Dandy not dead, just resting, say DC Thomson

Digital Dandy Issue 12We reported yesterday on the demise of the Digital Dandy – but DC Thomson have announced that while the current version of their first dedicated e-comic is no more, they aren’t done with Dandy yet.

In a statement on the comic’s Facebook page, a DC announced they were reassessing the Digital Dandy in its current App format.

“The Digital Dandy team has worked hard to produce an interactive and engaging App.  While the digital comic has delivered its promised mixture of daft, dramatic and different stories, the technology and format have let us down. “For this reason, we’re suspending the existing App.

Discussions and planning are already underway to re-examine The Dandy’s digital offerings.  It is still too early to announce what form this next stage will take but we would like to reassure readers that The Dandy remains a very important part of the company’s plans for the future.”

This is hopefully good news for fans of the Dandy. DC Thomson had clearly invested a lot of time and money into the e-project, supplementing the comic with video material (the Dandy News might be fairly low budget, but it’s well put together) and other interactive elements – and you can’t knock the company for being prepared to try and maintain and boost their brands. (It’s not often you can get Royal support like The Beano did recently, however).

At the end of the day, however, The Dandy, like any other comic published by a mainstream company is a commercial project. Revenue spent on production has to be matched or bettered by revenue generated – and if that isn’t happening, no commercial enterprise is going to keep spending money ad infinitum, no matter how good the product is. Digital publishing is in its early days and while it’s being seen as a panacea to declining print sales by publishers of magazines and comics, the unit sales are still too low for many companies to make a pure digital play sustainable.

This is, of course, good news for everyone who likes their comics on paper, although the landscape is changing at a rapid pace…

Fans responded positively to the DC Thomson statement.

“I really want the Dandy to carry on,” said Neil Dandy. “My son loved the print version and really tried to get the digital one to work. Glimpses of a great team when it did work. The video chap was really good, just tricky to access from the tablet.”

Morag Fraser was more scathing. “[It] never, ever worked on Android. Crashed utterly, was gutted! Fingers crossed for the next move coming up soonish.”

While some fans argued for a merger with The Beano or a revival of the title in print, others compared the Dandy‘s fate with that of The DFC, noting how the Phoenix, which sprang from The DFC‘s demise, has had success, despite its limited print presence. The Phoenix print version is supplemented by an excellent e-edition for iPad, developed by Panel Nine.

Artist Jamie Smart, who was instrumental in the look of the Dandy, was also positive. “Brilliant news, long live The Dandy in one form or other,” he enthused. “If you ever want more ideas on the new direction, we DCT artists are full of ’em!”

Read our Guest Post from Jamie Smart: “Make New Comics!”

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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