Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

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SID
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Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by SID »

Of course it is the strips.

But is it that the Beano has always had a stronger line-up to the Dandy's?

Or is it just they have been lucky by having a few good uns, namely Dennis the Menace, the Bash Street Kids and Minnie the Minx, in its pages?

When I used to get both of them as a kid in the 70s, I always preferred the Dandy's line-up compared to the Beano's.

Of course, I don't assume that the Beano has always been on top through its 70-year run.
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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by AndyB »

I understand that the rot set in in the 1950s, when the Beano introduced the big 4 - the Dandy took longer to innovate, and has been behind ever since.

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by Peter Gray »

I would say The Dandy was great from 1960-1984.......it was slightly ahead of The Beano in those times..specially the 60's-70's...in my mind..

The Dandys golden age is the 1960's not the 50's and early 60's like The Beano..

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by Lew Stringer »

Probably several reasons but I think the main one is that from the 1950s The Beano featured younger characters and situations that readers could identify with. (Minnie, Roger, Dennis, Bash St. and so on). Whilst The Dandy had strips such as Black Bob, Corporal Clott, Red Wrecker, Island of Monsters etc that were more escapist. On the whole kids tend to like situations they can relate to that are not too fantastic in nature.

Personally as a child I preferred the escapism and variety of The Dandy, although I was also hooked on The Beano. The tone of the two comics was (and still is to an extent) completely different. Dandy always seemed more violent, and today is more "gross", than The Beano. I remember a DC Thomson editor at a Comic Expo (it may have been Euan Kerr) saying The Dandy was always aimed at a slightly older reader.

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by Kashgar »

In the early days the Dandy certainly had the upper hand. In fact by 1949, 11 years after it's launch, the Beano didn't contain a single original character. This then, of course, allowed for it to reinvent itself and step outside of the Dandy's shadow in the early 1950's.

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Post by SID »

That makes sense, Lew.

Like you I always preferred the Dandy over the Beano one of the reasons being the adventure stories (though I was/am more fond of the Dandy characters). Saying that, like I said, I did enjoy both comics as a child.

And bringing the Magic into the mix, you could see that DCT produced comics to cover a range of ages (the Magic aimed at the still younger kids).

Kashgar, what you say ties into what I read that Dandy was more successful in the earlier years.

Interesting thought: Was the Beano launched because of the success of the Dandy? In other words, would have the Beano existed if it wasn't for the Dandy?
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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by kevf »

As an interesting aside, I've had three sets of parents and kids in my art classes this week complaining that The Beano's gone onto glossy paper and gone up in price. Bizarrely they all mentioned the paper first, then the price.

I told them it's nothing to do with me.
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Post by MikeC »

SID wrote:That makes sense, Lew.

Like you I always preferred the Dandy over the Beano one of the reasons being the adventure stories (though I was/am more fond of the Dandy characters). Saying that, like I said, I did enjoy both comics as a child.

And bringing the Magic into the mix, you could see that DCT produced comics to cover a range of ages (the Magic aimed at the still younger kids).

Kashgar, what you say ties into what I read that Dandy was more successful in the earlier years.

Interesting thought: Was the Beano launched because of the success of the Dandy? In other words, would have the Beano existed if it wasn't for the Dandy?
Beano was launched once The Dandy had proven to be a wild sales success, so yes, it's an imitation of the original Dandy.

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by David »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine that The Dandy, being the first of the two comics, was the most popular at first. If this is the case, at what point did The Dandy fall behind (date)?

At the time it fell behind in sales, what strips ended the week before? Did the text stories end? Did the humour of the stories change dramaticly? Were there less pages? Less strips? Less colour strips? Were there more reprints? More fillers - more puzzles, etc? Did favourite features (eg puppets) stop? What new stories were launched the week before the falling sales?

I'm just asking because I want to get a better picture of what could have lead to the declining sales.

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by Peter Gray »

As a guess one name mostly changed The Beano forever

Leo Baxendale.

Mind you in the Beano big coffee book
The Beano 1950 sold 1.9 million April 22nd.
Before Leo. I've contradicted myself :oops:

So the Beano took off in the 50's due to increase of paper stock....
Dudleys Biffo the Bear cover star..
The excitement of The Eagle comic launching at this time...
Comics were hot!!!

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by STARBOY »

Was the success of the Beano (the Eagle etc) not also partly due to social circumstances of that period. The war had just ended, it was the start of the true "modern" era (ie space travel/ social changes in lifestyles attitudes anmd politics) and probably most importantly, the baby boomer period had just begun with thousands (millions?) of youngsters about looking for a form of entertainment etc in a rather dour period (the 50s) with city slums being ripped down and rebuilt etc - or was this not a factor?

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by felneymike »

You could also say that not a lot of people had TV, and if they did it was black and white, small and indistinct. I also suspect there was shortages of materials for making toys, so comics where about all kids could get.

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by dandy mad »

With muffin the mule and bill and ben and the rest of the watch with mother tripe that the bbc shoved down childrens throats if their parents could afford a tv in the first place it isnt any wonder comics from the early to mid fifties enjoyed the massive circulations back then

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by Lew Stringer »

Kids didn't care that tv was in black and white back then. Most movies were still in black and white too! Even if they didn't have a tv (and many families didn't) there were other things to occupy children's time, such as Saturday morning movie matinees, board games, toys, books, etc.

Comics were more prominent in newsagents, - right on the counter, overlapped with mastheads showing, beside newspapers, or folded up and pegged beside the door. EVERY customer would therefore see them, and be a potential reader. Unlike today, with comics messily shoved into a shelf.
Peter Gray wrote: Mind you in the Beano big coffee book
The Beano 1950 sold 1.9 million April 22nd.
That particular issue (reproduced in full in The History of The Beano) came out the week after Eagle No.1. My theory is that they saw how well Eagle did and increased the print run and circulation of that issue of The Beano to compete. There must have been some sort of sales drive as the proximity of its date to the Eagle launch is too much of a coincidence in my opinion.

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Re: Dandy v Beano - Why is Beano the more successful?

Post by felneymike »

Ah yes, i should have also added that by all accounts children's TV of the time seemed rather rubbish. There also seems to have been very little of it (only one channel still in 1950?), and of course until '53 and the coronation it was rather a moot point as few people had it anyway.
A comic on the other hand was vivid, exciting, cheap and could be read at any time... even under the covers when you where supposed to be asleep!

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