Desperate News: Dan's Eaten His Last Cow Pie

Daily Mail (London), August 20, 2012 | Go to article overview

Desperate News: Dan's Eaten His Last Cow Pie


Byline: by Peter Cunningham

DESPERATE Dan may have eaten his last cow pie. The news that Scottish publisher DC Thompson is reviewing its options regarding the future publication of the comic The Dandy is ominous for those of us for whom a world without Desperate Dan will not be the same.

At its peak in the Fifties, The Dandy sold more than 2million copies a week. This has shrunk to a current reported weekly circulation of around 8,000.

I was a Beano rather than a Dandy reader. I had graduated to comics from the somewhat twee world of Enid Blyton, where everyone was wholesome and nice. Comics, refreshingly, offered a world ruled by glorious anarchy.

My friend, up the road in Tramore, Co. Waterford, was a Dandy man and because of this had proprietorial feelings about Desperate Dan. I felt slightly cheated, since I was stuck with Korky, an anthropomorphic cat, and Dennis the Menace, a hooligan in a red-and-white jersey.

Nonetheless I developed a strong attachment to Korky, who looked very like the cat on my mother's packets of Craven A cigarettes.

As luck would have it, my Dandy friend was also a big fan of Roger the Dodger, who spent his life avoiding household chores and homework.

And as the home for Roger was the Beano, we began to swap comics; so, as my friend broke his sides at Roger's latest dodges, my young eyes became enlarged at the antics of Dan, the world's strongest man, who ate gigantic cow pies and shaved every morning with a blow-torch and chisel. my friend st me he te ry nd Looking back on those days, I am struck by how quickly we became avid readers. A lifelong habit of reading was established from the age of six or seven. m me dof erin cssh We seamlessly entered and understood the different genres within each comic, were plunged into Cactusville in the Wild West where Desperate Dan lived and into Bash Street School in Beanotown, home of the Bash Street Kids.

me The format of how stories worked was laid down in our young heads and each week, when the latest copy ed ds py of the comic arrived, we eagerly ly re-entered what we thought of as our exciting secret world. as THE summit of excitement was reached at Christmas when comic annuals appeared - new stories reproduced on glossy pages sweetly redolent of glue and bound between hard covers.

The popular appeal of a character was confirmed if he or she had an annual to themselves - as was the case with Dennis the Menace (not be confused with the slightly more ironic US character of the same name) and Beryl the Peril.

The comic strip is an important art form. It brings instant narrative reality to the reader, in a way which written narrative cannot.

When we see a panel, in a comic strip, of Desperate Dan or Superman bound in chains and suspended upside-down over a boiling cauldron, we instantly recognise the character and understand his predicament.

Description is unnecessary. Dialogue, usually but not always, appears within a bubble coming from the character's mouth, and must, by definition - because of the space restraints - be brief and to the point.

Comic strip panels carry narrative forward at high speed without need of literary convention. Scenes change quickly. The good comic-strip artist employs rapid zoom, in and out, getting across to the reader the wider panorama in which the story is set. For a child, this intense and immediate conveying of a story was irresistible.

The idea of presenting a story in pictures and words in the form we know as comics has a dignified history.

In France and Belgium, the format is called bandes dessinees - literally, drawn strips. This description gives no indication of the subject matter unlike 'comics' or 'funnies,' which imply a humorous content.

The Adventures of Tintin, for example, began in Belgium in 1929 and has become an enduring classic read by all ages. In album form it has sold more than 200 million copies. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Desperate News: Dan's Eaten His Last Cow Pie
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.