The Dandy was a comic that was published by DC Thomson and ran for 75 years from 1937 to 2012. It’s still rather odd to think that it’s not around any more, and the final decade or so of its life was rather grim with endless relaunches and plummeting sales. I do remember enjoying the comic for many years in the 90s though and I’ll write more about my favourite memories soon. Again the issue I’m going to review is a charity shop find (No. 2181, 10 September 1983) so here are the strips in the 20 pages.
Page 1: Korky The Cat. Korky was one of the longest-running characters in The Dandy, appearing on the cover from the first issue until 1984 when he was replaced by Desperate Dan. The story on the cover appears to be a promotion to win a T-shirt.
Page 2: The Smasher. A boy who is always causing chaos by breaking things and being accident-prone. I remember the later version by which point the strip was just called Smasher.
Page 3: Harry And His Hippo. A boy called Harry who indeed has a pet hippo, just casually walking around as if it’s the norm which it seems to be in these type of comics.
Pages 4 & 5: Whacko! The tale of a knight who is the teacher of a chaotic class which begins “In the days of old when kids were bold/And monkeys chewed tobacco/The only master of this school/Was armour-clad Sir Whacko!”.
Page 6: Micky The Mouth. He’s “the boy with the loudest voice in the world”, which is a help and a hindrance, with the strip concluding with Micky sneezing so loudly it blows the front door off his house.
Page 8: Izzy Skint. “He always is” apparently, a penniless boy who thinks of schemes to still achieve things, like using a ladder to look over a fence and watch a football match. “Just wait till I get my hands on him!”-type fun ensues.
Page 9: Tom Tum. A half-page strip with a rather tubby boy who likes to slurp any food he can. The other half of the page features an advert for the “smashing extra-long comic adventures” Dandy Comic Libraries No. 9 and No. 10.
Pages 10 & 11: Desperate Dan. A double-page story for one of the longest-serving characters and the one that I always remember being on the cover when I read The Dandy. It seems that The Dandy did have some long-runners but not as many that endured as The Beano, and there seem to be a lot more short-lived strips, I must admit I don’t remember seeing too many in this issue before, they must have all come and gone in the mid-80s, but this means that there are a lot of characters that even if they weren’t a big success were still enjoyable, and I’ll be revealing more about many favourite characters soon.
Page 12: The Desperate Dan Pie-Eaters’ Club. The letters page and the equivalent of The Dennis The Menace Fan Club. The star letter receives the prize of a futuristic Casio (Pyramid Game) watch! Again I didn’t join this club rather foolishly.
Pages 13 & 14: The Jocks And The Geordies. A strip featuring two groups always battling one another, sort of a Scotland v England or North v South thing.
Page 15: The Tricks Of Screwy Driver. Another half-page strip with a boy who always has a trick up his sleeve. The other half of the page is a plug for the Beano Book 1984.
Page 18: Desperate Dawg. A bit like Desperate Dan, but with a dog. That’s all there is to say about that one really.