Earlier today I visited the Cartoon Museum, currently hosting an exhibition of The Dandy over 75 years of publication… only for the Dandy to be cruelly cancelled. And then immediately relaunched as a new digital comic book publication.
The zero issue is free, with five strips, Desperate Dan, The Numskulls, Bananaman, Blinky And Brassneck, Keyhole Kate and new superhero strip RetroActive . The site is very “live”, it wobbles, it animates, it offers games, it offers distractions and yes, it also offers comics. Strips with slight animation, panel by panel storytelling. Which is a jump, and not one I was expecting. I remember with pleasure earlier Numskulls strips, where the lead’s head would be divided into separate panels, the action going from left to right and down across his cranium. That seems impossible now, though there are other tricks, using past panels to flit across the current panel, if it’s needed and I was promised use of panel-to-panel storytelling in future issues. But as it stands, this has lost the business, the furiousness of the classic Dandy one pager. Some of this is still present in the home page, but not in the art of storytelling itself, and that’s a shame.
Something else that struck me as having extended usage, was the funding of this venture. Children can be gifted money by parents and can spend it as they wish, on comics, on games, on customisation. This effectively creates a child’s currency which has the potential to go a lot further than finding a new audience.
But for now we have a new, free, comic for kids. The Dandy, issue zero. What do you think?