Save the Dandy

Britain’s oldest comic The Dandy faces closure after 75 years as sales fall to just 8,000 a week. At its height from 1950s to 1980s, the adventures of cow pie-eating Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat sold two million copies a week. The Slump in sales blamed on competition from computer games and the internet, however Publishers are’confident’ most popular characters will continue to exist online and Desperate Dan could be moved to the pages of long-time rival The Beano. competition from computer games and the internet has seen sales plummet to fewer than 8,000.

Publishers DC Thomson are considering the comic’s future – and even the possibility of moving Desperate Dan to the pages of The Dandy’s long-time rival and sister title, The Beano. A spokesman confirmed it was considering closing the magazine but said the most popular characters would continue to exist online.

Despite outlasting other once-popular comics, including The Beezer and The Topper, a series of recent relaunches have failed to regenerate The Dandy’s sales.In 2007, it was even rebranded as Dandy Xtreme, a fortnightly version of the comic, and in 2010 its creators introduced celebrity-themed strips starring well-known figures such as Simon Cowell and Jeremy Clarkson. Britain’s most popular comic The Beano has also struggled in recent years, People feel that comics have struggled to keep up in the digital age, and that kids now have other ways to spend their time.

However there is hope, Publishers DC Thomson also do workshops and have found that lots of kids want to create their own stories and do enjoy reading them, but there are definitely challenges ahead.’

Winter in Madrid & Dominion by C.J.Sansom

Having read and enjoyed the Matthew Shardlake novels by C.J. Sansom I would like to read his latest novel “Dominion”. To remind me what happened before I would also like to read “Winter in Madrid” again

Winter in Madrid – C.J.Sansom

Set in 1940, The Spanish Civil War is over, and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old schoolfriend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game – and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandy’s girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged on a secret mission of her own – to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama.

Dominion – C.J.Sansom

Set in the year 1952 Dominion is set Twelve years after the events in Winter In Madrid and Winston Churchill has lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselvesunder dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House. Defiance, though, is growing. In Britain, Winston Churchill’s Resistance organization is increasingly a thorn in the government’s side. And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle for ever. Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, is given the mission by them to rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country. Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, find themselves fugitives in the midst of a world more terrifying than they could ever have imagined. And hard on their heels is Gestapo Sturmbannfuhrer Gunther Hoth, brilliant, implacable hunter of men.

Happy Birthday Ana Matronic

Ana Matronic, singer with American band Scissor Sisters was born 14th August 1974.Formed in 2001,Scissor Sisters were “Spawned by the scuzzy, gay nightlife scene of New York,” the band took their name from a sexual position between two women also known as tribadism. Its members comprise Jake Shears and Ana Matronic as vocalists, Babydaddy as multi-instrumentalist, Del Marquis as lead guitar/bassist, and Randy Real as drummer (who replaced Paddy Boom). Scissor Sisters have incorporated diverse and innovative styles in their music, but tend to sway towards pop rock, glam rock, nu-disco, and electroclash.

The band came to prominence following the release of their Grammy-nominated and chart-topping disco version of “Comfortably Numb” and subsequent debut album Scissor Sisters (2004). The album was a success, particularly in the UK (a country they call their “spiritual home”) where it reached number one, was the best-selling album of 2004, was later certified platinum by the BPI and accrued them three BRIT Awards in 2005. All five of its singles reached positions within the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart while “Filthy/Gorgeous” scored the band their first number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs, despite the album’s mere success in their native US.

The album continued its success in countries around Europe, in Australia and in Canada before the unveiling of the band’s second studio album Ta-Dah (2006) which proved to be another success that scored them their second consecutive UK number one album and produced their first UK number one single “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”. Their third studio album Night Work (2010) displayed a shift towards a more club-oriented sound, charting at number two on the UK Albums Chart, number one on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart and in the top 10 of several international territories. The band released their fourth studio album Magic Hour in May of 2012.

Scissor Sisters have performed around the world and have become well-recognized for their controversial and transgressive live performances. They have also collaborated with a number of other well-known pop musicians, including Elton John and Kylie Minogue; these particular collaborations have been received positively by both critics and other notable figures. In 2004, Bono, lead vocalist of rock band U2, described Scissor Sisters as “the best pop group in the world”. They have also collaborated with Global Cool in 2007 on one of their green lifestyle campaigns