First copy of The Dandy sold 80 years ago today

A copy of the first edition of The Dandy Comic published on December 4, 1937, fetched more than �20,000 at auction. PIC: DC Thomson and Co Ltd 2017.
A copy of the first edition of The Dandy Comic published on December 4, 1937, fetched more than �20,000 at auction. PIC: DC Thomson and Co Ltd 2017.
0
Have your say

Eighty years ago today, Desperate Dan and Korky the Kat were unleashed on the nation for the first time.

The first edition of The Dandy appeared in shops on December 4 1937 with the comic to be read by a staggering 2 million children - and a fair few adults - every week during the 1950s with its towering popularity lasting until the 1980s.

The Dandy Comic was read by 2m people a week in the 1950s. PIC: DC Thomson and Co Ltd 2017.

The Dandy Comic was read by 2m people a week in the 1950s. PIC: DC Thomson and Co Ltd 2017.

The Dandy, published by DC Thomson in Dundee, was a fresh departure from other comics of the day given the stories were told in speech balloons rather than captions below the frame.

Wartime paper shortages forced it to go fortnightly in September 1941 with publication of The Dandy alternating with The Beano for nearly eight years.

By the early 1950s, The Dandy had become the biggest selling comic in the world.

A copy of the first ever edition of the comic sold for more than £20,000 in 2014 - the highest price ever paid for a British comic at auction.

The lot, which included the original free gift of a metal whistle, was bought by a collector in Essex.

It was one of only 10 copies of the comic’s first edition known to exist, but the free gift is the only one to have survived.

The first book featured the debut of Korky the Cat and cow pie fan Desperate Dan, both who were to become household names for many.

READ MORE: Twin Towns: Dundee and Alexandria, Virginia

Nosey parker Keyhole Kate also appeared in the comic which was originally put together by cartoonists Dudley D Watkins, James Crighton, Charlie Grigg, Eric Roberts and Jack Prout, among others.

Dandy became officially recognised as the world’s longest running comic in 1999, with the publication of its 3,007th issue.

The last print edition of The Dandy was published on its 75th anniversary on December 4 2012 with the comic appearing only in web format after that.

READ MORE: 10 Scottish artists to follow on Instagram

By this time, weekly sales were down to an average of 7,489 but the digital experiment did not last with the project pulled after just six months.

Despite the loss of The Dandy to a fresh generation, the impact of Desperate Dan and Co and the work of the comic’s creators are still much admired today.