The Dandy (lost web-based final issues of long-running Scottish anthology comic; 2012-2013)

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Dandy.webp

"Issue 0" of the first iteration of the internet-based Dandy

Status: Lost

The Dandy was a Scottish children's anthology comic book released between 1937 and 2013 by D.C. Thompson (no relation to DC Comics) - considered a sister comic to the younger but more popular The Beano, (known for publishing the Scottish version of Dennis the Menace) on which the comic is fondly remembered by those who grew up on it and has the title of third longest-running comic series, but faded from relevancy by 2004[1], leading to multiple attempts at rebrands of varying success, culminating in the comic's final print issue in 2012 and a short-lived online relaunch the same year, which lasted only six months, with another rebranding occuring within that time.

Website

The webcomic run of the Dandy started on the same day that the print run ended with a free issue, while later issues would be provided through subscription. It utilized the digital format to accompany every comic strip with a game based on it and voice acting, with the comic's editors hinting at back catalog comics being added later down the line.[2] The release was promoted with an exhibit at the University of Dundee. The strip also spun off into a YouTube channel, featuring live action content such as video game reviews, celebrity interviews, and parody news reports.

The strips featured in the first issue were Desperate Dan (utilizing the original design of the character instead of the controversial redesign introduced in 2010), Brassneck, Keyhole Kate (changed from a naughty girl to a detective), Bananaman, The Numskulls, and a new title known as Retro-Active, a non-comedic superhero series.

The website was noted for having poor optimization for mobile browsers, [3] and eventually becoming poorly adjusted for desktop browsers as well, with issues such as comics failing to fit inside the screen and arrows for navigating comics disappearing. [4] Additionally, it was criticized for positioning itself in a manner like a video game portal despite the games not being of an equal quality to the comics.[5]

Due to the first set of issues being unsuccessful, D.C. Thompson attempted a rebrand - deleting all the previous comics in the process even from those who had purchased them, and introducing a feature where you could create an avatar to appear in comics. Ultimately the comic would be discontinued due to not finding an audience, finally putting The Dandy out of print after 76 years, though yearly annuals and Beano crossover summer specials would continue to be published consistently afterwards.

The first iteration of the website is completely lost. The only parts of the second iteration of the site that can be accessed on the WayBack Machine are the home page and character bios, but all of the post-relaunch comic covers are archived, and multiple screenshots from the comic can be seen on Sea Lion Press and Whacky Comics. The YouTube channel remains archived in its entirety, including content from before the digital launch, and can be found under channel name TheDandycomic, among them a trailer for the app that shows footage of the comics, avatar creator, and games.

D.C. Thompson's comics will often reprint strips, so it is possible that some strips from the online Dandy could've ended up in later Beano comics or Dandy Annuals with interactive elements stripped.

Videos

Official trailer for the Dandy App, featuring footage of various features, including Bananaman and Desperate Dan comics.

References