I didn't read much of the Dandy as a child. I had access to maybe half a dozen annuals and a handful of random issues but I didn't much like them. There was something about the characters, something lacking, which meant they didn't really click with me. Looking back now I suspect it's simply that they weren't as relatable as their counterparts in the Beano. A man with a dangerous addiction to pies and a humanoid cat with no discernible personality were no match for the simple premise of a boy and his dog causing mayhem.
I wasn't completely disinterested though. I enjoyed Winker Watson, from the decidedly simplistic, perhaps even crude, art style to the concept of the character it was a strip that offered something different to the likes of Desperate Dan. Beryl the Peril was mostly enjoyable too. Yes, she was essentially a female version of Dennis the Menace but as I pointed out above he was a character that appealed to me.
With the 2013 annual alleged to be the final printed annual of the Dandy's 75 year history I thought I'd get a copy. I was interested to see what approach the editorial team would take. Would they take the opportunity to revive all of their retired characters, dusting them off for one last outing? Would they go out all guns blazing, presenting us with a wealth of newly created personalities to hint at a world that could have been? Would they take the mildly metafictional and decidedly mature approach of presenting a title-wide apocalypse detailing the downfall of Dandy Town?
Sadly they did none of the above.