The Dandy

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Cartoons

The Dandy logo

The Dandy is a British children's comic published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd of Dundee, Scotland, which was first issued on 3 December (dated 4 December) 1937, and is currently the longest running comic in the UK, which it became as of issue 3007 (dated 10 July 1999). This beat the previous record holder, Comic Cuts, which ran for 3006 issues between 17 May 1890 - 12 September 1953. Internationally very few titles surpass the Dandy’s achievement, beaten in terms of duration by Detective Comics (USA) which began in March 1937 and is still running today. In terms of number of issues Pepin (Mexico) ran for 7,561 issues.

The original editor was Albert Barnes from the first issue up until 1982 - legend has it that Desperate Dan's chin was based on Albert's own chin. He was succeeded by Dave Torrie in 1980, before Dave went to edit The Beezer when he was in turn succeeded by Morris Heggie. Morris handed over to Craig Graham in 2006.

There have been several long-running strips in The Dandy over the years. The most enduring is Desperate Dan who has been in all issues since the first one in 1937, bar a brief period in 1997 where he 'left' the comic, only to return for the comic's 60th anniversary issue in that year. Korky the Cat also featured in the first issue, and despite being quietly dropped in January 2005, he returned in November and still makes irregular appearances in The Dandy today. Other long-running characters include Winker Watson, Brassneck and Cuddles & Dimples.

Also, because many strips in The Beano are drawn by the same artists, crossovers between the two comics also occur occasionally. As well as this, the comics develop a friendly rivalry. (e.g. "I quit! The Dandy is much safer" "This would never happen in The Beano!")

Nutty merged with The Dandy in 1985, followed by Hoot in 1986.

An 8 foot bronze statue of Desperate Dan stands in the centre of his birthplace - Dundee.

A first issue of The Dandy, complete with free gift, sold for a record £20,350 on 7 September 2004; the highest price ever paid for a British comic at an auction.

Image updates

After issue 3282 (dated 16 October 2004) in an attempt to boost sales, The Dandy underwent a radical format overhaul. The comic was turned towards a more television-oriented style, now printed on glossy magazine paper instead of newsprint. The price was raised from 70p to £1.20 (99p for the first two weeks), a new comic strip called Office Hours appeared, and two supposedly new ones also started, though were actually revivals from a few years earlier. The first was Dreadlock Holmes from the late 1990s, billed as The Dandy's first ethnic minority character (though this wasn't true either- Barney the Wonder Winger was the first back in the early-mid 1990s) and the second was Jak. The pictures were also increased in size.

Originally, Korky the Cat occupied the front cover, but Desperate Dan took over in 1984. Cuddles and Dimples also occupied the front page between 1999 - 2000, when Dan reclaimed his spot on the cover. With the advent of the 2004 relaunch there is no longer a comic strip on the cover, just a picture (but sometimes a Desperate Dan comic with no title). Even through these image changes Desperate Dan has remained in the comic.

The comic now costs £1.30 for 36 pages weekly, and is still going strong.

Dandy characters

Stars who are currently in the Dandy as of March 2007:

  • Bananaman (from Nutty)
  • Blinky (from The Beezer and Topper)
  • Blubba and the Bear (Reprints from Nutty)
  • Brassneck
  • Class Act - Reprints of Jimmy Hansen's P5
  • Cuddles and Dimples
  • Desperate Dan - from the fictional American town of Cactusville. A man tougher than iron living with a long suffering old aunt and later, a nephew, a niece and a dog.
  • Dreadlock Holmes
  • Jak
  • Ollie Fliptrik
  • Space Raoul by Jamie Smart
  • Ted and the Animals - by Ten Watt Spot artist Dan Gaynor

Other Dandy stars over the years have included:

  • Addie and Hermy - misadventures of Adolf Hitler and Herman Goering, the nasty Nazis.
  • Auntie Clockwise - Misadventures of a girl and her aunt travelling through time in a Grandfather clock, a subtle parody of Doctor Who.
  • Bad Max
  • Bamboo Town - laughs among jungle animals in their town.
  • Barney Boko - a tramp with a nose about two foot long.
  • Beryl the Peril (from The Topper)
  • Big Head and Thick Head - the adventures of two friends, one making stupid mistakes, the other too clever for his own good
  • Bing-Bang Benny - an American fur trapper
  • Black Bob
  • Boy with the Iron Hands - two separate series under that name.
  • Brain Duane - A bald, big-headed spectacled boy genius whose inventions seem to go pear-shaped when used.
  • British Boys and Girls go West to Canada.
  • Bully Beef and Chips
  • Bertie Buncle and his Chemical Uncle
  • Captain Handsome - Seemed to have replaced Bananaman. When Bananaman returned, Captain Handsome ended.
  • Claude Hopper - a boy with extremely large feet
  • Corporal Clott - an incompetent Corporal effectively acting as manservant to his superior officer
  • Cowrin' Wolf
  • Daring Deeds of the Sheriff's Little Sister
  • Desperate Dawg - a sheriff who was also a dog
  • Dinah Mo - a tomboy
  • Dirty Dick - drawn identically to Winker Watson, a boy who could not help getting unclean during his misadventures.
  • Dopey Dinah - a girl who always does wrong.
  • Drake's Drummer Boy - text.
  • Dumb Belle
  • Fiddle O' Diddle
  • First Class
  • Frawg
  • Freddy the Fearless Fly - misadventures of a fly.
  • Greedy Pigg
  • Growing Paynes
  • Hairoil Hal - "your barber pal".
  • Ham and Egghead
  • Harry and his Hippo
  • Hector Spectre
  • Hungry Horace - a kid forever hungry.
  • Hyde and Shriek - Misadventures of the nerdy descendant of Jekyll and Hyde and his vampiric butler.
  • Izzy Skint (You Bet He Is)(He Always Is) A young boy who is always broke.
  • Jack Silver
  • James the World's Worst Schoolboy
  • Jimmy's Green Genie (revised reprint of Ali's Baba from The Sparky(and later The Topper).
  • Jimmy's Pocket Grandpa - text stories in 1940, 1941.
  • The Jocks and the Geordies
  • Jonah (from The Beano)
  • Keyhole Kate - a skinny young girl who can't resist peering through keyholes.
  • Korky the cat
  • Little White Chief of the Cherokees - a British boy is made chief of the Cherokees but must complete a number of tasks against monsters.
  • My Pal, Baggy Pants - about a boy and his best friend, a twelve-foot tall Arabian 'wizard' complete with magic carpet
  • Meddlesome Matty - her meddling gets her into trouble.
  • Molly
  • Monkey Business - a group of monkeys who ran a supermarket. Drawn by John Geering
  • Mr Mutt - a gullible teacher often tricked by his class
  • My Own Genie
  • The Nutters (revised reprint from Cracker)
  • Oliver Twister
  • Our Gang - from the last lot of Our Gang films, Alfalfa, Spanky, Buckwheat, etc. Pictures with text underneath.
  • Owen Goal (still will appear very occasionally)
  • P.C. Big Ears - a policeman with very large ears. Drawn by John Geering
  • Peter Pest (from Nutty)
  • Peter's Pocket Grandpa
  • Podge - the misadventures of a boy.
  • Postman Patel a Sikh postman who orginaly came from the Cuddles and Dimples stories
  • Puss 'n' Boots (from Sparky)
  • Rah-Rah Randall Each frame either cheering or booing
  • Robin Hood's Schooldays - similar to The Bash Street Kids but set in medieval times
  • Robinson and his dog Crusoe - a boy apparently living in an African jungle
  • Roly Poly Joe - a short strip taking incongruous settings characteristic of some strips to the extreme. Joe appeared to be an Eskimo, an Indian and army boy combined
  • Rusty - a generic resourceful/mischievous boy
  • Screwy Driver A bungling DIY handyboy
  • Sir Coward de Custard - a craven knight
  • Smarty Grandpa - a crafty old man appeared in the early days of the Dandy (He is a lookalike to Granpaw Broon of The Broons)
  • The Smasher - a boy with a tendency to destroy things and who was reminiscent of Dennis The Menace from The Beano
  • Sneaker
  • Spunky and his Spider
  • (Eddie Potter at) Strange Hill School
  • Swallowed by a Whale - two airmen stranded on a living island.
  • Sunny Boy - a highly intelligent boy who misbehaves as he is bored by school
  • Ten Watt Spot
  • There's a curse on the King! - text story about Magic Land.
  • Tin Lizzie (Dandy cartoon)
  • Tom Tum Hungry obese schoolboy looking for his next meal.
  • Tony and Alberto (translated version of French comic strip Tony et Alberto
  • Tootuff (translated version of Swiss-French comic strip Titeuf by Zep)
  • Tricks of Tommy - a boy ventriloquist who gets into trouble.
  • Tricky Dicky Doyle
  • The Tricks of Screwy Driver - the misadventures of an inventive schoolboy. This strip seems to have been the inspiration of Gilbert Ratchet from Viz
  • Whacko
  • Wildfire the War Horse - a horse in WWI helps the allies.
  • Wild Man of the Woods - a native who mistreats animals in the jungle.
  • Winker Watson
  • Young Dandy

Retrieved from ""