Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

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BeanoKev70
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Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by BeanoKev70 »

I had a great e-mail from Ellis Watson the CEO of DC Thomson. I hope in a few months when The Dandy goes digital we will all get behind this new era...

Dear Kevin,

As the person who runs the company and is also personally presiding over the future of the comics that you and I love so much, I’ve decided to write back to your brilliant email. Although I’m concerned about how closely you resemble a staffy, I love your passion just as much as I do your ideas. The Dandy is absolutely not dying, and in just over two months I think you, and the hundreds and thousands like you, will get to enjoy a new generation of The Dandy for the next 75 years. We have gone a little creatively awry in recent years and the business has floundered because of the digital revolution; by fixing the former, and actually embracing the latter, I think you might quite like what we’re doing.

Thanks a million for taking the time to write, I’ve passed on your thoughts to the team and we’re all excited to see if we’ve pressed your buttons or not.

Ellis

Ellis Watson
CEO, DC Thomson Publishing

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Gilly
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by Gilly »

Definately sounds interesting I wonder if this means an online return to the classic style of Dandy, I'm in when the new era begins. :D

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Digifiend
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by Digifiend »

presiding over the future of the comics that you and I love so much,
"Comics" - plural! Does that mean changes are planned on other titles too?

Glad to see that they've admitted to being behind the times in terms of use of digital tech. But "creatively awry"? The current Dandy's problem was marketing, not the content. Newsround's report on the Dandy's print demise exposed the fact that some kids didn't even know that the Dandy existed.

rossmac
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by rossmac »

This does sound promising. Gives me a little hope that there are real plans afoot for the Dandy to continue albeit in a different form. I was beginning to worry that it was going to be some weak effort at getting the Dandy online that would eventually just fizzle away.

That said, I do wonder at what the content will be? If they want the Dandy to continue for another 75 years as is mentioned in this email, then they surely can't rely on reprints (ok, so they have 75 years worth of reprints, but still...). And unless they have all been keeping mum on the matter none of the artists who post here and whose blogs I frequent (ie: Jamie, Lew, NP, Wilbur, Alex Matthews, Andy Fanton etc etc) seem to have any contribution to this new online Dandy- yes there's mention of art for the final issue and the 2014 annual, but noone has said anything about doing strips for the online comic. Which is a real shame because I'm going to miss the brilliant stories these artists have brought us (ie: Nuke Noodle, George Vs Dragon, Mr Meecher, Postman Prat, Arena of Awesome and so on).

And I say 'comic', but will it be one? I guess that is as good a question as any. When it is said that they would like to see the Dandy continue for another 75 years are they simply referring to the brand and what the Dandy will become when it goes online. And what could it become? It's very puzzling and I for one am looking forward to December to see what happens after the final issue of the (print) Dandy hits the newsstands. It seems to be a case of 'The Dandy is dead. Long live the Dandy!'.

Ross

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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by alanultron5 »

Well done BeanoKev! great to get a reply such as that! With sales very low these days Comics producers cherish firm fans!
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Peter Gray
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by Peter Gray »

Well it will be interesting.and looks like new artists...or Beano artist will be drawing it?

Jamie said he has drawn his last Dan...on facebook.
Lets hope there are comic work for Jamie..Lew Stringer..Steve Bright.Andy Fanton.etc...on the digital Dandy..
Great you did a nice email..

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Gilly
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by Gilly »

Digifiend wrote:
Glad to see that they've admitted to being behind the times in terms of use of digital tech. But "creatively awry"? The current Dandy's problem was marketing, not the content. Newsround's report on the Dandy's print demise exposed the fact that some kids didn't even know that the Dandy existed.
I don't think it's the current version of The Dandy that has been the problem but more the previous two revamps (especially Xtreme) which made the comic lose it's identity. This version should still be applauded for it's bold attempt to bring the Dandy back to it's glory days as a proper comic (it did in spirit).

However I do agree that the main problem that let The Dandy down was the marketing that let it down which surprised me due to the fact that a lot of people thought The Dandy had come to an end and was unaware of it.

However I'm sorry to hear that Jamie Smart won't be continuing as artist of Desperate Dan, his version was one of the few success stories of the Xtreme era and it continued strongly into the current version despite my constant annoyance of Dan being limited to one page by then.

dandy mad
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by dandy mad »

I really hope some of its vast archive gets online especially the 1st 25 years

Spencer
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by Spencer »

I also totally disagree with the statement that The Dandy had gone 'creatively awry' of late, and that is backed up by the views of my two sons aged 14 and 12.

I also agree that 'marketing and distribution' were greater contributions to the lack of sales than 'not creative' content.

I don't, for one minute, believe that my children are any different to most young kids when it comes to what makes them laugh or, indeed, what doesn't. I can't honestly say that they liked EVERYTHING in The Dandy but to hear them laughing out loud when they are reading the comic, and saying "read this, it's hilarious!" to each other (and me!), makes me KNOW that the content is not the reason we will not have a print version come December.

So what IS the difference between my children and the majority of their classmates who had, sadly, not heard of The Dandy? Well, it has to be my dedication to finding a copy for them (before I eventually subscribed). I had to search out a number of newsagents/supermarkets both locally and near where I work, to find copies over the past few years - EVEN just after the last relaunch with the massive print run.

I guess the question is "who buys the comics for children these days?". I presume, with the way that society has changed, that it is very rarely the child going in to the newsagent to buy his or her own comics, but more likely a busy parent either quickly picking up what looks like a good package (gift wise), or the child being urged to "choose something quickly as I need to go to the till" in the supermarkets.
On the subject of that relaunch, I am still greatly puzzled as to why there was no cross-advertising in The Beano for the first 6 months or so... Surely that would have been the best place to start for potential readers??

Back to the creativity side, and I can only use my sons as benchmarks as I believe they are in the 'target' range... They LOVED anything that Jamie Smart and Nigel Auchterlounie did in The Dandy - particularly Jamie's Desperate Dan and Pre-School Prime Minister, and Nigel's Bogies and Corporal Clott. They also loved a lot of Andy Fanton's work and Alexander Matthews' Nuke Noodle. They also liked Nigel Parkinson's Harry Hill strips when they were running. These were their 'favourites' but they liked many of the mini-strips and the Madvertisements too.

They have never really found 'Bananaman' funny and have been bemused by how 'unfunny' recent reprints of Keyhole Kate, Spotted Dick and Blubba and the Bear were!

In conclusion, I am concerned that what my children thought were the best parts of The Dandy, are considered to be 'creatively awry'. I will endeavour to support whatever the digital future of The Dandy encompasses, but if they don't find it funny, they'll go back to the XBox!

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Peter Gray
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by Peter Gray »

As a guess I think Nigel will be drawing Dan online..just guessing..

If there are to be reprints online then maybe Lew could draw a Specky Hector type introducing it like he did for the history of comics in Buster...just ideas..

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SID
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by SID »

I also totally disagree with the statement that The Dandy had gone 'creatively awry' of late. I personally think it is the DCT Management's fault in that not the right decisions were made to promote the last revamp after the failure of Xtreme. It almost seems that DCT is blaming the very people who worked hard to save it. Nor can I see anything wrong with the comic itself. In fact, I would say that content-wise, the Dandy is as good now as it has ever been in its heydey (though I do miss the older characters).

I'm going to get the first digital issue but because it will no longer be in print will mean that I can no longer collect it.
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PaulTwist
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by PaulTwist »

I must agree with SID. If there's one thing the Dandy HASN'T done it's gone creatively awry - creatively, it's the best children's comic in YEARS. Commercially awry? Certainly. Whether that's due to poor promotion or a lack of interest from its target audience (or a combination thereof) I don't know. But to criticise the creativity of the comment suggests that DCT's corporate side have no idea what their creators are actually producing.

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BeanoKev70
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Re: Nice e-mail from Ellis Watson

Post by BeanoKev70 »

I feel I need to explain Mr Watson's reply. I made the point that I have liked some of the new material recently but felt the comic had lost its identity by ditching to many of its well known characters which I felt had probably helped with the downfall of the print version. I think his comment was agreeing with this....

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