Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Dandy under threat

Let's get the story out of the way, first:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/13/oldest-comic-the-dandy-faces-closure


£1.99 - will make your kid laugh
There appears to be two distinct camps set up on the back of this news. There are those who immediately want to save The Dandy from closure, such as most of the people I follow on Twitter, traditionalists, sentimental types and kids; then there are those who, as you'll see in the comments of the Guardian article, are apathetic towards the comic and either weren't aware of its continued existence or are outraged at the price point (£1.99, which apparently is extortionate, despite being cheaper than a pre-packed sandwich or... well... most things).

£2.09 - will make your kid fat
Most people are missing the point. It's a real shame that The Dandy is in danger because there are thousands of kids who'd love it if it were on their radar. It's funny, lovingly-crafted, beautiful to look at... The reason it isn't on the radar? I couldn't say. What I can say is that the children of the generation The Dandy would regard as its target market now seem to own iPhones, iPads, XBoxes and PS3s and drink coffee from Starbucks. The expense isn't the issue, so much as the rush to grow up. Kids under 10, owning iPhones? What, was a Mini Cooper too expensive? There must be some kind of stigma attached to kids who are allowed to be kids, playing with toys, reading comics and pretending to be a magic owl in the middle of Tesco. Adulthood is difficult and adolescence can be mortifying, so why the hurry to get there?


£7.99 on Amazon - 5 years old and cack
And yet, look at the signs. Kids want stuff all of the time, right? They nag all the way around the supermarket for things. That's why Lego produce Mini Figures, blind-packed toys in a bag for anywhere between £1 and £5. They're an impulse buy. A way to stop the nagging. £1 to stop your kid moaning and give them something to play with for a while. A while. As much as I love Lego (and ye gods, I love Lego), one figure doesn't hold your interest for long. So how does £2 to placate your little terror for at least an hour sound? Oh, and hey! They'll laugh. They will learn new words. They might want to keep reading. They might be inspired to draw. Oh, and if you have more than one kid, they can share.

Comics inspire. The Dandy inspires. Fruit Shoots do not inspire. Magnum Infinity does not inspire.

Parents. Do me a favour. Do yourselves and your kids a favour. Buy The Dandy and risk inspiring your children.

I dun a Dan


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