The first issue of long-running children’s comic, The Dandy Comic, was published on December 4th 1937, The Dandy was published in the United Kingdom by D. C. Thomson & Co. and was one of the first to use speech balloons. making it the world’s third-longest running comic, after Detective Comics (cover dated March 1937) and Il Giornalino (cover dated 1 October 1924). From August 2007 until October 2010, it was rebranded as Dandy Xtreme.The publishers have announced that the final printed edition will be issued on 4 December 2012, the comic’s 75th anniversary, after sales slumped to 8,000 a week from a high of two million a week in the 1950s, but The Dandy will continue to be available online at http://www.dandy.com
The first issue, under the name The Dandy Comic, was published on 4 December 1937. The most notable difference between this and other comics of the day was the use of speech balloons instead of captions under the frame. It was published weekly until 6 September 1941, when wartime paper shortages forced it to change to fortnightly, alternating with The Beano. It returned to weekly publication on 30 July 1949. From 17 July 1950 the magazine changed its name to The Dandy. In 1938, less than a year after the comic’s debut, the first Dandy Annual was released. Originally called The Dandy Monster comic, this was an annual bumper edition of the comic and has been released annually since then. In 1954 the first Desperate Dan Book was released, mostly consisting of reprints. Another was released in 1978, and it was released yearly between 1990 and 1992. Bananaman and Black Bob also had their own annuals. Although later issues were all comic strips, early issues had many text strips, with some illustrations. In 1940, this meant 12 pages of comic strips and 8 pages of text stories. Text stories at two pages each were “Jimmy’s Pocket Grandpa”, “British Boys and Girls Go West”, “There’s a Curse on the King” and “Swallowed by a Whale!”
In 1963 the first Dandy summer special was published, a joint Dandy-Beano summer special; the first exclusively Dandy Summer Special was released the following yearIn 1982 the Dandy comic libraries were released, which later became known as the Fun Size Dandy. These were small-format comics usually featuring one or two long stories starring characters from The Dandy and occasionally other DC Thomson comics. In September 1985, the ailing Nutty was merged with The Dandy, bringing with it the Bananaman strip, currently the third-longest-running strip still in the comic. Just over a year later, the short-lived Hoot was also merged with The Dandy, most notably incorporating the character Cuddles into the pre-existing comic strip Dimples to form Cuddles and Dimples, another of The Dandy’s longest running comic strips.
After 2004 The Dandy underwent a radical format overhaul. The comic changed format and content, reflecting a more television-oriented style, now printed on glossy magazine paper instead of newsprint. a new comic strip called “Office Hours” (a comic strip about the adventures of the writers of The Dandy) appeared, and two supposedly new ones also started,(“Jak” and “Dreadlock Holmes”). In 2007 The Dandy had another update, becoming the fortnightly comic-magazine hybrid Dandy Xtreme. Unlike previous incarnations, Dandy characters did not necessarily grace the cover every issue; instead, celebrities and other cartoon characters were featured; the first Dandy Xtreme had Bart Simpson on the cover. The Dandy Xtreme had a theme for each issue, usually a movie or TV show.
From 2010 The Dandy returned as a weekly comic and dropped “Xtreme” from its title. The contents received a major overhaul, and all the comic strips from the Xtreme era except for Desperate Dan, Bananaman and The Bogies were dropped. Korky the Cat, who appeared in the comic’s first issue in 1937 returned with many new comic strips & celebrity spoofs such as Cheryl’s Mole, Pre-Skool Prime Minister, George vs Dragon. The 76-page Christmas special featured a pantomime, a 12-page Harry Hill strip. More recent comics have also feaured “Punslinger”, “Dad’s Turn To Cook”, “My Freaky Family”, “Animals Eat The Funniest Things”, “Star T.Rex” and “Brian Damage”. Song parodies and fake recipes also appeared in The Dandy. The Royal Mail also launched a special stamp collection to celebrate Britain’s rich comic book history, which included The Dandy among many others & a follow-up to Waverly Book’s The History of The Beano: The Story So Far, called The Art and History of The Dandy, was released in August 2012, the Dandy’s 75th anniversary year.
Over its 75-year run hundreds of different comic strips have appeared in The Dandy, many of them for a very long time. including Desperate Dan and Korky the Cat, who both appeared in the first issue. Following mergers with Nutty and Hoot, the Dandy inherited a number of their strips, most notably Bananaman from Nutty and Cuddles from Hoot, who teamed up with a Dandy character to form a new strip entitled Cuddles and Dimples. Both have been quite long-running, having been in the Dandy since the 1980s and each having appeared on the front cover of both The Dandy and the comics from which they came from. The Dandy has also inherited Beryl the Peril, Puss ‘n’ Boots and Owen Goal from The Beezer & Topper. The Dandy has had a number of different cover stars including Korky the Kat, Desperate Dan and Jak and sometimes covers were given over to celebrities or current trends, Including the popular British comedian Harry Hill.