital, and urges the public to stop moaning about the past and get on with downloading the future. Oh and why Desperate Dan might be a bit weird…
You’ve probably been aware in the last few weeks of a Tweets and Facebook statuses, nay pub chats, proclaiming horror at the news of childhood comic The Dandy making the ominous switch to digital. You may have, like me, been initially a little dispirited and tempted to have a little rant about the good old days when you took your 30p pocket money to the village shop to pick up the latest weekly comic. But is it really such a shame?
For those who have been outraged enough to actually Tweet about it, perhaps ask yourself when was the last time you reached in past the stacks of crossword books and bogus issues of Love It! to get your precious, weekly comic? You’ll probably find that it’s been so long since you actually read a Dandy strip that the characters look very different to how you remember them, and that the stories are a bit dated and disturbing. Strange, enormous man living alone and hankering for his next hit of Cow Pie?
Mmm, sounds great. Funnily enough, it was the loss of Desperate Dan when he “retired” back in 1997 that made Twitter-free outcry bring him right back, only then to be surrounded by comics containing such TV celebrities as Jamie Oliver, Cheryl Cole and (gulp) Jeremy Clarkson — presumably for quite a bit of cash to keep the comic in print. Not surprisingly, children didn’t respond so well to Clarkson replacing Beryl The Peril, and subsequently the publication made a drastic loss and they were forced to re-think.
What we can now look forward to is a financially stable weekly comic that doesn’t have to resort to face-clawingly bad promo-strips in order to keep itself afloat. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but we’d be far more likely to download some comic strips and have a flick through them on the tube on some sort of digital device than actually go into a newsagent, buy a comic and potentially look a bit creepy.
The best part is that both the Beano and The Dandy are still creating annuals, which bring in a surprising amount of profit year by year. These enormous, hardback books full of quizzes, readers’ letters, photos and, of course, the best comic strips of the year are something we can read, collect, and pass on. Let’s all look forward to receiving a dose of nostalgia for Christmas and keeping a good, British staple afloat — but please, let’s take the time we would spend whinging about the loss of the weekly comic to actually download one and give it a read.
- Making branding with a purpose: what can we learn from the Bauhaus?
- Jeremy Jansen’s graphic design work bridges concept and coherency
- Michael Craig-Martin: a cool, clean and colourful riot of everyday objects
- Anatoly Grashchenko's randomly generated posters for a Moscow theatre
- Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke is back with his charmingly naughty gifs
- Bobby Doherty’s vivid and humorous still-life photography
- Should illustrators be treated like designers?
- Why “cool” stunts creativity: one agency offers its opinion
- Fresh, vibrant poster work from South Korean designer Soojin Lee
- Grey London's thoughtful, powerful and innovative new campaign for Tate Britain
- Colourful masses with a Memphis aesthetic in Mariano Pascual’s illustrated alphabet
- Introducing French design studio plus mûrs and its beautiful poster designs