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Comicbook: The Dandy
Desperate Dan himself.

The Dandy was a long running children's comic published in the United Kingdom, running several different stories and characters. Published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. The first issue was printed in 1937, making it the world's third longest running comic, after Detective Comics and Il Giornalino.

The first issue, under the name The Dandy Comic, was published on 4 December 1937. It was published weekly until September 6th 1941, when wartime paper shortages forced it to switch to fortnightly, alternating with The Beano. It returned to its weekly schedule on 30 July 1949. From 17 July 1950, the magazine changed its name to just The Dandy.

After issue 3282 (October 16th 2004) The Dandy underwent a radical format change, reflecting a more television-oriented style, and now printed on glossy magazine paper instead of newsprint. In August 2007 (issue 3426), The Dandy had another update, becoming the fortnightly comic Dandy Xtreme. It cost 2.75 (with some issues costing up to 2.99 depending on how many gifts there were). It then reverted back to its original comics form, albeit retaining the more glossy paper, in November 2010 and costs 1.99 a week.

The most popular characters to appear in The Dandy are Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat, Black Bob, Winker Watson, Bananaman, Cuddles and Dimples, Harry Hill, The Smasher, The Jocks and The Geordies, Bully Beef and Chips, Beryl the Peril, Brassneck and Keyhole Kate.

The print version of the comic ceased publication on its 75th anniversary in December 2012; an online version lasted just 13 issues before the comic ended for good in July 2013.

See The Beano, The Dandy's partner-in-mischief.

Not to be confused with The Dandy.
Tropes associated with The Dandy:

  • Animated Adaptation: Bananaman
  • Art Evolution: The comic has incorporated more variation in the art styles of various strips in recent years, most noticeably using simple, super-cartoony art by people like Jamie Smart, which leads to some characters looking like Super-Deformed versions of their earlier selves. Desperate Dan, for example.
    • Hell, since the comic is such a Long Runner with so many characters (Korky, Dan, Keyhole Kate) dating right back to the beginning, it's inevitable that this is evident everywhere.
  • Artifact Title: Desperate Dan was originally a desperado. His name has lost some meaning since then.
  • Big Eater: Hungry Horace, Tom Tum, Plum Mac Duff, Greedy Pigg... that's at least four characters who have this as their entire gimmick. There's also Desperate Dan, who shows this in his love for massive Cow Piesnote .
    • In fact, in both this comic and The Beano, almost all of the characters seem to crave large meals (often referred to as a "slap up feed"). Traditionally, such a "slap up feed" (often depicted as a massive pile of mashed potatoes with sausages sticking out of it, but sweets, pies and cakes are also popular) was the usual reward at the end of a strip if the characters won whatever contest or outsmarted whichever opponent appeared in the plot that week, and it still crops up today. There's a fascinating historical context to this: World War II happened early in the development of these comics, when rationing and hardship meant that the idea of being able to gorge on large meals or piles of sweets actually was something for the children reading the comics to dream of.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Desperate Dan. In his early days he was something of a Jerkass, but he's quietened down over the years
  • Blatant Lies: The 2013 summer special was called The Last Ever Dandy Summer Special, it's release coming six months after the weekly comic's demise. However, The Dandy Summer Special 2014 would later appear. Last Ever? I don't think so!
  • Canon Discontinuity: In December 2012, they launched a digital Dandy to replace the closed down print comic. It rebooted at the end of March 2013 because the original attempt had been littered with technical bugs, such as stories stretching beyond the frame making them un-navigable, and loading problems. Some stories were shuffled around in the re-released issues, for example, the Desperate Dan story originally in issue 1 is now in issue 2, because issue 1 used a new one.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Inverted: early on, it featured short stories (usually illustrated) as well as comics, and these tended to be serious and dramatic rather than humorous. They vanished over time to be replaced by Gag Series, but the new digital version promises to bring the drama back with a resurrection of ancient superhero character Mister X and a Nancy Drew-inspired take on Keyhole Kate.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: New favorite Kid Cops always ends in one of these.
  • Cool Pet: Dan has an elephant at one point, and a fierce cat that may have been a baby leopard. Just for the hell of it.
  • Comics Merger : Merged with Hoot and Nutty (original home of Bananaman).
  • Deconstructive Parody: Early Hitler satire, Addie and Hermie.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Monkey Business.
  • Expy: The Smasher looks really suspiciously similar to Dennis the Menace from supposed rival comic The Beano, even though his personality is different.
    • Depending on who you ask, Hector Spectre is either an expy or a Spiritual Successor to an earlier character called Edd Chumley, who appeared in a strip called Meet Edd: He's A Ghost in The Beezer and Topper. Both strips involved headless ghosts in Elizabethan get-up with rural dialects and accompanied by a grey cat, both drawn by David Mostyn. The main difference was that Hector haunted a stately home, whereas Edd's home was said to be long since demolished. It's likely that a different main character was created as Edd looked very much like a male version of Molly.
  • Friend to All Children Desperate Dan is always solving the neighbourhood kids' problems in ridiculous, over-the-top ways.
  • Funny Animal: Korky the Cat is a classic example.
  • Furry Confusion: Has happened to Korky on occasion.
  • Generation Xerox: Dan's family tend to be rather hale and hearty, as well as having an Uncanny Family Resemblance.
    • This gets exceptionally disturbing when you meet Desperate Gran.
  • Gentle Giant: Desperate Dan.
  • Ghost in the Machine and Mobile-Suit Human: The Numskulls, in the digital comic.
  • Golden Age Super Hero: There's actually a 1940s superhero, The Amazing Mr X, who got brought back as part of the superhero team in digital strip Retro Active.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Many titles and character names can fall into this, though it often become Narm Charm.
  • Nephewism: Dan had Katey and Danny, whilst Korky the Cat had The Kits: Nip, Lip and Rrrip.
    • Put on a Bus: None of those nephews appear any more, even though both Dan and Korky remain in the comic.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Harry Hill has become The Dandy's newest cover star, even writing his own strip (the art duties are courtesy of a long-time Dandy artist). Compared to the other strips in The Dandy, most of which are very much with the times, Harry's strip seems a little more in keeping with the tradition of The Dandy of yore - and all the better for it.
  • No Fourth Wall: As with The Beano, characters from The Dandy have been known to have a chat now and then with their writers and artists.
  • Power-Up Food: Aunt Aggie's cow pies do fall under this category somewhat.
    • Played straight with Bananaman, who's normally a weedy schoolboy called Eric Wimp until he eats a banana and transforms.
  • Race Lift: In the digital comic's story Retro Active, Kat has dark skin. She's actually a sucessor to Billy the Cat's former sidekick Katie, who is white.
  • Rage Against the Author: Korky's strip in the final issue involves him going up to "The Dandy editor" (represented in this strip by a ginger cat) and asking why he never appears in the comic anymore, although it's really more of a whine than a rage. Also features a hilarious parody of We're Still Relevant, Dammit when Korky is told he can only be a star again if he becomes "cool" with the addition of a robot arm, laser eye, face tattoo and skateboard.
  • The Rival: Since The Eighties, Desperate Dan and Bananaman have had an on-again, off-again (i.e. whenver the writer for either strip can't think of anything and needs to spin a story out for a few weeks) rivalry to see who's the Dandy's Strongest Man.
  • Robot Maid: The premise of the Tin Lizzie strip, which appeared in the 1950s.
  • Spoiled Brat: Molly. Who has doormat parents.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Desperate Dan in the digital title. Surprisingly NOT Bananaman, even though he once had a TV series.
  • Take That: The Beano and The Dandy have a friendly rivalry which often involves taking popshots at each other (e.g. characters being threatened with the possibility of getting sent to the other comic).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Desperate Dan and Cow Pies.
  • We All Live in America: Desperate Dan is technically American, but the comic comes from a very British perspective.
  • World's Strongest Man: Desperate Dan. One memorable strip (reproduced in the Beano and Dandy 50 Golden Years book) shows various exotic strongmen from countries all over the world competing, each of them lifting up huge weights, other people or even an elephant...only to reveal that Dan has tunnelled up from beneath and is holding up the podium, all the strongmen and everything they're lifting as well!
CommandoBritish ComicsBBC Books Doctor Who Graphic Novels
The DCUThe Great DepressionSpirou and Fantasio
The BeezerPrint Long RunnersBerserk

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