Wednesday, December 15, 2010
A bumper size Christmas for 2010
The double size "bumper Christmas issue" used to be a standard festive occurrence for many British comics in the early decades of the 20th Century. Somehow, over the years, it fell out of favour, possibly when wartime paper shortages came along.
However, several years ago the concept was revived, with, as decades ago, companies publishing a thicker Christmas issue (at a higher price of course) to compensate for skipping a week or two over the holiday period. Last week The Beano published its Christmas issue with 48 pages (a 50% increase on the standard 32 page weekly). Today The Dandy (No.3515) celebrates the season of goodwill with the biggest issue of its 73 year history, weighing down the shelves of newsagents with a hefty 76 pages.
The cover topline announces the comic as a "Monster Christmas Special", which is appropriate given the format. The covers and a few interior activity pages are on card stock, whilst the rest of the comic is on quality paper. The material is all-new, all-colour, and the logo has a fifth ink gold trim. D.C. Thomson have clearly pushed the boat out this year.
Inside, the regulars from the recent revamp are all here plus extra strips such as Nigel Parkinson's 8 page panto story, three helpings of Desperate Dan, the debut of new story Bear Thrills and much more. There are no free gifts as such, but the humourous festive cut-outs on card stock are close enough to qualify.
This issue will be on sale for three weeks and costs £3.99. Well worth it, I think.
If you have any spare change after buying The Dandy the Christmas triple issue of 2000AD also came out today. Continuing its 11 year tradition the 100 page Prog 2011 is a good jumping-on point for the start of new serials. The first episodes of new runs of Shakara, Ampney Crucis Investigates, Necrophim, and Kingdom start here, plus a complete Judge Dredd strip and bonus one-off stories of Slaine, Judge Anderson, and the return of writer Gerry Finley-Day on Rogue Trooper, wonderfully drawn by Staz Johnson.
As with The Dandy, the festive 2000AD will be on sale for three weeks. £4.50.
Finally, the Christmas Doctor Who Magazine is also out this week, with an increase to 84 pages. Glad tidings indeed.