There’s been some teeth-gnashing online about the impending demise of print issues of The Dandy, an extremely long-running print comic here in Scotland. Being a dinosaur myself, and an advocate of comics, I feel a twinge of regret at this news, and it’s made the more poignant by a sympathetic identification I’ve sometimes felt with Jonah (who appeared in The Dandy after a long run in The Dandy’s opposite number, The Beano. (I don’t think I’ve ever been in a reasonably unruly second-hand shop, car boot sale, or other treasury of cast-off wonders, where I haven’t seen a heap of copies of The Beano or The Dandy.)
On the other hand, all things must pass, and the proliferation of excellent webcomics demonstrates that comics themselves aren’t in danger — it’s the ‘print, then sell the hard copies’ business model that’s the problem. Without wanting to bore everyone by repeating what has often been said, great material will thrive online or in print — but some ways of organising payment and distribution are no longer functional. We may bemoan the passing of the milk cart (that is, ‘there are no more milk carts’, not ‘what just rolled past us?’), but a different mode of delivery hasn’t eliminated dairy foods.

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