Britain’s longest-running comic The Dandy will be printed for the last time later this year.
Publisher DC Thomson said earlier this week “no decision” had been made on the future of the title but that it was “carrying out a review” of its magazine titles. On Thursday it confirmed it will stop printing the comic after December 4.
Best known for its character Desperate Dan, The Dandy celebrates its 75th birthday this year but circulation has dropped in recent years to below 7500, leading to speculation its publisher, DC Thomson, might shelve the title. Compared to its sister comic, The Beano, The Dandy sells around 30,000 fewer copies each week, with a readership of 354,000 less.
Ellis Watson, chief executive officer of publishing for the Dundee company said: “I’m absolutely livid that we’ve had an internal leak about what’s in the pipeline for one of our most popular titles. We’re counting down 110 days until the big 75th anniversary bash and we’re working on some tremendously exciting things.
“I’ve closed down loopholes to ensure much tighter internal security. We’ve heard about people trying to find out the plans by hacking into www.dandy.com so we’ve taken it all offline and moved in to core project offices. We’re in lockdown.
“Dan has certainly not eaten his last cow pie. All of The Dandy’s characters are just 110 days away from a new lease of life.”
A special edition of The Dandy - which in its prime sold 2m copies a week - will be released to mark its official 75th anniversary. The December issue, which will include a reprint of the first edition of the comic, will be the last printed.
Mr Watson added: “On December 4, we’ll publish our 75th anniversary edition – and now that the cat’s out of the bag - I can confirm that this will be our last print edition. It’s what comes online then that will set the tone for the next 75 years and that’s why I’m so livid these plans nearly leaked.”
The Dandy Annual will continue to be printed and the 2013 annual is already on the shelves.