Saturday, 13 August 2011

Any Future - Children's Comics

A couple of further thoughts on what I wrote yesterday. I was wondering if children read anything like the British comics I used to read as a child and as a younger man. All my friends used to read them when I was at school and we used to bring in comics to swap when we'd finished with them, I used to buy two issues of one comic so I could do this in case I didn't get them back. I had thought at one stage of course of doing a black and white comic in the style of the old Lion or Valiant or Buster and then dismissed the idea as it would never sell. This is not the 1970s. However, just to see what was selling I happened to be in town this morning and called into Easons, which is really the only newsagents in our high street and had a look at the children's section. Do you know they didn't even have the Beano and the Dandy - these were the staples of childhood reading. They had a number of franchise comics like the Simpsons all done up in plastic bags and some others with a free gift. The only thing that actually "looked" like a comic was a Dr. Who publication and it wasn't even a comic more of a magazine with features. I think there was one strip in it. And no other comic publications. Plenty of Tattoo magazines though. Where have they all gone? Are the only ones now interested in British comics solely 60 year-old men? I rest my case and it's a frightening thought. Where's all the creativiely gone when all we have is formulaeic Dr. Who magazines? I'll go and watch the football. Arsenal are drawing with Newcastle which'll not please my wife who is a huge Arsenal fan. Still as I point out her, it could be worse. She could support West Ham!

1 comment:

  1. My seven-year-old nephew loves comics, when he gets a chance to read them. The problem is, comics are expensive to produce, but have to be cheap enough for a child to afford, and still give a healthy profit margin to the newsagent and distributor. Sales aren't high enough to do that anymore, and the barriers to entry into the market are so high that the DFC, even with Random House behind them, couldn't afford to go the newsagent route and sold entirely by subscription.

    Commercial comics need a new model, and I don't think anyone's found it yet. Otherwise, we'll just have to go the same way as poetry. There are plenty of people writing and publishing poetry for the love of it, but nobody makes a living at it.