In December 1937, the first issue of 'The Dandy' went on sale. As of this week, it will be published only in cyberspace, which begs the question, will all comics eventually go the same way?
Although cartoons and such have been around as long as printing, if not from the time our barely human ancestors decorated their cave walls, comics, and certainly comics for children were largely a 20th Century innovation.
The 1960s and 70s were arguably their heyday as far as these islands are concerned, with American imports DC and Marvel hitting the shelves including in their own UK editions, which unlike the originals were in black and white. But comics for younger kids with picture stories only have been around here since the 1930s. The Beano was first published in July 1938.
The Dandy is even older, first appearing in print in December 1937, with Korky the Cat hugging the front page; it was published by D.C. Thompson of Dundee, a major publisher of local newspapers and related titles.
The cartoon character Desperate Dan strides through Dundee city centre, the place he first appeared in print in 1937.
At one time, The Dandy reached a circulation of around 2,000,000 copies a week, a truly astonishing figure, and one that indicates it was read by kids of all ages. Such was its fame that eleven years ago, one of its original characters, Desperate Dan, was honoured with a statue in the centre of Dundee. Recently however, for the same reason as many provincial and other newspapers, its circulation has dwindled to around 8,000, and the publisher has decided to take it on-line.
Check out the old format and the new. As the man said, Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be.