UK's Oldest Comic The Dandy Faces Closure

Damn, I used to love The Dandy when I was little. Cuddles And Dimples was my shit. Rotten little pervos that they were. As was that one about that really unlucky dude called James. Or was that in Wizzer And Chips? I forget. Desperate Dan I never really cared for to be honest. I was like, "Ooh, big strong guy with massive chin that likes pie! Give a shit!"

Here's an weird thing - I was looking for a copy of The Dandy in Smiths this afternoon, and I could only find Beano Extreme, or whatever it's called. True story.

Anyway.

From the Guardian:

The Dandy, the UK's oldest children's comic and home to cartoon strip characters including Desperate Dan, the cow-pie eating cowboy, is facing closure after 75 years.

In its heyday between the 1950s and 1980s, the Dandy sold 2m copies a week as young fans lapped up stories of Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat.

But it has suffered circulation decline since then as successive generations of children have grown out of the habit of reading weekly comics, with their free time given over instead to watching TV and more recently playing video games and surfing the internet.

The Dandy has outlasted children's comic titles such as the Beezer and the Topper by 20 years or more. But a series of relaunches in the past five years – including a switch to a fortnightly called Dandy Xtreme, and most recently a move in 2010 to introduce celebrity-themed comic strips featuring the likes of Harry Hill and Cheryl Cole – have failed to halt its circulation decline.

By the second half of 2011, circulation had dipped below 8,000, according to the most recent official figures, and the title is expected to cease publication shortly, according to insiders.

A spokeswoman for Dandy publisher DC Thomson confirmed that the closure of the print title was being considered as part of a review of the company's magazine business, but indicated that characters such as Desperate Dan would continue to exist online.

Characters such as Desperate Dan could also continue in print by switching to DC Thomson's sister title the Beano, home to Dennis the Menace. The Beano had a circulation of 38,000 in six months to the end of December.

"We are carrying out a review of our magazines business to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing publishing industry," the spokeswoman 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. We're confident that future generations will continue to enjoy our much-loved products and characters."

The Dandy first went on sale in 1937 costing 2p, with a free whistle. The Cartoon Museum in London is preparing an exhibition celebrating the 75th anniversary, which will open in October.

Read the rest here.