The Dandy

a.k.a.: The Dandy Comic, Dandy X-Treme

Publisher: D.C. Thomson

Format: Weekly comic strip anthology

First Issue: The Dandy Comic #1 (4th December 1937)

Last Issue: (print edition) Dandy #3610 (4th December 2012); (digital edition) 26th June 2013

Absorbed: Nutty, Hoot, Beezer and Topper

Absorbed into: None

Strips: Numerous - see below.

Comments: Dundee-based publisher D.C. Thomson had been producing comics ever since it was founded in 1905. In 1936 the company had enjoyed great success with including an eight page comic, the "Fun Section," aimed at younger readers in their weekly newspaper the Sunday Post, containing two strips drawn by one of their most capable artists, Dudley D. Watkins. The success of Oor Wullie and The Broons prompted the commissioning of a comic hoping to hit a similar youthful target audience, and in December 1937 they launched their new title, The Dandy. Prior to it, most titles of the day were a mixture of illustrated text stories and comic strips with captions beneath the frame, but The Dandy broke with this tradition, instead using word balloons in the comic strips. It would go on to become not just one of D.C. Thomson's most enduring titles, but one of the longest running comics in the world, surviving for an impressive seventy-five years. The first editor was Albert Barnes, who oversaw the comic for more than half of that lengthy run, editing the comic from 1937 to 1940, taking a break to serve in the Royal Navy during World War II, then returning to The Dandy in 1946, where he stayed until his retirement in 1982, a grand total of thirty-nine years at the helm!

Korky the Cat was the cover star for the first issue, and (with the exception of a single issue in 1945 discussed below) maintained that position for the next forty-seven years, finally yielding headline status to Desperate Dan, another character from that debut issue, and one co-created by Albert Barnes and Dudley Watkins. Other comic strips in The Dandy #1 included:

Korky the Cat, as he appeared in the Dandy's early days

Desperate Dan's original appearance.

Keyhole Kate

Barney Boko

Freddy the Fearless Fly, before his 1990s makeover.

Sammy, being pushed along by his sister

Hungry Horace as he originally looked. He'd change considerably after spending time in The Sparky.

Magic Mike, with his Magic "Shop"

Mugg Muggins, boy inventor

Smarty Grandpa


Wig and Wam, the Skookum Twins

Pongo and Bongo respectively, returning to Bamboo Town

It also featured some picture stories, strips with the text below the frame:

Jimmy and his Grockle

Buck Wilson

Lost on the Mountain of Fear

Our Gang

Invisible Dick

And text stories, which had only a few accompanying illustrations:

The Tricks of Tommy

The Two Brave Runaways

Wee Tusky

Red Hoof


Inevitably, not every strip was as successful as Korky or Desperate Dan, and so it wasn't long before some of the original strips retired and new ones replaced them. This was also the year the first Dandy Annual was released, under the title The Dandy Monster Comic.

Flippy the Sea Serpent

A relatively modern rendition of Dopey Dinah

The House that Jack the Joker Built (prose): retired conjurer Jack Green builds humorous booby-traps to deal with those who annoy him.

Meddlesome Matty in her early (left) and later (right) days.

Teddy Bear, Late Again Larry, Sleepy Gus, The Smasher (not the same as the later character of the same name), Handy Clark on the Treasure Trail, Simple Simon; Never-Never Nelson

Prose: Bad-Luck Billy, Buffalo Bill, 7 Terrible Tasks for the 7th Son, Buster Billy (The Pride of the Regiment), Wild Young Dirky, The Plucky Little Petersons, The Sign of the Red Raven, The Three Bears, Whistling Jim, Old King Cole, Lost in the Land of Bad King John


The outbreak of war later in 1939 resulted in paper shortages, prompting D.C. Thomson to shift The Dandy and its stablemate to fortnightly publication, being released on alternate weeks.

Rip Snorter (initially a prose strip as The Ugliest Pig in the World)

Our Teacher's a Walrus! (began as a prose strip)

Mr. Brown of Bedford School was nicknamed "Old Walrus Face" because of his moustache. Kind-hearted, he gave an old gypsy woman some food, and she rewarded him with a magic pill she said would grant him a wish, which he accepted despite not believing in magic. When he returned to his classroom, he discovered a naughty pupil (Johnny Mack) had drawn a caricature depicting him as a walrus, prompting him to angrily shout at his pupils "I wish I was a walrus! I'd give you all a proper fright!" Be careful what you wish for...

Addie and Hermy

Drake's Drummer Boy (began as a prose strip)

Jak the Dragon-Killer (prose)

Little White Chief of the Cherokees

Lion Boy (initially a prose strip under the title Straight from the Jungle to Magic Land) - Raboo and his lion friend Rajah.

Jumping Jiminy (The Kangaroo who's always on the hop), The Boy with Iron Hands

Prose: The Man from Laughing Mountain, Sacred Bull of Batmandu, Who's to wear the King's Boots, The Man who owns an Ali Baba Cave, The Black-Striped Sweets that Billy Eats, Those Blinking Vaccies Again


Hair Oil Hal

Wild Man of the Woods, Wildfire the War Horse

Prose: Jimmy's Pocket Grandpa, Swallowed by a Whale, Cripple Charlie, There's a Curse on the King, British Boys and Girls go West, The Daring Deeds of the Sheriff's Little Sister


Mickey's Magic Book

Jock McSwiper, the Dandy Piper

Centipede Pete

Big Starr the Blacksmith Sheriff could throw a hammer with great strength and accuracy.

Boomerang Burke, the No-Gun Mountie

Grandma Jolly and her Brolly, Blackhawk's Boy

Prose: The Adventures of Dick Turpin's Kids, Brave Little Comrade of the Cowardly Lion, Young Husky, The Chimney Top Teacher, The Twins dare the Redskin Trail, Hassan and his Flying Carpet


Merry Marvo and his Magic Cigar
(a.k.a. Marvo's Magic Smoke Rings)

Peter Pye

Willie Woodpecker

Diver Dick

Watchful Wally, Dick Whittington and his Cat

Prose: The Two Tough Lambs, Freddie Flipper's Fighters, The Magic Box, Hopeful Jimmy Steele


King of the Jungle

Prose: Lost in the Magic Forest, Tricky Dicky Doyle, The Magic Knockers, The Wonderful Wizards


The Amazing Mr. X

Charlie Chutney the Comical Cook

Inky Poo the Cute Hindoo

Hansel and Gretel (and friend Zarda, middle)

Black Bob (began as a prose series)

Captain Cutlass and his Comical Crew of Bold Buccaneers

Old Ma Murphy the Strong-Arm School-Ma'rm

Clumsy Claudie, Nellie Elephant

Prose: The Spitfire Twins, The Wandering Wilsons, Five Spunky Duncans, The Slapdash Circus


Danny Longlegs

The Cheery Chinks

Absent-Minded Alfie

Lazy Larry

Prose: Mary's Magic Medicines, Happy Go Lucky


Julius Sneezer the Sneezing Caesar

Whiskery Dick

Dangerous Duff, the Mouse who's Rough and Mighty Tough

Dad's got a Broken Leg! - Benny and Eva Telford attempt to save their injured father Morgan, his leg broken by a rifle bullet while out hunting, trekking through the frozen Canadian wilderness to the nearest hospital, 200 miles away in Fort Vermilion.

Prose: The ABC Kids, The Crusoe Kydds, Poor Old Nosey


Smudge (later renamed Hy Jinks)

Her Majesty's Wizard, Mr G. Whizz (a prose series)
- the adventures of Mr George Whizz and his apprentice Rod.

Cinder Eddie: While his father is away at war, Prince Eddie of Moldavia is treated like a servant by his three ugly half-brothers.

Prose: Dickey Bird (the Boy who knows the Secret Whistle), Curly's Two Ton Kitten


Plum MacDuff (the Highlandman who never gets enough)

Raggy Muffin - the Dandy Dog

Brave Young Black-Hoof
- Black-Hoof and his friend, Hawkeye of the Blackfeet.

The Croaker Holds the Clue - the Croaker is the talking pet raven of boy outlaw Rorie, enemy of the villainous Campbells.

Hotcha the Hottentot

When the original Slave of the Magic Lamp goes on holiday, school boy Joe Brown takes his place, forced to answer the summons whenever anyone rubs the lamp and (ineptly) grant their wishes. (prose)

Big Bonehead, Castor Oil Craddock

Prose: Bouncing Billy Balloon


Four years after the end of World War II paper shortages were finally alleviated, and The Dandy Comic returned to weekly publication.

Mary's Mighty Uncle (initially a prose series):
Mary Cassidy and her uncle, "Mighty" Chip Cassidy of Crooked Forks, Texas

Wuzzy-Wiz, Magic is his Biz

Cocky Sue the Cockatoo (she's the Brains of the Pirate Crew)

Sir Solomon Snoozer


The Dandy Comic becomes simply The Dandy somewhere between #443 and #446, in late May or early June.

Quick-Nick, the Lightning Lock-Picker of London (began as a prose series)

Black Magic Bongo the Schoolboy from the Congo (prose)

Barney's Bear:
Smarty (the bear), with his friends Barney Brennan (right) and Digger Merry (left)

Tommy Brown's Slave

Wild Wulf (initially a prose strip titled The Boy Keeper of the King's Beasts)

Rusty, Fergus of the Forty Faces

Prose: Jammy Jimmy Johnson (the Boy with Lucky Hands), Grandpa Gallant Rides Again!, Peggy and her Pop's Peg-Leg, Long Tom's Treasure


Noah Lott - He Knows a Lot of Rot

Bonanza Bill - The Tricky Trader of Hilly-Billy City
(right-hand picture) Wild West-era inventor Bill Brannigan, his son Archie, and robot Bandy Bazook.

Sooty and his Shooter
Sooty possesses a blow gun which
shoots magic dust capable of
transforming objects.

Shocker Jock - The Boy from the Wonder World (began as a prose series)

Fighting Forkbeard - The Sea Wolf from long ago


The Dandy Monster Comic is retitled The Dandy Book as of this year.

Willie Willikin's Pobble

Wily Smiley the Jungle Joker

Sent to Earth to study all forms of life there, Mickey from the Moon befriended Tom Wilson, the son of a Derbyshire sheep-farmer. (Prose)

The Galloping Glory Boys

Prose: Hurray for the Rip-Roaring Robinsons, The Trouble of Old Sheriff Saggy Baggs, Wee Willie King and his Magic Stings


Cats-Eye Kelly (initially a prose series)

Pie Face Pete's Secret Pal (prose): The secret pal is his Martian friend Jek, contacted via the alien radio in the picture.

Great Big Bonzo (Bonzo is the dog, in case you weren't sure). His human master is Toby Tuckett, and the elephant is the evil wizard Gumbo after he transformed himself to cause trouble. Bonzo grew huge from eating a magical mash, but would shrink to regular puppy size if his ears were wet.

Willie the Wicked - Willie Wilson torments his poor Afghani carer Mustapha Kamel.

Tin Lizzie (initially a prose series), and her nemesis, the robot butler Brassribs. Built by two scientist friends for the explorer Professor Puffin, because he was so absent-minded that normal servants wouldn't stay with him.

(prose) Bandy Shand and Great Big Bess - accompanied by his cat, Winkie, Bandy Shand uses his tractor, Mighty Atom, to tow a huge old cannon, Big Bess, on an epic road trip to deliver Bess to the Rajah of Kangistan, evading the rival Sultan of Narhada's attempts to stop him. 

Little Master of the Swooping Monster: While in was with his father in Kurrapesh, on the edge of Afghanistan, Johnny Jackson befriended Kaloo, a fledgling of the Swooping Eagles. Sent away to school, Johnny was tracked down by Kaloo, now grown big enough for the boy to ride.

The Tickler Twins on the Redskin Trail, Westward Ho with Prince Charlie's Gold


The Wee Black Scallywag - not The Dandy's finest hour...

Chinkee, Chinkee Junkee Man - why stop at just one dodgy stereotype?

Little Angel Face

The Streak-O-Light Express - Smiler Smart and his ostrich steed Scorchy deliver the mail in the Wild West

My Gang by Whacker Wilson

Gobble, Gobble Gertie - always hungry, the giant eskimo Gertie keeps stealing the food of Frozen Creek lumber camp, despite the best efforts of Luke Smart to stop her.

Shaggy Doggy (later Waggy, the Shaggy Dog)

Young Drake

Prose: Fleetfoot Jack, Winker and Blinker


Clanky the Cast-Iron Pup

Ginger's Super Jeep (initially prose)

Big Beardie

Crackaway Jack (later retitled the Crackaway Twins, when Jack is lumbered with trying to keep two arguing idiot twin boys alive)

The Tricks of Screwy Driver

Big Bad Wolff, 3 Jonahs in a Whale, Mickey's Tick Tock Men, Millionaire Mike


My Pal Baggy Pants

Bing-Bang Benny

Kipper the Copper

Just Jimmy

Willie's Whizzer Broom - Willie Meldrum's Whizzer Broom could not only fly, but it could transport him through time to the year 2500

Turtle Boy - London Kit using his turtle friend Shellback as a toboggan while fighting pirates, with his friend Cap'n Bones stuck out up front on the halberd.

Roly-Poly Joe, an ever hungry eskimo

Corporal Kim - The Boy Mountie, Buster's Battling Beetle, Jet Carson's School for Racers


Young Dandy

Charlie the Chimp

The Smasher

Mystery Dick


Robinson and his dog Crusoe

The Castaway Kidds:
Siblings Jack and Jenny Kidd, on the run from killers seeking to silence them.

Robin Hood, Brave Ben Bold


Mr Mutt

The Boy with Iron Hands (not connected to the identically named earlier strip, which was set in medieval times) - Paul Strong, a.k.a. Iron Hands, fights the Nazis on the occupied Channel Islands.

Circus Boy: In 1940 France, Dave Derrick the Circus Boy seeks to get to evade the Germans and reach the coast with help from his ursine friend Growler.

Round the World in 80 Days


Ali Ha-Ha and the Forty Thieves

Rodger and his Lodgers

Jammy Mr Sammy

Dirty Dick - "Dick's the boy for getting himself dirty since the day he was born.

Dockland Davie

Corporal Clott

Robbie the Bobby:
Constable Robbie Roberts

Buffalo Bill's Schooldays


Bingo - the Black Streak

The Purple Cloud

Winker Watson

The Hovercar Snatchers


Blitz Boy

Sunny Boy - He's a Bright Spark

Willie Fixit


Joe White and the Seven Dwarfs

Rocket Jock

Big Head and Thick Head

The Crimson Ball

Bobcat Boy



The Red Wrecker

Kit from the Wild Karroo


This year's annual is the first to carry the date on the cover; as is normal for British annuals, it is dated for the year ahead to help prolong shelflife: The Dandy Book 1966.

The Umbrella Men

The Stinging Swarm

Moe and Joe and Daddy-O!

Greedy Pigg


Hank and his Mini-Tank


Spunky and his Spider (Spunky Bruce and Scamper)

Captain Whoosh

South with the Hovercar

Butch and his Pooch

Bully Beef and Chips


Alien explorer Super Sam, and his slave Big Boris

Bodger the Bookworm

Gunsmoke Jack


The Island of Monsters

The Babes and the Bullies

The Wooden Submarine


Dinah Mite


Claude Hopper

Iron Hands - Nick Hardy, a boy with bionic hands

Whacko!: Think medieval Bash Street Kids

PC Big Ears, My Woozy Dog, Snoozy


The Boy from Lilliput


Jack Silver

Desperate Dawg

Robin Hood's Schooldays

Monkey Bizness, The Talking Ball, Sir Coward De Custard


Peter's Pocket Grandpa

Tom Tin and Buster Brass

Izzy Skint (You bet he is!)

The Jocks and the Geordies

Rah-Rah Randall


Tom Tum

Bertie Buncle and his Chemical Uncle


Harry and his Hippo

Dave the Brave, Dumb Belle, The Hairy Gang of Robbers


Big Chief Itchy Snitch

Micky the Mouth


The Burrd

Dinah Mo


November 10th's Dandy #2242 marks Korky the Cat's final cover spot, an almost unbroken run of forty-seven years since the first issue. A week later Desperate Dan becomes the new cover star.

The Domes

Mitch and his Mummy

Ham and Egghead

Jolly Roger, Dimples

1985 and the merger with Nutty

Dandy absorbs its much younger sibling Nutty, with the first combined issue being The Dandy and Nutty #2287, cover dated 21st September. Three surviving series join The Dandy, of which Bananaman proves to be the most enduring.

Peter Pest

Bananaman, The Snobbs and the Slobbs

1986, and the merger with Hoot

Dandy absorbs another sibling, Hoot. The first combined issue of The Dandy and Hoot is #2345, cover dated 1st November. Two strips make the transfer: Polar Blair and Spotted Dick. Additionally, Hoot's star, Cuddles, a strip that had originated in Nutty until that title's demise, joins Dimples, which had a similar premise, to become Cuddles and Dimples.

Spotted Dick

Strange Hill, Polar Blair, Cuddles and Dimples


Mutt and Moggy

Ted-Time Tales


Angie the Little Actress, Granny, Li'l Imp, Richard's Snitch, Woofer and Tweeter, Sammy Supersnail, Postman Patel, George and the Dragon, James - the World's Worst Schoolboy, Norbert's Nightmares, Louden the Mouth, Watch the Birdie, Sneaker, Young Trainee Santas


Golden Ol' Days, Tristan - the Vicar's Son


Kylie Phizzog, Marvo the Wonder Chicken, Billy Green and his Sister Jean, The Laughing Planet, Marty's Mouse, It's Magic, Tumba and Rumba - the Mimicking Elephants



Growing Paynes

Sherman Tortoise

Barney The Wonder Winger

It's Joe Mince

Smitten, King Dom


Hyde and Shriek

Wendy's Wicked Stepladder, Miss Eve L. Powers, Reg Hog

1993, and the merger with Beezer and Topper

The cancellation of Beezer and Topper sees a number of strips transfer to The Dandy from 28th August's #2701, including Beryl the Peril and Potsworth and Co.

Fiddle O'Diddle

Puss 'n' Boots

Beryl the Peril


Der Daft Dachshunds, Peter Piper, Oliver Twister, Fibba, Potsworth and Co, Carrot, Jonah, Claude Cuckooland, First Class


Brain Duane

Euro School - think Bash Street Kids but with all the kids from different countries.


Little Win, The Verminator, Tik and Tak, The Flying Boy, Herb's History


Jock the Rapper

Mad March Hare, Beastie Boy, Frawg, Brother Grimm, Spelling Mistaxe, Little Boots Cassidy


Cowrin' Wolf

Hector Spectre, Foxy


Classic Cuts, The Dandy Treasure Island, Neighbourhood Wood, Jak (later Jak and Todd), Stick Maniacs, Brewster Rooster


Owen Goal

Mutant Cow

Vain Wayne, P5 (later reprinted as Class Act), Bedtime Tales with Bradley Bedsock, Now Showing, Buster Crab


Cuddles and Dimples take over the cover from Desperate Dan as of July 17th's Dandy #3008, ending a run of nearly 19 years.

Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber, Antchester, Polly, The Pluck of Percy, Calmsville, Red Hot Chilli Dogs, Bodkins Moor


Cuddles and Dimples prove to be unpopular as cover stars, and by December 2000 Desperate Dan has reclaimed his front page status.

Walter Gnome - Millennium Gnome, Bart Brimston, Ridge Rescue, The Comet, Phone Bone and Digit Al, Auntie Clockwise


Island of Terror


The Dandy Book is retitled The Dandy Annual as of this year.

The Doyle Family

Ollie Fliptrik, Dallas Ditchwater, Chester the Alien Chaser, Animal Asylum, Silly Moo, Neville's Island, The Vulture Club


The Heavy Metal Yeti

Bad Max

Pinky's Crackpot Circus, Baby Herc, Ozzy Outback, Wizzo the Wizard, Make me a Monster, Agent Dog 2 Zero, Dandy Days in Beanotown, Cats


The October 16th Dandy #3282 marks a revamp of the title, with Desperate Dan replaced on the cover by relative newcomer Jak, and a subtitle "Can You Handle It?" added under the main banner. The comic becomes bigger and glossier as part of an attempt to increase the appeal to a more media-oriented generation.

The Banana Bunch

The Nutters (reprints from Cracker), Piggles, Pants, Bad Neighbours, Edd the Ghost, Jacques and Gilles, Dreadlock Holmes, Office Hours, Adrian's Wall


Tootuff, My Own Genie, Reverend Fearnon, Pig and Cow, Thor Bum, Ten Watt Spot, Secret Agent Sally, Flung Poo


Noah's Ark, Gizmo, Tony and Alberto


The Dandy has another radical revamp, retitling itself Dandy Xtreme.

Captain Handsome

Ted and the Animals, Space Raoul, Blubba and the Bear (reprints from Nutty), Mr. Bean (based on cartoon)


The Bogies


With October 30th's #3508, Dandy drops the Xtreme from the title, and gains new cover star (and real life TV comedian) Harry Hill.

Harry Hill's Real Life Adventures in TV Land

George vs Dragon

Count Snotula, Kid Cops, Little Celebs, The Mighty Bork, Pepperoni Pig, Postman Prat, Pre-Skool Prime Minister, Robot on the Run, Shaolin Punx, Clive 5, Bear Thrills


Graeme Reaper, Mr Meecher the Uncool Teacher, Stan Helsing, Boo, Disaster Chef, The Arena of Awesome, Yore, Clown Wars, Daredevil Dad, Phil's Finger, Tag-Team Tastic, Farmula One, Justin Beaver, Bone-O, Space Dogz, Gleeks, Sea Dogs, Hysterical History, Fu Schnicken - Kung Fu Chicken, Tiny's Temper, Cheryl's Mole, Nuke Noodle, Rocky's Horror Show, My Freaky Family, Frosty


Cover-dated December 8th, the last print version of Dandy, #3610, is published.


Celeb School, Noshy Monsters, Bad Grandad, Go Ape, Mega-Lo Maniacs, Superball, Cavemen in Black, Starsky's Hutch, My Dad's a Doofus, The Dark Newt, OlympiKids, Professor Cheese's Olympic Wheezes, Grrrls; Rocky Roller, Pest Controller; Secret Agent, Sir

2013 and the Digital Dandy

Desperate Dan, Keyhole Kate, Bananaman, Brassneck, Retro-Active, Bad Hair Day, Blinky, The Numskulls, Hammie the Hopping Mad Hamster, The Laughing Planet, Harry and His Hippo, Expirin' Lord Byron

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