Returning from the shops yesterday, I picked up an unexpected A4 envelope from the hallway by the door. Angry letters from debt collectors aren't usually A4, so I opened it. Inside was a short note from my mum saying "This isn't The Dandy as I know it", attached to something so odd that I instantly knew I had to scan it for posterity and share it with my beloved viewers.
Mums are always right about stuff.
This special issue of The Dandy was given away with quaint Scottish tabloid The Sunday Post (home of Oor Wullie and The Broons), where it's always 1932. Maw and Paw WoSland, who get the Post every Sunday, were so struck by it that they sent it straight down for your reporter to examine, and while I have absolutely no idea if it represents the comic's normal content nowadays, I'm definitely heading to WH Smith in the morning to find out.
(A quick Google in the meantime appears to suggest that it does, which would be thoroughly excellent.)
The Post's edition is full of celebrities, with multiple appearances from Harry Hill (who gets a writing credit in his own two-page strip), Alan Sugar, Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and a Dalek. It also features two traditional Dandy characters – Korky The Cat and Desperate Dan – but not in a form that'd be recognisable to anyone who's seen the comic in the last 74 years, and some bizarre original strips including Tiny's Temper and the frankly awesome Pre-Skool Prime Minister, which is totally this year's Axe Cop.
The humour is still unmistakeably aimed at children and John Walker, with its penchant for bodily functions and bottoms, but it's written intelligently and even the many modern references (Wii, Facebook, planking etc) don't come across as forced. It made me laugh more than any of the last five issues of Viz have, anyway. The neo-zombie art is terrific too, and the whole thing is hyperactively lively verging on autistic, in the good sense.
(Actually, the thing it reminds me of most is the incredible couple of years of the UK edition of Maxim around 2005 or so, when it was completely surreal and brilliant, shortly before becoming unimaginably retarded and vile under a new editorial team and then closing down.)
You can download the full issue here, in Comic Book Reader format. You can view it in CDisplay, or just rename the archive from .CBR to .RAR and unzip the raw JPG images. My favourite joke is on page 5. Go!