Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Nostalgia Time - The Demise of The Dandy

I love a good bit of nostalgic whimsy. Casting your mind back, a smile dancing on your lips as you recall the smell of your street growing up, the cartoons you used to watch, the sweets you used to eat. It is with this feeling that I recall The Beano; a British comic that featured Dennis the Menace, his pet dog Gnasher and a whole host of other characters. So I was sad to hear that it looks like its sister comic, The Dandy, may be facing an end to its 75-year long run. Though nothing is definite, and I have no doubt the publisher DC Thomson will try to save it, with such a low circulation it's hard to see how it can continue as is for much longer.

"Where's me Beano?"
(Photo by Peter Barr, c.c. licence,via Wikimedia Commons)


Children just don't read The Dandy anymore. Or the Beano for that matter. The usual suspects of TV, video games and the Internet have been brought up as reasons for it, though considering the Moshi Monsters comic apparently saw a 43% rise in its circulation within a year of its release, something else may be at play here. Personally I suspect cost plays a part in all this; when I was wee the Beano was under a pound, about 60p - 70p I think. Nowadays it costs over a pound... even with a free toy, that seems a bit steep. Then there's also the possibility that the Dandy (and possibly the Beano too) are just past their sell by date. The characters were fun and interesting to me as a child in the 80s and 90s but I don't know if that's as true for children of the 21st Century. That's the problem with nostalgia; sometimes it can make you think something is better than it actually was and to want to protect something that probably shouldn't be saved. The Dandy characters will no doubt live on, in other comics and online, but how relevant is the comic itself anymore to children's lives? Especially when they have so many more options than previous generations?

What do you think? Should beloved products be saved for nostalgia's sake, or is their relevance/quality more important?

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