Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Dandy's demise. Is it a good thing?

I think, before I have to defend myself against a torrent of abuse, and ducking to avoid an angry mob hurling rotten fruit and spitballs, I should explain my reasoning to that.

When I first saw the news that The Dandy (In paper form) would be disappearing from the newsagents shelves, I was horrified. "It's the end of children reading anything for enjoyment. What is to become of the world? Will it end in an entire generation of illiterates?" A bit of an over-reaction you think? Well, perhaps you're right.

When I think about it. I haven't actually bought a copy of The Dandy for a very long time. One of my sons subscribes to The Beano, the other to NG Kids, and they are both continuing, at the moment anyway.  Perhaps my sudden interest was because one of my friends announced that he had just started a new story in The Dandy. I was so pleased for him, and then to see it may all come to an end. It must have been a devasatating blow. A bit like giving a child a box of chocolates, then telling him that you've eaten all but the coffee creams!

So of course, I was all for saving The Dandy, in it's beloved paper form. So why am I now starting to think it's demise might be a good thing? It's not because it will continue to appear as an online entity, although that is of course encouraging. It is because of the people and possibilities I have discovered in the wake of the news. I would not have seen for example 'The Phoenix' - (Quite ironic really, if you consider that the demise of the Dandy could actually result in more diverse comic publications rising from the ashes.). It's also caused a lot of cartoonists to consider the potential in starting up alternative paper comics - But it's more than just giving the ideas consideration. Artists are really thinking it through, weighing up the possibilities, working on solutions, and do you know what?  I think that in the very near future, there will be a handful of new and exciting publications to ensure that our children can continue to read and enjoy comics wherever they are. In their beds at night, or with friends in the school playground, a sneaky peek while teacher isn't looking , or sitting on the loo. Look out on Twitter for anything bearing the hashtag #awesomenewcomic because you can be sure that when something rises from the ashes, it will be there.

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