DC Thomson has yet to officially confirm the title’s cancellation – as of this morning there had been no announcement on the comic’s web site or Facebook page – but creators and fans are already discussing its cancellation online.
“The editor informed contributors last week,” tweeted artist Wilburd Dawburn. “(I did a couple of strips for it, although they didn’t get around to using them).”
The Dandy‘s e-carnation had a troubled start, despite the huge coverage of the print edition’s passing back in December in the mainstream media. Technical issues appear to have troubled the move to the digital realm, meaning the comic had to be relaunched in a fiercely competitive environment.
Fan reaction has been mixed with some pointing to the project’s technical difficulties as one cause, while others are understandably wondering what will happen to beloved characters such as Desperate Dan, wondering if they will resurface in The Beano or the new Dennis the Menace magazine.
“This leaves Desperate Dan homeless,” noted “DigiFiend” on the Dandy forum. “I wonder if we’ll be seeing him in the Beano in the next few weeks? It’s sorta having a mini-revamp anyway after effectively merging with BeanoMAX.
“Retro Active definitely should’ve been omitted from issue 13,” he added of the e-comics’ content, referring to some of the title’s content. “Why add the Black Sapper cliffhanger if they weren’t going to resolve it?”
“It’s such a shame,” commented Harry Rickard on the Dandy’s facebook page. “The Digital Dandy (whilst having its flaws) was a very strong comic with many fun stories – and it had Retro Active, and that speaks for itself.
While many publishers see the move to digital publishing as a means to find a new audience, gaining traction in the marketplace and getting your title noticed on the Internet – and then trying to encourage people to pay to read it – is a gargantuan task it itself that even national newspapers with “paywalls” are not finding easy.
There is, even at this stage, some good news for Dandy fans, if slight. Although the Digital Dandy has passed, we gather it’s not the end for the Dandy brand, although it looks like the end for the weekly.
The Dandy annual is still going, with work already commissioned for the 2015 edition.
• The Dandy web site: http://dandy.com
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.