So farewell then The Dandy (Sort of). Publisher of generally not as good strips as the Beano. Home for many a waif and/or stray from Beezer, Topper, Whizzer and/or Chips. A rag which saw limitless comic potential in a man who eats cow pies and has difficulty shaving. It seems that there is no longer the desire for Korky The Cat’s sub-Krazy Kat antics, and one fears for character whose names are often coincidental with their sole character trait. My initial thought was that someone had caught up with the non-PC border conflict of The Jocks And The Geordies, or that someone had finally worked out the not well hidden gag in Winker Watson’s name. But both of these strips ended some time ago to be replaced by things which sound at least as good if not better. Who isn’t vaguely interested by Tiny’s Temper (about a boy and his anthropomorphised temper) or want to live in a world with a Pre-Skool Prime Minister*.

Selling 8000 copies a week at £1.99 probably isn’t enough to bankroll the publication. There is another way to get some money though. Back in the 80’s, there was a strip in The Dandy called Peter’s Pocket Grandpa. Perhaps I remember it well because I’m called Peter and kids remember that sort of thing (ask any kid called Dennis). It wasn’t a particularly good strip, as was the way with the Dandy. It involved a kid, Peter, whose grandfather had shrunk** and thereafter got into scrapes, usually involving the neighbour’s cat trying to eat him. Never a highlight of the Dandy, it did run for a long time. So much so that what I saw Grandpa In My Pocket I was surprised that nowhere in the credits was it mentioned that it was based on Peter’s Pocket Grandpa.

Grandpa In My Pocket is a CBeebies kids TV show, staring Likely Lad/Grandad James Bolam. It involves a kid, Jason Mason, whose grandfather had shrunk** and thereafter got into scrapes, usually involving the neighbour’s cat trying to eat him (possibly not the case). So its more Jason’s Pocket Grandpa, and the adventures seem more whimsical. But it is basically the same idea. So why haven’t DC Thompson, publishers of the Dandy, gone after the BBC? Well I don’t know how easy it is to copyright a premise for a show, and there are a couple of core differences. But another reason was pointed out by Tom when discussing this earlier.

Perhaps DC Thompson were less keen on going to court with regards to comics rights, when their own character, Peter, which with the Pocket Grandpa’s full name just happened to be Peter Parker.

*Yes. I know. Satire.

**Gypsy curse.