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The Dandy – Issue 3581

May 12, 2012

The Dandy - Issue 3581

The Dandy – Issue 3581

This week’s Dandy is out in shops now – along with The Beano if you really want to get that… This week’s Dandy is on top form is always and just goes to show that revamps can sometimes be a very good idea. Before I go onto the content of this issue, how about a quick walkthrough of what’s inside this issue?

To be honest, there really isn’t that much that’s worth noting about except most of the comic was very good. A new mini-strip joined this week and replaced… My Mum’s a Brain-Eating Zombie? Nope! Alan the Forgetful Goldfish? Nuh-uh! Errr… NOPE! – Steve Beckett’s brand new mini-strip, Garth Vader actually replaced… none other than Phil Corbett’s Korky the Cat! *Gasp!* – could it really be the end of Korky?

Other notable stuff is that as well as Korky – Go Ape is also absent. Blundercats ends this week – and supposedly, Cuddles and Dimples, which appears to end its reprint run on another four page horror. There’s another terrible Boy Louts Madvert by Nigel Auchterlounie… Blinky is back as this week’s reprint in the reprint rotor… Ermm… And that’s about it… Well, in this week’s issue at least, next week looks to be interesting…

Who can it be? (1)

Who can it be? (1)

Who can it be? (2)

Who can it be? (2)

Who can it be? (3)

Who can it be? (3)

Hmmm… Intriguing… Now my blog has a puzzle feature as well! Wa-hey! So, can you figure the three mystery classics that are returning next week by Wayne Thompson (new), Steve Bright (new) and Stephen White (reprint)?

Anyway, enough with my babbling, let’s get on with the content!

PG 1: Front Cover – Wayne Thompson

– A Wayne Thompson Bananaman front cover means the comic is already looking promising, this week’s cover image is fairly simple yet effective, I like how the covers don’t look so cluttered now, this issue is a good example of what a cover should look like – not something like the over-cluttered Blundercats cover from six weeks back… GOOD

PG 2: Jokes! – Chris McGhie

– Inside we’re welcomed by the tiresome jokes page, I do wonder if the supporting illustrations by Chris McGhie are new material or stock-art. BAD

PG 3: What’s Inside? – Jamie Smart

– The contents page is no different than usual with a fourth skit from The Dandy Editor’s “Sekret (sic.) Diary”. Sadly quite a dull skit this time around. Wednesday’s entry made me chuckle though. AVERAGE

PG 4: Mega-Lo Maniacs – Jamie Smart

– This week’s episode of Mega-Lo Maniacs introduces us to the dreaded CRUSHINATOR. The story is action-packed, full of humour and cleverly done – couldn’t help but notice the absence of Rory though – luckily Chief Constable Derek Dobbins made up for that! GOOD

PG 6: Madvertisement: Boy Louts – Nigel Auchterlounie

– Sadly, the brilliance isn’t to continue as we are punched in the face with yet another of the tiresome Boy Louts series, seriously, just end the Madverts now – the novelty wore off ages ago. WORST

PG 7: Shorts #1:

– Garth Vader – Steve Beckett NEW!

– Crash Test Dummy – Karl Dixon

– Angry Nerds – Will Dawbarn

– Guitar Zero – Alexander Matthews

– A new mini-strip greets us on the opposite page, Steve Beckett’s Garth Vader! The story works well at the three-panel format (unlike Steve’s other mini-strip also running at the moment, The Incredible Sulk) – the story is cleverly done and passes off the over-used Star Wars gag well – but I do feel a better name for the strip would have been Daft Vader. Crash Test Dummy doesn’t fail to disappoint me with the series so far delivering the laughs we were missing in 99 Genius Homework Excuses. The story is cleverly devised and the lack of speech works well in this format – I’m glad The Dandy didn’t choose to add stupid speech in it like “Ooh! That nips!” – do you get that, Iain McCaughlin? Angry Nerds was good, luckily managing to get back on track after a series of disappointing storylines. There’s something very appealing about Will’s artwork in this strip which makes it different to Mr. Meecher. Guitar Zero was very funny – Alex’s humour works really well in this format and th facial expressions on his characters are priceless! GOOD (4/4)

PG 8: Bananaman – Wayne Thompson

– Bananaman features no villain – not that that’s a bad thing. In my honest opinion, the only villain that actually works really well is The Banker (and Fat Cat). The story is funny, witty and Wayne’s artwork is on top form – not to mention the balloonist who makes this strip look even better with some lovely, new speech bubbles. Plus to tie off a perfect strip, Meech also features in it! Could the strip be any better? I don’t think it could. BEST

PG 10: Puzzle: The Hunger Games – Stu Munro

– Stu’s puzzle page ‘The Huger Games’ is clearly a spoof on The Hunger Games film that came out last month – luckily this puzzle page is far better than the film. Stu’s detail is impressive and to even cameo Beryl the Peril made this page far better than I thought it would be! GOOD

PG 11: Superball – Nigel Auchterlounie

– Opposite is Nigel Auchterlounie’s Superball, sadly, I felt that the one-page format does not work for this strip and the strip worked far better at the two-pages it received last issue. The story is still done really well and it certainly reflects on Nigel’s usual charm within his strips with a well-planned storyline. GOOD

PG 12: Blundercats – Steve Beckett

– Blundercats faces the end of its all-too-short run in my opinion and this immediately knocks it down from its usual top spot. While Steve’s artwork may be just as impressive as always – and once again showing why Steve needs two pages – the storyline was far too rushed – a massive BLUNDER for The Dandy if you ask me, this strip deserved to have a longer run – a much longer run. AVERAGE (purely because the story-arc was too rushed…)

PG 13: Mr. Meecher, the Uncool Teacher – Will Dawbarn

– Meech is opposite sporting the new font based off of Will’s handwriting it appears, I personally feel it works really well – plus Will’s on top form with his artwork this week – a definite improvement to the first Mr Meecher strip to feature way back in January 2011. GOOD

PG 14: The Dandy Subscription Page

Moving on… AVERAGE

PG 15: Nuke Noodle – Alexander Matthews

– Alex Matthews’ Nuke Noodle faces an awkward week in my opinion and certainly let’s itself down when compared to the stories from the past few weeks. The artwork is there but sadly the story doesn’t work for me – it does show that Alex’s humour is either a hit or miss, very similar to Nigel Auchterlounie’s. AVERAGE

PG 16: Comps!

– Moving on… BAD

PG 17: Shorts #2:

– Thor Bum – Paul Palmer

– My Sister’s So Dumb – Karl Dixon

– Chronic the Hedgehog – Rick Eades

– Not So Wise Owl – Laura Howell

– On the second mini-strip page we’re first welcomed by Paul Palmer’s Thor Bum, the story plot is weak and I can’t see this strip lasting more than six weeks to be perfectly honest – however, Paul’s artwork is just as brilliant as always. My Sister’s So Dumb is really quite boring but it works far better than Knock, Knock and any other awful joke strips. I like how it actually illustrates the joke rather than just telling it. Chronic the Hedgehog faces its weakest storyline so far but is still very good, I would like to know what Chronic’s chum is called though. I’m betting it’s Fails. Not So Wise Owl is as funny as always – seeing Laura’s artwork in The Dandy really is great, it’s amazing it’s taken this long for her to actually get a proper series in the comic – although I am fairly certain she also drew ‘What a Conundrum’ last year. GOOD (3/4)

PG 18: The Arena of Awesome: Kevin VS. Fridge – Jamie Smart

– The Arena of Awesome sticks in its usual place and doesn’t fail to deliver the usual laughs. This week’s is cleverly done and I lihe the turnout – the story is perfect and Jamie’s artwork is just as wacky and fun as always. GOOD

PG 20: Cuddles and Dimples – Nigel Parkinson (reprint)

– Cuddles and Dimples appears to be facing the end of its run this week, getting another four pages – *sigh* – the story is just as unfunny as always and just goes to show why they cancelled the series in 2010. BAD

PG 24: The Bogies: Evel Knasal – Nigel Auchterlounie

The Bogies luckily managed to cheer me up after an abysmal four pages of dullness. Nigel’s humour is just as surreal as always – but the story did feel slightly *too* traditional for my liking. Traditional was never a bad thing though. GOOD

PG 26: Competition: Make Me A Zombie!

Nice to see more of the zombie mum from My Mum’s a Brain-Eating Zombie – with it getting a mention on the back cover and this competition page and the mini-strip, it’s seemed to prove popular! AVERAGE

PG 27: Shorts #3:

– Tooth Hurty – Paul Palmer

– Alan the Forgetful Goldfish – Paul Palmer

– My Mum’s a Brain-Eating Zombie – Dean Rankine

– The Incredible Sulk – Steve Beckett

– Tooth Hurty was probably at its funniest this issue – I like Paul’s facial expressions he gives his characters – the story is simple but effective – once again managing to show a story can work well without words. Putting Alan the Forgetful Goldfish underneath it was strange though – putting two Palmer strips next to each other doesn’t work – especially as both are only one panel long. Alan continues to amazingly make me chuckle and works well – how this story has been so impressive really is – well – impressive! My Mum’s a Brain-Eating Zombie was great and just goes to show not to jump to conclusions, the story was well done and has easily become one of my favourite mini-strips since October 2010, it will be a shame to see it go. The Incredible Sulk sadly lets the side down by delivering what is frankly a very weak storyline with no clear punchline – I personally feel putting Sulk as a mini-strip was a wrong choice as the story really is restricted. GOOD (3/4)

PG 28: Desperate Dan – Jamie Smart

– Desperate Dan was very funny but to see it nowhere near the end seemed strange. This week’s story works really well and just goes to show why hiring Jamie Smart was such a good decision – The Beano really are missing out… GOOD

PG 29: Filler: Joke Certificates – Nigel Auchterlounie

– Boooorrriiinnnnggggg… BAD

PG 31: Noshy Monsters – Wayne Thompson

– Noshy Monsters is sadly deteriorating – I found the alien abduction was far too rushed and would have worked better if it were longer. AVERAGE

PG 32: Blinky – Nick Brennan (reprint)

– Blinky is back – again – this supports my prediction that The Dandy are doing a reprint rotor, especially with Dreadlock Holmes returning next week… The story itself wasn’t as funny as the previous one but it was still nice to see Nick Brennan’s work in the modern Dandy. Too bad they chose to use the terrible balloonist for it this time! GOOD

PG 34: Bad Grandad – Andy Fanton

– Finally, it’s Andy Fanton’s Bad Grandad – this strip is easily getting better and better with every week – Michelle has done a good job at adopting Andy’s style of writing. I really liked the panels where Timmy sees Grandad’s reflection on the shiny car body and then the spray from the hose as Grandad is busted – careful Timmy, there’s a hosepipe ban at the moment! Nice to see another cameo of Dave the Squirrel as well, I can’t remember the last time I saw that sneaky squirrel! GOOD

PG 35: Next Week

– Next week sounds promising what with Bully Beef and Chips returning (highlight for spoilers) (and Beryl the Peril and Dreadlock Holmes! shhhh!) – Andy’s new mini-strip Al Kazam also looks promising! My only concern is: Britain’s Uncoolest Teacher – hopefully The Dandy aren’t doing a Beano with Britain’s Funniest Gag and that Poets thing. *shudder*. GOOD

PG 36: Back Cover – Wayne Thompson

A great wraparound – I loved The Goodies reference! GOOD

NEW! Garth Vader - Steve Beckett

NEW! Garth Vader – Steve Beckett

In terms of ordering, the stories are all very close to one another – but here’s my order from best to worst best purely off of the story – not the artwork.

1. Bananaman

2. Mega-Lo Maniacs

3. Desperate Dan

4. My Mum’s a Brain-Eating Zombie

5. Crash Test Dummy

6. Bad Grandad

7. Mr. Meecher, the Uncool Teacher

8. Guitar Zero

9. Garth Vader

10. Superball

11. Not So Wise Owl

12. Alan the Forgetful Goldfish

13. The Arena of Awesome

14. The Bogies

15. Blundercats

16. Angry Nerds

17. Chronic the Hedgehog

18. Tooth Hurty

19. Blinky

20. Nuke Noodle

21. Noshy Monsters

22. Thor Bum

23. The Incredible Sulk

24. My Sister’s So Dumb

25. Cuddles and Dimples

Desperate Dan - Jamie Smart

Desperate Dan – Jamie Smart: 3rd in the poll

The Dandy – Issue 3581 is on sale right now in selected supermarkets and newsagents for £1.99 – I urge anyone to buy it. Better still why not subscribe?

Well, that’s the end… er… I hope you enjoyed the review or something… please leave any feedback in the comments… I’d really appreciate it…

I’ll be back next week with some classic updates… until then… er… bye?

– Harry Rickard

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