Desperate Dan is one of the longest running comic strips in the world having appeared in issue 1 of The Dandy in 1937. Dan continued to appear in The Dandy until the final printed edition was issued on 4 December 2012, the comic's 75th anniversary. Desperate Dan was created by artist Dudley D. Watkins and Dandy editor Albert Barnes, the latter of whom also provided the inspiration for Dan's massive chin and who wrote the strip for the first several years.

Dan hails from the wild west town of Cactusville. He was originally a bit of a desperado on the wrong side of the law hence his name, Desperate Dan. He later on became a friendlier character helping his fellow town folk and even becoming deputy and sheriff of Cactusville from time to time. Dan is arguably the strongest and toughest man in the world.

Dundee, where the Dandy was published, once had a pub called Cactusville. There is also a bronze statue of Dan with his dog, known as 'Dawg'.

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