Beano, Dandy go digital via Apple’s ‘Newsstand’

DC Thomson have announced The Dandy and The Beano have just gone digital through Apple’s recently-launched Newsstand service, with The Beano currently in the Top Ten in the service’s charts

First published in 1937 and 1938 respectively, the two national comic institutions join Commando in the App store, all delivering digital, enhanced versions of the comics, enabling fans to read their favourite strips and characters on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. 

Demonstrating the enduring  popularity of the comic brands is the fact that Apple are  promoting the free Beano app on the front page of iTunes and it is already sitting in the Top 10 downloads – only hours after the apps’ release.

DC Thomson says that even though comics are for children of all ages, the move into digital publishing underlines the company’s commitment to children’s literacy, “ensuring that our famous comics can be read by kids as widely as possible on all kinds of formats.

“Teachers, parents and educational experts all acknowledge the role comics have in providing the bridge between picture books and chapter books and with the increasing use of apps by children, we hope even more of them can now access our weekly, original and not-to-mention hilarious content.”

“This is app-solutely fantastic! We’re all very app-y!” enthused Mike Stirling, Editor-in-chief of The Beano.

“Sorry, that’s app-alling!” he added. “The great thing about the new app on Newsstand is that it guarantees our fans can enjoy The Beano 24-7.  I used to read it snuggled up under the covers with a torch at night – nowadays, I’ll just cuddle up to my iPhone!”

Editor-in-chief of The Dandy, Craig Graham added:  “We’re incredibly excited about being available as a digital download. Now people can have the unique School of Mock that is The Dandy at their fingertips, wherever they are and whatever they’re doing.”

The Beano and Dandy apps are free to download via iTunes and, like the Commando app, also come with free issues of the comics (five issues of The Beano, but just two of The Dandy)  so that users can sample the kind of content they’ll get in advance, along with simple instructions of how to subscribe or download.

Payment is via the user’s iTunes account and digital copies are enhanced with interactive advertising, video and links to the existing Beano and Dandy websites – and

The downloaded issues – which did take a while to download – look great: navigation is very simple and you can zoom in on individua panels easily using the ipad or iphone’s tap feature, then tap to zoom out. It seems a bit strange that there’s a disparity between the number of free issues of The Beano and The Dandy but the former is definitely DC Thomson’s flagship comic title, so it’s understandable that it’s getting the major promotion (and higher number of downloads, refelcting the popularity, perhaps, of the print titles). 

DC Thomson have developed both apps in association with Yudu Media – – and are planning to bring a range of existing titles to Apple’s Newsstand in the coming months.

DC Thomson tell us there are no plans for archive titles just yet as they’re concentrating on all our existing titles. However, after we suggested it, they’re going to look at the possibility of releasing single issues of older comics, which I’d suggest would be a good way to test the market for a wider re-issue of some of the company’s much-loved but no longer published titles such as Warlord, Sparky and Starblazer.

The Beano and The Dandy are published every week by D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd., based in Dundee. Other DC Thomson magazine titles include Commando, Shout, The People’s Friend, The Scots Magazine and My Weekly.  2011 sees the 60th Anniversary of the first appearance of Dennis the Menace – 17th March 1951 – The Beano have been celebrating this as “The Year of the Menace”.

Check out The Beano app on iTunes here

Check out The Dandy app here

How it Works…

• A Beano or Dandy digital subscription lets you read every issue of each comic on your iPhone and iPad as they come out. Each comic has a separate app.

• You can buy each individual issue of the Beano or The Dandy digitally for just £1.49

• The apps will remind you every week when the new Beano or Dandy is ready to give your chuckle muscles a workout, but if you buy a digital subscription to the Beano or Dandy, every issue will be delivered straight to your iPhone or Ipad each week. A 6 month subscription costs just £24.49 and a 12-month subscription costs £47.99.

• Once your subscription starts, you can’t cancel until it ends, so make sure you choose the right one for you.Unless you tell DC Thomson otherwise, your subscription will auto-renew.

• The apps are free to download for iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running on iOS 3.2 or later and include read free issues right away!

• Users of The Beano and Dandy apps can choose to subscribe and receive every issue automatically – £24.49 for 6 months and £47.99 for 1 year. Or they can download the apps for free and pay £1.49 for individual issues.

The Beano and The Dandy © 2011 DC Thomson

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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