Desperate Dan

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Desperate Dan is a wild west character in the British comic The Dandy. He first appeared in its first issue, dated 4 December 1937. He is apparently the world's strongest man, able to lift a cow with one hand. Even his beard is so tough he has to shave with a blowtorch.

Contents

History

The strip was drawn by Dudley D. Watkins until his death in 1969. Although The Dandy Annuals featured new strips from other artists from then on, the comic continued reprinting Watkins strips until 1983 (though the then Korky the Cat artist Charles Grigg drew new strips for annuals and summer specials), when it was decided to start running new strips. These were initially drawn by Peter Davidson, but Ken H. Harrison soon took over as regular artist. The following year Dan was promoted to the front cover of The Dandy, replacing Korky who had been there since issue 1. Starting from issue 2985, dated 6 February 1999, Cuddles and Dimples replaced Dan on the front cover. This didn't last long, however, as after a readers' poll in 2000, Dan returned to the cover. Although Ken Harrison was the main artist from 1983 to 2007, other artists have also occasionally filled in for Harrison, including David Parkins and Trevor Metcalfe in the early 1990s. John Geering took over the strip between 1994 and 1997, after which Harrison returned as full-time artist (though Steve Bright occasionally acted as a ghost artist as well). When the Dandy was redesigned and renamed to Dandy Xtreme, the writers used reprints of the old comic strips, until Jamie Smart took over drawing and writing the Desperate Dan comic strips in April 2008.

Characteristics

Desperate Dan's favourite food is cow pie – a type of enormous meat pie with the horns sticking out, although the term "cow pie" has a different meaning in the American West.

Initially Dan was a desperado on the wrong side of the law, hence the name Desperate Dan. Later on, however, he switched sides and become a friendlier character, helping the underdog. The first member of his family to appear in the strip was Aunt Aggie (issue 107, dated 16 December 1939) followed by his nephew, Danny (issue 304, dated 27 October 1945) and niece, Katey in 1957. In 2001, Desperate Dan's girlfriend Little Bear appeared; she was a native American squaw but disappeared with the 2007 Dandy relaunch, when Dan's artwork style changed.

Modernisation

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