Thursday, October 11, 2007

Comic Cuts

After the success of the book signing on Sunday, David Roach and I will be appearing at the ICA as part of the Comics Britannia Rule! day on Sunday, 4 November, at 4 pm. This is a Q&A event so we need lots of people along to fill an hour with questions -- long questions with short answers would be ideal for those of us who get a little stage-fright. We're the warm-up act before the main show, starting 5.30, where you'll get to see Pat Mills grilling Gerry Finley-Day about 'Slave Girls of War Orphan Farm'.

Some news items I've spotted this evening...

* The Forbidden Planet International blog is reporting that Bryan Talbot's Alice in Suderland has sold 10,000 copies since it was published in April and is about to go into its third printing.

* Steve Flanagan recalls Jane, the short-lived live-action TV show with cartoon backgrounds which wonderfully evoked the old war-time Norman Pett comic strip. Even better, he points readers to YouTube where someone has posted the first five-episode series (albeit from a video recording with Danish subtitles). Hopefully (if the embedding works) you should see the first episode below. If not, follow the links: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4, episode 5.

* Spaceship Away publisher Rod Barzilay gets a nice write-up in the Western Daily Press (9 October) which reveals that his start-up costs for the magazine were £21,000.

* Mike Conroy has written a response to questions raised by Irish comics fan Mike Kinsella about the current problems being faced by Comics International which has only managed three issues in ten months. Mike's letter and Mike's reply can be found at the Forbidden Planet International blog.

* BBC Magazines have launched a Robin Hood fortnightly magazine. Lew Stringer is less than impressed by its busy layout and dumbed-down photo strip. "The presentation is incredibly simplistic, with as little dialogue as possible within word balloons that have tails which annoyingly touch the characters' mouths. (A no-no in lettering.) As if that wasn't dumbed-down enough, each photo panel is not only numbered but features cartoon arrows between each panel to instruct the reader which direction to follow," reports Lew. "What's has happened to children's comics, or to children for that matter, for publications to be so dumbed-down?" he asks.

Well, it's not the children, as they're quite capable of reading a comic from cover to cover without wild layouts or numbers on the panels or arrows pointing the way. And that only leaves the publishers and their editors who seem to think that kids today are incapable of reading a comic.

1 comment:

  1. Dumbed-down childrens' comics: perhaps we need the comics analog of CAMRA? Campaign for Real Comics? One wonders where publishers' market research comes from, as it's clear they're not reading fan press or asking the kids themselves.



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