THE final edition of a legendary British comic has flown off newsagents’ shelves after it was published for the last time in its 75-year history.
The Dandy, which was first printed on December 4, 1937, and continued publication throughout the Second World War, hit a peak readership in the 1950s, when over two million people regularly bought the comic, which featured characters including Desperate Dan, Korky The Cat, and Bananaman.
In recent years, however, the number of readers has fallen to about 8,000, leading publishers DC Thomson to close the printed edition, and relaunch The Dandy as an online comic.
Newsagents across York found their supplies had disappeared from their shelves within hours of opening, as former readers rushed to pick up a copy of the milestone comic.
Trevor Bailey, manager of Lendal News, said the 12 copies he had ordered had “flown off the shelves”, and had been bought by people from a range of ages, while Chris Price, manager of WH Smith in Coney Street said the 27 copies had sold out within an hour of the store opening.
He said: “It’s been mostly adults and not children buying it. We’ve ordered more, but we’re not sure if we’ll get any.”
John Hutchison, of Maynews in Goodramgate, York, said the shop had sold out and was trying to get hold of more copies from the wholesalers, but it was proving very difficult.
A spokeswoman for DC Thomson said the final edition had already gone into reprint, with an increased run of up to 100,000 copies expected, and by 10.30am, copies were already selling on auction site eBay for £9.99.
Sir Paul McCartney told the NME in 1963 that his personal ambition was to appear in The Dandy, and he featured in the 100-page final printed edition.
But now the comic’s characters will continue in a new digital format with an interactive motion comic which features gameplay at dandy.com.
Craig Ferguson, editor of the new Dandy, said: “We’re giving The Dandy a whole new dimension and bringing a new lease of life to our characters.
“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.”