Take a long hard look at the cover of the current issue of Dandy Xtreme. Stripped of its free gifts (five chewy sweets and a small toy light sabre) there is nothing to suggest that it is a comic, let alone the longest running comic in the country.
Indeed the Dandy section of the logo is so small that it almost seems like an afterthought, yet Issue 3507 is the current issue of a title that has been with us since December 1937. The bi-weekly Xtreme makeover came just over three years ago and was criticised at the time.
However, moves are afoot in Dandyland to pull the title back from the extreme.
The current issue, cover dated 26th October 2010 and costing £2.50, sets the wheels in motion with this page of Desperate Dan drawn by Jamie Smart telling the readers that something big is happening with the next issue, but giving nothing away.
In addition to the revamped title, the comic’s website will be revamped and already there are new official Dandy Twitter and Facebook pages. This is a new departure for DC Thomson and is something of a quantum leap in the way the company promotes their comic titles.
Time will tell if the children of Britain take to the new format, whatever it may be, but downthetubes wishes the editorial team and their contributors the best of luck with it. With Clint just arrived, new Dandy almost with us, Multiverse about to appear and Strip Magazine due in the new year, it is good to see that publishers are at least willing to give British comic publications a chance. Long may it continue.
• The new look weekly Dandy will be on sale on Wednesday 27th October 2010 and will cost £1.50
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.