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Dublin: 23.11.2014 06.38PM
Start of the digital era for 'The Dandy'
It may be the end of the print era for The Dandy, the world’s third-longest running comic, but fans of such characters as Desperate Dan, Keyhole Kate and Korky the Cat will still be able to enjoy them as the comic is being launched online, as well as a smartphone and tablet app.
The children's comic, which first hit the shelves 75 years ago, on 4 December 1937, had been Britain's longest-running comic. The first issue was published under the name The Dandy Comic.
Circulation of The Dandy peaked in the 1950s when some 2m copies were sold each week. However, sales of the comic have plummeted in recent years to around 8,000 copies, prompting the comic's publisher DC Thomson to make the move to digital.
The final print version will include a pull-out reprint of the first edition of the comic, while former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney will also appear in the 100-page edition, which will feature around 75 of the comic's characters, including Bananaman, The Numskulls, Blinky and Brassneck.
Celebrities that have appeared in The Dandy in recent years, in an effort to ramp up sales, have included the Queen, Stephen Fry, Cheryl Cole, Wayne Rooney and Simon Cowell.
The first issue of the magazine, which went on sale on 4 December 1937, will appear in the final print edition of The Dandy, which goes on sale today
The first digital edition (issue zero) of The Dandy is available initially from Dandy.com for free, while issue one will be downloadable, as well as being available as a tablet and smartphone app down the line.
The comic will appear in interactive motion, allowing readers to click through the stories panel by panel. Users will also be able to play interactive games and watch videos. The digital edition of The Dandy will also feature a new character called Retro Active.
There will also be a joke shop, a Dandy TV show with game reviews, plus a 'News at Dan' round-up that will be presented by television presenter and comedian Chris Cohen.
"The 'digital Dandy' will pave the way in a new era for comic books in the UK, utilising the latest technological advancements and bringing the much-loved comic to a new generation of fans with technology that will work across different platforms," said David Bain, head of digital development at DC Thomson.
Each weekly digital version will cost stg£1.49 or £29.99 for a year's worth of credits.