This saddens me greatly:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/6929615.stm

For those not familiar with British comics, the Dandy is the great survivor; the granddaddy of them all. It first appeared in 1937 and has been published pretty much every week since. Its sister comic the Beano arrived in 1939 and is similarly still going. Generations of children were entertained by characters such as Desperate Dan, Korky the Cat, Dennis the Menace, Beryl the Peril, Little Plum, Lord Snooty and His Pals, not to mention adventurous fare like Billy the Cat, the Iron Fish and Q Bikes.

The new makeover of the Dandy into Dandy Xtreme is just depressing. Is that really all kids want today: fart gags, vomit jokes, and wrestling coverage? I refuse to believe children won’t read a traditional comic–if it’s good enough. Surely the Harry Potter phenomenon proves that kids DO want to read–and read relatively ‘traditional’ material at that.

It’s very telling that in the newsagent I visited the other day there were half a dozen copies of the new Dandy Xtreme (now fortnightly, priced £1.99), and precisely ONE copy of the new issue of the Beano (still weekly, 85p, and still all comics in the classic style).

The Dandy is probably the world’s longest-running, continuously-published comic. I fear it may not be so for much longer.