The future of The Dandy as a weekly printed comic appears to be in jeopardy. Its publisher says that no decision has been made, but Procartoonists.org understands that the comic is likely to be coming to an end in September.
A Dandy cartoonist told us: “They emailed me last week saying that in all likelihood it would be ending in September and they were sad about it.
“For the last issue they are going to revive a whole load of old characters.”
First published by DC Thomson in December 1937, the comic is celebrating its 75th birthday this year.
Comics fans and creators have been rallying around online, and a #SaveTheDandy campaign is already under way on Twitter. Reaction to the news has been posted online by the Dandy cartoonists Jamie Smart and Phil Corbett. Many are passing around a link to a blog post written some months ago on praise of The Dandy, which reminds us that it is currently a vibrant and creative comic.
The Guardian media site reported yesterday that the comic is now selling 8,000 copies a week, down from two million in its heyday. Like all print media companies in the current climate, DC Thomson has been having problems.
Updated: 2pm, August 14
In the modern fashion there has been a lot of reaction online, notably with the #SaveTheDandy campaign. Of course, the single best way to do this is by buying the product but, as this excellent piece of work at Down the Tubes (derived from the Audited Bureau of Circulation figures) shows, the decline of print comic sales is a widespread and longstanding phenomenon.
Reaction from cartoonists and readers has varied from the sad to the conflicted. The latter not least about the business of the print industry which lies at the heart of this sad story.
Updated: 2pm 16th August. Publishers DC Thomson have confirmed The Dandy will cease print publication from December 2012. You can read their statement released using twitter, here.