Saturday, 10 November 2012

FINE AND DANDY

For 75 years (come 4 December) British kids have grown up following the comic capers in...


It is the longest running British comic (and the third longest in the world) and is currently the subject of a new exhibition at London's Cartoon Museum.

Sadly, The Dandy's birthday this year will mark the end of its print publication and the beginning of (hopefully) its continued existence on-line...

When it first appeared, the comic was nothing short of a breakthrough: it was issued in tabloid format and, instead of captions under the pictures, the characters for the first time spoke in 'speech balloons'.

Ah, those characters!

From the beginning this knockabout company of oddballs and misfits were what kept readers coming back and back – with two in particular cover-stars who would remain firm favourites across several generations of young readers: Desperate Dan, a cowboy titan with a huge stubbly jaw and an insatiable appetite – a light snack for Dan would be a (whole) cow pie...

...and Korky the Cat, a human-sized feline...


Among other memorable characters across the years have included Tin Lizzie, Turtle Boy, Freddie the Fearless Fly, Corporal Clot, Bully Beef and Chips, Percy Payne, Cuddles and Dimples, Smasher, Banana Man and Beryl the Peril, one or two of whom are being spied on here by another regular – Keyhole Kate...


The Dandy has consistently served as mirror reflecting three-quarters of century of occasionally turbulent times and changing social mores: from Desperate Dan's WWII exploits taking on the German Luftwaffe...


...to Korky's problems, in the 'sixties, with Beatles-inspired mice...


Along the way, the comic has had to adapt its humour to the restraints of political correctness (dropping unacceptable xenophobic, racist and sexist attitudes and abandoning the spankings, slipperings and canings that its youthful miscreants once regularly endured) as well as, more recently, opening its pages to Manga-inspired characters and occasional celebrity guests, such as a cartoon incarnation of TV star, Harry Hill...


The Cartoon Museum's exhibition remains on show until 24 December (the perfect pre-Christmas treat for kids of all ages) at 35 Little Russell Street, London WC1A 2HH

Opening Times:
Monday-Saturday 10:30-17:30 (including Bank Holidays); Sunday 12:00-17:30 (NB: The Museum will be closed 22 October and 25 December 2012-6 January 2013 inclusive

Admission:
£5.50 Adults; £4.00 Concessions; £3.00 Students; Free to Under 18s, Art Fund Members and Friends of the Cartoon Museum.
Telephone 0207 580 8155

And you can sign-up to be among the first to receive details of the on-line edition of The Dandy!


1 comment:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

It's sad to see classics going away.