The future of Britain’s longest-running comic, The Dandy, is under review following a dramatic drop in print circulation, publisher DC Thomson said Tuesday.
The 75-year-old weekly children’s comic is home to characters such as Desperate Dan, a Wild West desperado who is the world’s strongest man and whose favourite food is cow pie complete with horns.
Recent issues also feature series such as “My Dad’s A Doofus”, “Bananaman” and “Nuke Noodle”.
A spokeswoman for the publishers told AFP that “a review of the title is under way (but) nothing has been decided on yet”, indicating the comic was likely to live on as a digital edition even if the print edition closed.
“We are carrying out a review of our magazines business to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing publishing industry,” the spokeswoman added.
“There are many challenges within the industry at present, but we’re excited that the digital revolution has also given us an opportunity to innovate and develop.”
“We’re celebrating the fact that The Dandy has been in print for 75 years and we’ve a lot of planning to do to ensure that our brands and characters can live on in other platforms for future generations to enjoy.”
The last available figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations show Dandy circulation of 7,489 copies in the second half of 2011, down from 28,550 in the same period in 2007. Its cover price is £1.50.
Other print comics were faring better, with The Dandy’s stablemate The Beano, home to Dennis the Menace, selling more than 22,000 copies and the Spongebob Squarepants comic more than 23,000.
The highest-ever sales of The Dandy came in April 1950, when 2,035,310 of one weekly edition sold, DC Thomson said.
The Dandy, first issued in 1937, now has an iPad app and promotes its comics through its Facebook page, on Twitter and via YouTube drawing tutorials.