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Friday, July 05, 2013

Comic Cuts - 5 July 2013

At long last, I have the feeling that the Boys' World book is finally coming together. I've been plugging away at it for some weeks—research takes time—but now I've reached the stage in the introduction where I'm talking about the strips and features rather than events leading up to the appearance of the paper. Finally it feels like the book is taking shape.

Artist Wilbur Dawbarn has broken the news that the Dandy has passed away. The print edition came to an end in early December 2012. The thirteenth digital edition was published last week (27 June 2013) and contributors were informed soon after that it was to be the last.

One of Wilbur's twitter followers, Simon Bromley, noted: "I, sadly, only managed to buy the first one—I had no luck getting either the website or phone app working," to which Wilbur replied "Yeah, I think that may have been part of the problem..."

The digital Dandy launched with issue zero on 4 December 2012—coinciding with the end of the print edition—with each digital edition costing £1.49. A 12-month subscription (£29.99) reduced this to around 59p per issue. There were, however, problems from the beginning. Even on the day of its launch, people were finding it difficult to load stories; the problem affected a number of different devices and platforms making the motion comics hard, if not impossible, to follow.

Dandy App Promo

The phone app apparently had technical issues from the start and continued for the next few months. The digital Dandy was subsequently relaunched on 4 April 2013 with a free taster issue, with the new issue 1 following on 5 April 2013.

The digital Dandy Online continued the adventures of Desperate Dan (by David Parkins), Bananaman (by Andy Janes), Keyhole Kate (by Stephen White), Brassneck (by Stephen White), Blinky (by Nick Brennan) and the Numskulls (by Jamie Smart; ex-Beezer), amongst others, and revived '40s superhero The Amazing Mr. X (by Wayne Thompson). It was edited by Craig Furguson.

Chris Cohen starred in the online Dandy TV videos, the 28th of which was posted on 27 June 2013. The videos were filled with chat about games and toys, short features with Chris attending a Kung Fu school or theatre and included the pun-filled Dandy News.

The Dandy brand has been a balloon with the air hissing out of it for some years but has, astonishingly, always managed to stay afloat. With that in mind, the Dandy Annual will be continuing, with work already underway on the 2015 issue. The Desperate Dan is such a well-loved character, I can't imagine he'll be down for long.

As it appeared a couple of hours after I'd finished writing that week's column, I missed mentioning a nice Beano-style caricature of the cast of Mock the Week (June 20) appeared on the programme courtesy of Beano artist Nigel Parkinson.

A very quick random scans column this week. I managed to pick up three of Stephen Baxter's Time's Tapestry series. I have to admit that I've not tried one of Baxter's novels since around 1999/2000 and I wasn't greatly impressed. But seeing all three books together (two of them signed), I thought I'd pick them up. Didn't realise there was four books in the series, but I'm sure the other one will turn up before I get a chance to read them. Cover design by Ghost. Nice design, stupid name, impossible to find any information online.

More digital Dandy tomorrow and a brief look at the life of Henry Crystall on Sunday. Next week in 'Three Men in a Boat' ... the end of the journey!

What Would YOU Do? There was only one possible thing the trapper could do. He shot one of the attacking wolves. The rest of the pack, ravenous with hunger, turned on the fallen beast. This gave the man time to make a dash for the safety of his cabin.

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