He's sunk U-boats with a peashooter and sailed off into the sunset with the Spice Girls. Desperate Dan was once the star of the world's best-selling comic book, the man who could "chew iron and spit rust". But the Dandy is to cease its weekly print edition this week, becoming an online-only publication.
Issue zero of the digital Dandy – published with the help of digital development partners Dubit and Guerilla Tea – is launched to coincide with the final print edition hitting the newsstand. It will feature interactive extras such as games, a joke shop, Dandy TV Show with game reviews, celebrity interviews and 'News At Dan' round-up presented by television presenter and comedian Chris Cohen.
“The digital Dandy will pave the way in a new era for comic books in the UK," head of digital development David Bain said, "utilising the latest technological advancements and bringing the much-loved comic to a new generation of fans with technology that will work across different platforms.”
At its peak, in 1950, the Dandy was the world's biggest-selling comic, shifting over 2m copies a week. Last year, its circulation dipped below 8,000 before publisher DC Thomson removed it from the official industry circulation audit at the beginning of 2012.
“We all know how popular digital devices have become with children so we’re drawing on our traditional heritage and updating our product to make it relevant for today’s children," new Dandy editor Craig Ferguson said.
Interactive motion comic
“With this weekly digital edition, the Dandy is once again blazing a trail by launching a unique, interactive, motion comic. We’re giving the Dandy a whole new dimension and bringing a new lease of life to our characters.”
Online issues of the Dandy will be available on both PC and Mac, and later for tablet and smartphones, costing £1.49 per issue or £29.99 for a one-year subscription. The Dandy will still be published as a printed yearly annual.