Dandy Digital: Downloadable Desperate Dan

There once was an ordinary young boy called Eric but when Eric bit into a banana, an amazing transformation occurred. Eric is Bananaman!

Old dogs may not be able to learn new tricks but 75 year old comics are certainly capable of moving with the times. After being a printed publication since 1937, the Dandy, Britain’s longest running comic is going digital.

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If you want to introduce your children and grandchildren to Desperate Dan and Keyhole Kate – or if you’ve never really stopped being a fan – you will now be able to grab new copies of the Dandy from www.dandy.com.

“We all know how popular digital devices have become with children so we’re drawing on our traditional heritage and updating our product to make it relevant for today’s children.

Craig Ferguson, Editor of the new Dandy

Digital comics are hard to get right and the Dandy have taken an interesting tack. Each original comic strip allows readers to click through at their own pace, with a panel-by-panel format to retain the comic book feel. In addition, each week there will also be interactive games embedded within the stories. The launch issue includes a Bananaman game and Dandy Dollop – a digital pet that you can feed, dance and play with. On top of all that there will be a joke shop, and a Dandy TV Show with game reviews, celebrity interviews and a ‘News at Dan’ round-up 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.”

David Bain, Head of Digital Development

Issue zero of the digital Dandy launches as the last printed edition hits the newsstands, and will be available online, initially just for PC and Mac although a tablet and smartphones version is in the works. The print edition is going out with a bang however and will star Sir Paul McCartney. Apparently in 1963, McCartney (then aged 21) was asked by music magazine NME to name his personal ambition. The response, of course, was to appear in The Dandy and 50 years later he’s finally made it. I’d like to be in the Beano. See you in 2062.

The Adventures of Simon Pegg: A digital comic for Android, iPhone and the iPad

You’re scared of mice and spiders, but oh-so-much greater is your fear that one day the two species will cross-breed to form an all-powerful race of mice-spiders, who will immobilize human beings in giant webs in order to steal cheese.

Lines like that made a generations of young adults fall in love with writer, actor, comedian and all round lovely-chap Simon Pegg, star of Spaced, Big Train, Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. And How to Win Friends and Influence People, but we don’t like to talk about that.  The titular hero now has his own £.179 iPad/iPhone/Android app chronicling his comic adventures.

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Taken from the pages of his recently released autobiography Nerd Do Well (which it essentially advertises but in a fun and original way) The Adventures of Simon Pegg is digital comic, with full screen or panel-by-panel navigation. If you’ve not read a digital comic before I should point out they are pretty much perfect on tablets. A little too niche to describe as a “killer app” for tablets maybe, but it’s magic being able to have all of “The Authority” or “Scud the Disposable Assassin” in the palm of your hand. Full screen comics are great, and panel by panel (in some cases) can really bring a

The app also features character biographies with lots of details on Pegg’s alter-ego, his faithful robotic manservant Canterbury and the flame haired French cat burglar The Scarlet Panther.  Other added content includes wallpapers, which you can use as background for you phone (or just gaze at).   There is also a bit more info on Mr Pegg, a free sample chapter from Nerd Do Well.

There are also lots of sharing options that enable readers to share single panels via email, Facebook Connect or Twitter – something which is also pretty cool. There is also a shortcut to following Simon Pegg on  Twitter – but if you’ve gone through all the trouble of downloading an app then you probably already have  that. £1.79 from a Marketplace or App store near you.