How could the Dandy save itself?

Discuss or comment on anything relating to Britain's longest running comic. The home of Korky the Cat and Desperate Dan. Has been running since 1937.

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Conor B
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How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Conor B »

My first thought on this was: "Try to be more like BeanoMAX".

BeanoMAX has more than double the sales of the Dandy, so readers obviously like it.

- It has more comic strips than the Dandy, always 50%+, most of which are more than three pages long. The reprints are chosen carefully, usually recoloured, and sometimes when there are 2 or more some are by the same artist so it blends in better. The Dandy has around 10 pages of comic strips an issue, which, most of the time, are well written, but there isn't enough.
- MAX has a more mature approach on things. Dandy Xtreme thinks that teenagers/older children go around talking about "turds", picking bogies, and saying random words like "slammin'", "wot" and "bovverd" (okay, the last one maybe, but as a teenager I don't normally go around saying these).
- BeanoMAX's articles are written better. The Dandy just tries to fill the page with photos and pictures which people can see online for free. BeanoMAX fills the page with text AND pictures.
- Usually, the free gifts with BeanoMAX aren't cheap and nasty. The Dandy tends to use brand names such as WWE, Ben 10 (grr..hate him!!) and Bogies in its gifts.

What I'm trying to say is, if the Dandy tried to be more like this, it might increase its chance of survival, and its circulation!


NB to the Dandy Xtreme - "Xtreme" phased out before I was born!! Go back to basics.
Last edited by Conor B on 09 Nov 2008, 09:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter Gray
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Peter Gray »

you have two good points..

MAX has a more mature approach on things.

BeanoMAX's articles are written better. The Dandy just tries to fill the page with photos and pictures which people can see online for free.
I like the comic pages in The Dandy..
nice seeing Marvo NB loved the wire gag!!
Hyde and Shriek by Nick B
Desperate Dan by Jamie
the articles should be more sharper..involve the readers more.....I liked it in the past when readers sent in there comic art work to be put into the comic..
the competitons are not even competitons...it needs more reader participation...also the past of The Dandy should be celebrated more..

the comic pages are unique more than an article which as you say can be read online..

felneymike
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by felneymike »

Articles that are crammed with pictures with almost no text you say?

Well Victor was doing that in 1992 and that managed to last until... 1992.

When i was young i always hated having my intelligence insulted. Like issues of the Beano with a science fiction story (for whatever reason, i remember one with Dennis in the future) and people where given "light years" in prison.
Additionally, children of todays generation think nothing of reading a 700-odd page Harry Potter book. Something my generation would have been horrified by ("Whinging git says modern generation is better than his shock"). So a little more text in an article shouldn't be too much trouble for them.

Also anybody older than about 8 at my school talking about "bogeys" would have been bullied into the ground. It had to be farting. And this was getting on for 15 years ago as well

David
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by David »

Now I know, at 27, I am not the target audience for The Dandy: However, my tastes in comic strips has not changed much, I still like all the old strips I did as a kid (though some of those were the old ones from the Dandy/Beano books series).


First and foremost: I think there needs to be a lot more comic strips and/or comic strip pages: one I bought recently with 11 pages of strips didn't represent good value for monety to me at £1.99: there were more strips and pages of strips when it was just a 16 page comic!
If kids have got time to read The Simpsons comics, they've got time to read more Dandy strips! Plus my young cousins stopped getting it, as they like a comic that's got a decent amount of strips: that's a few of the target readers gone already!

I think The Dandy needs to admit defeat with the relaunch and go back to how it was pre relaunch. This would then bring back favourite characters (hopefully) such as Korky The Cat, Winker Watson etc. And fill two pages with a new stories of classics, such as Black Bob: remember: much of the readership was adults! The new Dandy doesn't appeal to many adults. 2 pages wouldn't take up much room, and could claw back the lost readers. But put something like "Black Bob's back!" on the cover to draw attention, and a small half page advert in the issue before.
Kids like animals, so apart from Marvo The Wonder Chicken, how about an animal strip (could be Black Bob as suggested above)?

Japanese and other successful comics need to be read by editors to see why they are successful. This would give ideas on how to increase turnover.

If The Dandy does get a substantial increase in readers, the brand needs to be exploited: I notice this year, there is a Desperate Dan (old style) mug in Peacocks stores for £6. However, it needs to go beyond this: BBC have a Dennis The Menace cartoon: this attracts readers. How about a Korky The Cat cartoon, with the gamekeeper? Or another character? Plus, what about DVDs? There are plenty of Beano ones, but no (as far as I'm aware) Dandy DVDs.

Also, kids will buy The Simpsons comics to see Bart: there is no need for him to be on Dandy covers or puzzles featuring him inside. I imagine the rights cost a lot for this. The Dandy is not The Simpsons, stick to the Dandy brand.

Don't treat kids as imbecilles with the bogey references: they are more inetligent than that (I have young cousins)! That sort of stuff does not appeal to kids.

And finally: Any surveys in the future need to focus on kids of all ages and adults! By focusing on young kids only, The Dandy is missing out the other readers, and alienating them. While kids may be the target audience for The Dandy, a large proportion of readers were adults! You only have to look on here to see that! Since the relaunch (apart from the initial curiosity), many adults have stopped buying The Dandy (myself included: apart from the rare issue). Plus there are no girls strips, that's more of the audience gone! It needs to appeal to both sexes.

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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Raven »

David, what makes you think that "much of the readership (of Dandy) was adults" ... ?

I don't think you can assume that from a few people posting on a forum like this which attracts people with specialist interests and who hardly represent the majority of people. I'd have thought that almost none of Dandy's readership was adults. It seems firmly aimed at age 10 or 11 and under - it's a children's publication after all, so nothing wrong with that.

I think Black Bob is a curious choice for a return. This strip seemed extremely dated to me as a kid back in the 70s - I wouldn't see it as a good contender for the 2008 edition. It was that Lassie/Rin Tin Tin kind of adventure series that was especially popular circa the 1930s-1960s.

dandy mad
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by dandy mad »

I hope thomsons dont resurect black bob i always skipped past it when i got the dandy as a kid as i found it boring and old fashioned and if thomsons brought it wouldnt work in todays market kids arnt into this style of story anymore its far too dated and is best left in the past

David
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by David »

Raven wrote:David, what makes you think that "much of the readership (of Dandy) was adults" ... ?

I don't think you can assume that from a few people posting on a forum like this which attracts people with specialist interests and who hardly represent the majority of people. I'd have thought that almost none of Dandy's readership was adults. It seems firmly aimed at age 10 or 11 and under - it's a children's publication after all, so nothing wrong with that.


I think Black Bob is a curious choice for a return. This strip seemed extremely dated to me as a kid back in the 70s - I wouldn't see it as a good contender for the 2008 edition. It was that Lassie/Rin Tin Tin kind of adventure series that was especially popular circa the 1930s-1960s.


Sorry, it was late at night, I was tired and I should have done more research. I did think that The Dandy did have mature readers at one time, but whether it did or not, I can see The Dandy Xtreme mostly appealing to younger children (although my cousins have stopped reading it) nowadays.

dandy mad wrote:I hope thomsons dont resurect black bob i always skipped past it when i got the dandy as a kid as i found it boring and old fashioned and if thomsons brought it wouldnt work in todays market kids arnt into this style of story anymore its far too dated and is best left in the past
I was just using Black Bob as an example. I thought it wouldn't make much difference to have two pages deicated to an animal strip. However, I realise now that it would: With only the current 10 or 11 pages of comic strips, 2 pages would be around 20% that could be used for other strips.

Sorry about my first post. :oops:

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SID
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by SID »

I got to say that Black Bob was my all-time favourite Dandy strip (so much that I have managed to collect all his annuals).

However, saying that, I agree that it was rather dated even then (not only the way it was presented (with text and no speech balloons) but also the type of stories) and it would take a very clever girl/guy to bring it back successfully into today's market and even if it was possible, the changes needed would, IHMO, destory the strip.

I think bringing back old strips is a good idea provided they could be updated to survive in the modern world.

Good example (again IMHO) was the New Korky in this year's Summer Special.
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Old Freddy
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Old Freddy »

I think it needs to be between 50 and 75% comic, with articles and other things being secondary. Either that, or Make the Xtreme a monthly magazine and the Dandy a weekly comic.

While New characters and artists will always be welcome, so will older favourites. A dandy reader of this day and age may not even know who Korky the Cat is. Just think how sad it would be in about 20 years time, a kid at a car boot says "Hey I seen an Old Dandy annual an' it gotz a picture of this cat on tha front" Not even knowing who he is.

I know there are no reprints in the Dandy Xtreme these days, but if they choose to split the dandy extreme, make sure reprints are chosen carefully in the Dandy and that there is only 1 or 2 reprints each issue if at all. Perhaps a beryl the Peril reprint or something. The reason why I hate reprints so much is because we've got classics from the comics.

Stop all this bogey talk. I loathe stuff that tries to be funny but isn't funny in the slightest. When Blinky debuted in the Dandy in 1994, HE was funny, and he had nothing to to with turds or bogeys. Also, I'm not slagging anyone off or Dissing the new cuddles & dimples, its fine, but I miss when Barrie appleby drew the strip, not that I extremely badly want him to draw the strip. Perhaps if the same artist drew the strip but alterations were made so that the storylines are similar to the older episodes, and perhaps use characters we haven't seen for a while like Granny.
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Digifiend
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Digifiend »

Careful when talking about Cuddles and Dimples, the current artist, Nigel Parkinson is a member of this forum (NP)!

I definitely agree about it needing to be majority comic strip, and about the return of characters like Korky and Winker - bringing back Bully Beef and Chips was a good start. Bringing back Beryl would appeal to girls, I'm sure Minnie the Minx attracts girls to The Beano.

Did you know Blinky actually moved from the defunct Beezer and Topper? It was originally a replacement for Beezer's Colonel Blink, Blinky being his nephew. When he moved to The Dandy, a different artist, Nick Brennan, took over, and redesigned him, dropping the link to Colonel Blink and introducing his pet Yellow Dog.

The Bogies strip is licenced from some cheapo toy, so The Dandy editor has to include it, and hence why some of the free gifts are based on it. http://www.thebogies.com/

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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Lew Stringer »

Digifiend wrote: The Bogies strip is licenced from some cheapo toy, so The Dandy editor has to include it, and hence why some of the free gifts are based on it. http://www.thebogies.com/
Bogies originally appeared in Egmont's Toxic, so Dandy Xtreme (which is styled on Toxic) probably feels it's a coup to have them now. (Being a licensed property they could jump companies like that.) Their disappearance from Toxic doesn't seem to have hurt its sales though.

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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by AndyB »

I would guess that DCT get some income from carrying Bogies - advertising etc.

On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure whether Wallace and Gromit is simply bought in or whether Euan has written any strips for Jimmy Hansen (as the already well-established artist) to draw. Again, there might be some income for effectively advertising licensed properties, unless in net terms DCT has to pay out for W&G to use Nick's characters.

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Digifiend
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Digifiend »

W&G is a unique situation, as Nick Park guest edited The Beano last year. That's also the same period that the W&G comic vanished and they joined BeanoMAX. I suspect this is no coincidence. Nick has always been a Beano fan, so the question is, who pays who? Nick might be doing it for the publicity, not money, as there was a new Wallace & Gromit short broadcast at Christmas remember. If Nick is the one who gets paid, surely having a dedicated comic is more profitable than effectively being a guest.

What goes around comes around. So Dandy pinched Bogies from Toxic did they? I know where they learned that tactic: they already suffered from a poaching when Steve Bright's Captain Handsome strip defected from The Dandy to Lucky Bag Comic.

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Old Freddy
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Old Freddy »

Digifiend wrote:Careful when talking about Cuddles and Dimples, the current artist, Nigel Parkinson is a member of this forum (NP)!
Well, I wasn't dissing the artist by anymeans. I never said he couldn't stop drawing the strip, but I said that it would be nice that the storylines were more like the old storylines, rather than Cuddles being Dimples' Sidekick and whatnot. Like the Dandy book 2006, that had a pre-2004 storyline but post-2004 artwork, and worked fine.

And I knew Blinky was from the Beezer & topper, because I have the beezer book 1993.
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Re: How could the Dandy save itself?

Post by Phoenix »

felneymike wrote:Additionally, children of todays generation think nothing of reading a 700-odd page Harry Potter book. Something my generation would have been horrified by ("Whinging git says modern generation is better than his shock"). So a little more text in an article shouldn't be too much trouble for them.
Am I alone in thinking that now could well be a very opportune time for DC Thomson to bring out a couple of weekly text story papers for children between the ages of 9 and 14? I suspect that this idea would be supported by Ofsted who, in a report published today, claim that only Year 7s (first years in a secondary school for those of you not in the loop) are encouraged to read purely for pleasure. The research base is quite impressive, 120 secondary and 122 primary schools across England between April 2005 and March 2008. And another year has gone by while the report was being compiled! As an ex-teacher I didn't need this report, I already knew its essence from experience in the classroom. The generation of non-readers that the report fears is not only here now, it has been here for a long time. I used to ask my new Lower Sixth students on their first day to tell me what they had read in say the last three months. Well, you wouldn't believe the answers. Hardly any of these young people about to embark on courses in language and literature leading to University entrance, read fiction, some admitted to a bit of non-fiction or perhaps magazines and others felt that the sports pages of the Liverpool Echo would provide a suitable grounding. I think Thomsons should grasp the nettle. There has to be profit in it. I would suggest for starters one 32-page paper for boys and an equivalent one for girls. The presentation must be contemporary, have lots of colour, with some humour and features. What do you all think?

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