4th December 1937

First and last editions of comic The Dandy are published

The Dandy was one of the longest-running and best-selling comics ever published in Britain. Published by Dundee-based DC Thomson, for many years alongside The Beano, it featured a wide range of well-known characters, including Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat and Bananaman.

Desperate Dan in Dundee
Desperate Dan in Dundee

The title had such an important cultural impact that Desperate Dan and a Dandy cover appeared on the cover of a Royal Mail First Class stamp in 2012. Other characters and titles appearing in the same set of stamps include Dennis the Menace in front of the Beano, and Buster accompanying the eponymous Buster comic.

Two million copies a week

At one point, The Dandy was selling more than two million copies every week, but by the 2010s this number had fallen to less than 10,000, despite a radical redesign in 2005. On 10 January 2005, the BBC News website asked, “what exactly is going on at the Dandy?” It continued, “There’s no familiar red logo, no Desperate Dan on the cover, no black-and-white comic pages inside – in short if it didn’t say it was called Dandy, you would think this was something different altogether. In its place, there’s a glossy magazine, with skateboarding characters, cutesy TV-style animals, adverts for the Toon Disney TV channel, bigger pictures, and less text.”

The redesign increased the magazine’s sales, with the same BBC report estimating that circulation was up 50% since the redesign. But, seven years later, the decision was made to cease production of the paper-based title, with some of the best-loved characters being given a second life online.

The last print edition of the comic was a 75th anniversary celebration, with the final copies hitting shelves on 4 December 2012 – the anniversary of its first appearance.



Other events that occured in December

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