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'Dandy' comic to end 75-year print run and go digital-only

Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat and chums will appear in print for the last time this Tuesday, 75 years after their debut.

Desperate Dan - complete with cow pie - checks in at Heathrow before returning to Dandy headquarters in Dundee upon his triumphant (post-Spice Girls) return in 1997.
Desperate Dan - complete with cow pie - checks in at Heathrow before returning to Dandy headquarters in Dundee upon his triumphant (post-Spice Girls) return in 1997.
Image: PA Archive

ONE OF THE WORLD’S longest-running and best-known comics is ending its print run after 75 years – switching to an online-only format.

The Dandy, the home of characters such as Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat, will publish its last print edition this Tuesday – marking its 75th birthday.

The comic, which at its peak had a circulation of 2 million, had fallen to an average weekly print circulation of 7,489 when its last independent figures were published at the end of last year.

The Independent says Tuesday’s issue will be the last sold in paper format at the £1.99 cover price, with publisher D.C. Thomson issuing a digital edition on platforms such as the iPad from then on.

As well as hoping to enlarge the possible target market for the comic, the move will cut down on production costs: digital editions will cost only about £1 each, and sales will not depend on having a shop or supermarket include the comic on its news shelves.

The publisher’s other big-name comic, the Beano – featuring characters like Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids – will remain in print format, and enjoys a circulation five times larger than its seven-month-older sibling.

While hard-as-nails Desperate Dan has remained true to his cowboy roots over the 75 years, he has occasionally moved with the times: the Guardian notes that a storyline in 1997 saw him “retired”, sailing into the sunset with the Spice Girls.

It was later revealed that this, however, was a publicity stunt ahead of the comic’s 60th anniversary that year.

In 2001, at the height of the BSE outbreak in Britain, Dan gave up his favourite dish: cow pies.

Read: 11 things we all did when we were kids

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Gavan Reilly

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