Korky the Cat
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|Korky the Cat|
|First appearance||The Dandy, Issue 1|
|Created by||James Crighton|
|Family||Nip, Rip and Lip (Nephews)|
Korky the Cat is a fictional character in a comic strip in the UK comic The Dandy. It first appeared in issue 1, dated 4 December 1937, and was The Dandy's original cover star. He was on the front cover of Dandy for several decades only missing out one issue, No. 294 (June 9, 1945) when Keyhole Kate was on the cover and he was relegated to the inside. In 1984, after 47 virtually continuous years, Korky was replaced on the front cover by Desperate Dan.
The strip's simple premise follows the adventures of a black male cat called Korky, a cat who behaves like a human and is accepted in a world of humans as only a comic character can be. Originally a mute character, he started speaking in No. 149, October 5, 1940 (see image for his first words as he tries to help some hungry dogs). The 1950s saw the introduction of his 'Kits', Nip, Lip, and Rip.
- James Crighton from issues 1 to 1051 (December 4, 1937 to January 13, 1962.
- Charles Grigg from issues 1052 to 2116 (January 20, 1962 to June 12, 1982.
- David Gudgeon from issue 2117 (June 19, 1982 to 1986).
- Robert Nixon from 1986 to 1999
- Phil Corbett from 2010
After 1984, Korky still continued inside the comic, however, and a picture of him remained next to the Dandy logo until 1998. When Robert Nixon took over drawing in the Dandy issue dated November 1, 1986, some changes were made. Korky, whose look had remained virtually the same since the 1940s, now looked noticeably different, particularly in the case of his eyes (though the picture of him next to the Dandy logo was never changed). The focus of the strip also switched more to the Kits, who had been promoted from their originally minor role. So much so, that at one point the strip had been renamed Korky the Cat and the Kits. When Nixon went into semi retirement at the beginning of 1999 (relinquishing Beryl the Peril at the same time) several different artists took up the pen, including David Sutherland (who also draws The Bash Street Kids from The Beano, and used to draw Dennis the Menace) at first, Steve Bright, Lesley Reavey, Dave Windett  later on (who introduced a mouse called Squeak and his friends to the cast), and, by 2003, Henry Davies, who was creating hybrid strips from Charles Grigg's classic Korky strips and new elements drawn by Davies.
By 2004, though, the popularity of Korky with readers had significantly dropped. In that year's readers poll, Korky had failed to receive a single vote, either as a favourite character, or a least favourite. With this in mind, it was decided to retire the character after almost 70 years. His apparent last appearance was in issue 3294, dated 8 January 2005, in which, possibly hinting at his unpopularity, he turned up at a school reunion and found that no one knew who he was.
However, on 21 September 2005, it was announced on the Dandy website that Korky was to return in December with a new artist and in new adventures. Quite why the Dandy staff decided to over-rule the decision to retire him is unclear, but most likely apathy from fans brought about this change. Korky returned from issue 3338, dated 19 November 2005, this time being drawn by Andrew Painter on computer. The strip was again dropped when the Dandy was re-branded into the magazine-themed "Dandy Xtreme".
The Dandy was relaunched on October 27, 2010 with Phil Corbett taking over as the Korky artist. Corbett's Korky is squatter than previous incarnations of the cat with dark blue fur rather than black. The trademark red nose, green eyes and fluffy white belly remain the same.
Adult comic Viz parodied "Korky the Cat" in a strip entitled "Korky the Twat" as part of an on-going feud with Dandy publishers D.C. Thomson. Viz also parodied other popular D.C. Thomson strips, such as "Desperately Unfunny Dan", "Arsehole Kate", "Roger the Lodger" and "The McBrowntrouts".
- Original comics.
- The Dandy Monster Index 1937-1959 by Ray Moore.
- http://www.davewindett.com Dave Windett's website, includes some Korky artwork
- http://www.philcorbett.com Phil Corbett's illustration website