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Classic Crash in The Dandy!

May 20, 2012

Since the 2010 revamp, The Dandy has been full of great, new stories among the classics like Jamie Smart’s Desperate Dan, Wayne Thompson’s Bananaman, Phil Corbett’s Korky the Cat and of course, the more modern strip, Nigel Auchterlounie’s The Bogies.

During 2011, we gained many new stories as well as seeing a few returns, the first of these being Duncan Scott’s Doctor Loo which I’m lead to believe was probably stock-piled strips which were meant to appear in The Dandy Xtreme – after a four week run – Doctor Loo and Gwen went off so far in the L.A.D.I.E.S that they eventually went AWOL (true fact). Next came Jamie Smart with a Sparky classic, Thingummyblob – lasting a 13 week run, Thingummyblob quickly became one of my favourites – however, the run faced a very bumpy ride with some of the strips first appearing being over four years old! Crikey!

Thingummyblob - Jamie Smart

Thingummyblob – Jamie Smart (Straight from the Sparky – sort of).

Soon came the triumphant winners of the Strictly Come Laughing, Andy Fanton’s Harry and his Hippo – up against Steve Beckett’s Daredevil Dad, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell’s Tag Team Tastic and the frankly appalling Chris McGhie’s Phil’s Finger – Andy managed to narrowly beat Tag Team Tastic after the contest was pulled one day early. Harry and his Hippo soon went on to get their first official series which started in the same issue as the return of Pre-Skool Prime Minister – this issue resulting in my favourite issue of all time. Harry and his cabbage-hungry Hippo managed to stay in the comic up until the second of the haunting “Summer of Fun” issues when the comic got riddled with celebrities and unfunny stories – this meaning Harry and his Hippo’s first proper run – and sadly their only run so far – lasted 10 weeks.

Next came Phil Corbett’s second classic return, the fearless fly himself – Freddy the Fearless Fly! This strip appeared to be loved by the younger age-group with Freddy regularly appearing in the Mailbag section – well, either that or he might have just been easy to draw. The story had a long run of 18 weeks – many of these being based around the “fly in my soup” gag. The series wasn’t exactly incredible but it was quite clever – possibly Phil’s best Dandy story with it managing to barely ever use puns!

Freddy the Fearless Fly - Phil Corbett

Freddy the Fearless Fly – Phil Corbett

In the issue before the end of Harry and his Hippo (and George VS. Dragon)’s run – The Dandy launched their first reprint much to the disappointment of most of its readers who were promised “100% New!” according to The Dandy adverts which ran in The Beano for some time. The reprint of course being Jamie Smart’s popular My Own Genie – The Dandy managed to keep this ridiculously long but funny reprint run going over the course of a massive 38 issues with the reprint run ending only a few issues back this year! Crumbs!

The classic returns then faced a small absence with more celebrity-based strips appearing in The Dandy. This era being easily the weakest era since the 2010 revamp. When the 36 page boost was announced on the ‘Next Week’ page of the 2011 Bonfire Night Special – news came with it that as well as Pepperoni Pig getting an unexpected second run as well as Rocky O’Flair gaining a full page comic strip that The Dandy were about to shove in yet another reprint – Jamie Smart’s frankly fantastic Space Raoul – I didn’t actually have a problem with this. I’d never read any of his adventures before except the one The Dandy uploaded to their Facebook page only a few months before (whoops!). The series lasted 12 weeks just like the series originally did in the weekly. The story ending in the same issue which saw the debut to the new reprint run of Cuddles and Dimples – not more reprints!

Space Raoul - Jamie Smart

Space Raoul – Jamie Smart got a 12 week reprint run in The Dandy in November-February.

And speaking of the devils, Cuddles and Dimples managed to nab three pages of the 44-page 2011 Christmas Special which also saw the final episode of Harry Hill’s Real-Life Adventures in TV Land. They then disappeared in the next issue (being the first of 2012) much to the surprise of every reader. However, in the Next Week page of Issue 3569 – news reached us that not only were Lew Stringer’s Kid Cops were returning but also the “Terrible Toddlers” with a picture of Nigel Parkinson’s Cuddles and Dimples. After asking Nigel, we found out that these were sadly not new but was in fact, the official start of the C&D reprints. Now I wonder if the Christmas Special was simply foreshadowing their return. Cuddles and Dimples luckily didn’t have such a long run as My Own Genie – only lasting 10 weeks.

But the reprint amount was about to increase again as in the next issue, we were surprised to see John Dallas’ Beryl the Peril in there – a clear reprint simply for the fact that they still had the old speech bubbles on them – now that, is a proper reprint! Beryl disappeared for a few weeks after that oddly before then returning again, still in John Dallas reprints for exactly 3 weeks before disappearing again. But of course, that was not the last we’d see of Beryl… (thanks Oliver for update)

Beryl the Peril

Beryl the Peril featured in reprints for four weeks by John Dallas. (Art by Steve Bright I think?)

And then with Beryl disappearing – we had to clearly gain another reprint – this time it being a personal favourite of mine, Nick Brennan’s Blinky – the strip strangely only lasted one issue before disappearing for two weeks – instead being replaced with another Nick Brennan reprint, Sneaker – this short reprint run lasting only 2 issues before we got to read more of the “ongoing” reprint adventures of Blinky. Very odd…

With My Own Genie ending a few issues back and Cuddles and Dimples ending in Issue 3581 appearing to be a test run with the familiar words “Like Cuddles and Dimples? Tell us about it –” appearing at the end clearly showing it was a reprint to any absent-minded readers who thought we were being treated to 4 page C&D stories. Blinky also returned in the same issue and is still going on as of present.

However, the one issue which is probably going to go down in history now as the day The Dandy went classic-mad is in Issue 3582 where not only did Bully Beef and Chips return in new stories by Wayne Thompson (as announced in the previous Next Week page) but we also saw the return of top artist, Steve Bright who had returned drawing brand-new Beryl the Peril episodes. The Dandy even claimed it to be new – probably trying to wipe the Dallas reprint run from our minds. Busted!

Beryl the Peril - Steve Bright

Beryl the Peril – Steve Bright (definitely not John Dallas!)

Sadly, with Cuddles and Dimples gone – of course, we couldn’t be treated to a new comic strip series – that would be silly! So instead we are re-introduced to Stephen White’s Dreadlock Holmes – with a Next Week part at the end of it – it shows it really is a direct replacement for Cuddles and Dimples – plus it’s four pages long! Not good.

But hold your horses because that’s not the end – sure, I’ve managed to bring up to date with the classic returns but there’s more news!

As announced on Nigel’s blog today, Nigel Parkinson is drawing a new comic strip series for The Dandy which is due to debut in two weeks time! Except it isn’t exactly new – but it’s not a reprint… Here were the two pictures that Nigel uploaded to his blog doing what he does best, teasing us:

Teaser 1

Who could this be? – Courtesy of Nigel Parkinson’s blog.

Teaser 2

A boy and his dog – who could it be? The return of Hoot’s Dogsbody as suggested by an anonymous blogger? – Courtesy of Nigel Parkinson’s blog

After a helpful clue from Peter Gray claiming:

Got the new Dandy on subscribtion so now know the answer…didn’t expect that…hope you can use the characters someetimes as a where’s ——like the Where’s Harry Hill you did…I love the poster page and these characters are known for it…a clue..;)

Well, that cracked the riddle for me – I guessed it straight away – it had to be…

All is revealed!

All is revealed! THE BANANA BUNCH ARE RETURNING! – Courtesy of Nigel Parkinson’s blog

So, it’s official – in exactly two weeks’ time – we’ll be seeing the return of the Beezer bunch – The Banana Bunch – this being Nigel’s third time at drawing them. With The Banana Bunch appearing in The Dandy once upon a time and then being reprinted in The Dandy Xtreme once upon a time – very few Dandy readers will probably be familiar with them. But being a big fan of the Bunch – I’m now a very excited Dandy fan!

As well as this, we also manage to see a lot of classic (as well as present character) cameos appearing all of the time – notably in Stu Munro’s Justin Beaver which had the following classic (and present) cameos in it:

Korky the Cat, Beryl the Peril, Marvo the Wonder Chicken, Brassneck, Olly (from Desert Island Dick), Dragon (from George VS. Dragon), a dodge book (from Roger the Dodger), Foxy, a dog that was based off of Pop (from Pop, Dick and Harry), Julius Cheeser, Hoss (from Hungry Hoss), Tiny, Bear Thrills, The Buurd, Bananaman, Desperate Dan, Sting, Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Toots (from The Bash Street Kids)

As well as this, Dave the Squirrel also cameoed many times even after finally getting his own strip – regularly sneaking into Andy’s comic strips as well as a Tiny’s Temper, Punslinger and Ray Fears story. Mr. Meecher recently cameoed in Bananaman and Boo cameoed in the Mr. Meecher Halloween story. Grampire cameoed in Boo in that same issue and Freddy the Fearless Fly cameoed in both the X-Factor Boo-Hoo Bingo and a Boo story – notably the issue before the announcement of his return – freaky! Owen Goal cameoed in both Little David Beckham and in a recent Bad Grandad story – as did Smasher in another Bad Grandad story. Harry and his Hippo had Brain Duane, Dinah Mo and Smasher also feature in one of their stories along with Bully Beef and Chips in another earlier one, Bully Beef and Chips also starring in a Bananaman story. The Blundercats recently cameoed in The Incredible Sulk on a poster, Greedy Pigg starred as the criminal in a early Kid Cops story and Postman Prat and Brassneck once cameoed in Korky the Cat (with Brassneck also featuring in Springwatch). Many favourites including Robot on the Run, Pre-Skool Prime Minister and the Shao Lin Punks featured in a Harry Hill strip which also included Postman Prat and Professor Dandy earlier on in the strip. Pepperoni Pig was the main star of a War ‘n’ Pizza Madvert by Nigel Auchterlounie and Winker Watson featured in both Mr. Meecher, the Uncool Teacher and Bananaman. Bananaman, Desperate Dan and Korky all featured as judges in a Arena of Awesome story and Dan went up against Dennis the Menace in a special Arena of Awesome episode, Dennis later on appearing recently in the first of the Dreadlock Holmes reprint run (thanks James!). Black Bob featured in a Harry and his Hippo story as well as in Farm-ula One and Nuke NoodleNuke also meeting Colonel Blink in a recent story. Beryl the Peril cameoed in a puzzle page recently by Stu Munro as well as also hiding in Cheryl’s hair in What’s In Cheryl’s Hair Today? Plus, The Mighty Bork had a Dennis the Menace plushie as well as featuring Corporal Clott and Colonel Grumbly in its final episode. Desperate Dan (or Dan Solo)  starred in Clown Wars – meanwhile they cameoed in a Pass the Peril story by Steve Beckett on The Dandy Facebook Page along with Bananaman and Daredevil Dad‘s neighbour, Mr Simpkins. A recent Bad Grandad story also featured Desperate Dan, Harry and his Hippo, Korky and Bananaman all commenting on a photo of Timmy and Jessica. There are probably even more cameos – I just can’t think of them all! 

Of course, that means that in two weeks’ time – we’re going to be having a classic explosion within The Dandy!

This meaning that in Issue 3584, we’ll be seeing:

Jamie Smart’s Desperate Dan, Wayne Thompson’s Bananaman, Nigel Auchterlounie’s The Bogies, Steve Bright’s Beryl the Peril, Nigel Parkinson’s The Banana Bunch, Wayne Thompson’s Bully Beef and Chips (and possibly, Phil Corbett’s Korky the Catall in brand-new strips as well as the current reprint runs of Nick Brennan’s Blinky and Stephen White’s Dreadlock Holmes! Now all we need are Harry and his Hippo and Freddy the Fearless Fly to get second runs!

Plus there will also be the latest episodes of Jamie Smart’s Mega-Lo Maniacs, Andy Fanton’s Bad Grandad (and Cavemen in Black!), Will Dawbarn’s Mr. Meecher, the Uncool Teacher and Alex Matthews’ Nuke Noodle – The Arena of Awesome probably ending the issue before so that The Banana Bunch can get centre pages like the good, ol’ days!

All I can really say is, ROLL ON ISSUE 3584!

– Harry Rickard

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2012 12:14

    Dennis the Menace cameoed in Dreadlock Holmes this week (on poster with a dart in it).

  2. May 20, 2012 16:29

    Great post and lots of interesting info all summed up..thanks wizzkid97
    my clue should of been harder;)

    • May 20, 2012 19:36

      Thanks Peter, just something I felt like writing after hearing the brilliant Banana Bunch news! You’re welcome, I hope you enjoyed it – thanks for the clue! I’m just pretty good at cracking riddles! 😉

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