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Desperate time for Dan, Korky and Dandy Co; Fans saddened by news Britain's oldest comic could fold.


IT would be a "sad loss" if an under-threat kids comic at the heart of Tyneside childhoods for generations folded, some of its biggest fans claim.

Britain's oldest comic The Dandy - home to characters such as Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat - may vanish from the shelves of newsagents for good as poor sales have prompted a review by its publishers.

The 75-year-old magazine is believed to have dropped to less than 8,000 copies per fortnight.

Illustrator Paul Davidson, of Whitley Bay, who works for American comic giant Marvel, said his entire career was inspired by his early memories of The Dandy.

"It is a sad loss really, but it's not unique for this to happen.

"A lot of the older titles are shutting shop. It's the modern day - kids play video games now.

"The Dandy was part of my childhood and my parents' too.

"I would get the annuals for Christmas and buy it myself from a newsagents in Wallsend.

"It was reading comics as a child which filled my head with imaginations and inspired me to draw comics for a living."

Paul, 40, who has just finished drawing a new X-men mini-series for Marvel, added that the future for The Dandy's characters, particularly Desperate Dan, was also worrying. "It will find its way back into the hands of kids, but as far as publishing it as a book, everything is changing.

"I'm sure somehow the characters will appear online, but it's a shame that they might only be available that way." Mike Thompson, manager of the specialist comic shop The Travelling Man on Grainger Street, Newcastle, said the announcement was a sad day as The Dandy had been integral to the development of modern day American comics, which are currently incredibly popular.

"I think it's a terrible shame when you see the circulation figures. I think they have had trouble trying to update quite a lot, and maybe people would like it better if it had stayed quite traditional," said Mike, 32, also of Whitely Bay.

In recent years editors have tried to revamp its image with celebrity-themed comic strips featuring Simon Cowell, chef Jamie Oliver and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Mike added: "Some comics are still working well like 2000AD, which is for an older audience and is sci-fi. British kids comic The Phoenix might enjoy more popularity too as it's aimed at the same age group."

The Dandy started in 1937 and is best known for cartoon character Desperate Dan who can "lift a cow with one arm".

Dundee-based DC Thomson said it was reviewing all of its magazine titles due to the "challenges" being faced by the publishing industry, but added that no final decision has been made.

The highest-ever sales of The Dandy were in 1950, when 2,035,310 copies of one weekly edition were sold in April of that year.


BIG CHARACTER The Dandy's Desperate Dan and, right, the comic down the years
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 15, 2012
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