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Having quickly checked with various contributors, I've agreed to have Bear Alley archived, so we'll be joining the 0.01% elite that are currently being preserved by the British Library.
One particular cat has made our garden his own domain. Because his gold collar looked like the kind of 'bling' that's common these days, we've nicknamed him Blingy. As nicknames always develop and evolve, last week I was calling him 'The Blingmeister'. This week it's 'Snoop Catty Cat' because I was typing away the other day, turned my head to look out the window and found him staring straight at me. This isn't my best animal/rapper joke... I've yet to tell you about the Koi carp called Fishy Scent. I'll stop making jokes now.
Tony Ingram, in an article over on Down the Tubes, makes the valid point when he says this is a "sad loss as those magazines currently act as a gateway into Marvel for younger readers who then move on to Panini's reprint titles and possibly to the US originals." I've often argued that one of the reasons we no longer have the boys' adventure comics that we had when I was growing up is that vital links were severed in the chain that saw children introduced to comics pre-school; there were comics for all ages that you could progress to, whether it was humour comics or adventure comics aimed at a slightly younger age range. The ultimate example of this was, I believe, the Eagle group of titles, which had Robin for the very young and, as the readers grew older, they could progress to Swift (a unisex humour/adventure comic) and then to Girl or Eagle.
"On the face of it, Disney's decision makes little sense," says Tony. "It will deprive creators of work and Panini of revenue, which admittedly isn’t [Disney's] problem (and may even be seen as a plus by them, since Panini are in competition with them in other areas), but more to the point it will deprive a section of their fan base of that way in to Marvel I mentioned, which can’t be good for business in the long run. And the only justification for it seems to be creating a uniform brand under Disney’s total control."
Oddly enough, Panini UK may have resolved the potential problem as they're due to launch a ThunderCats comic to tie in with the new TV show that's due to hit the small screen in the autumn. I imagine it will be aimed at roughly the same age group that previously bought Marvel Heroes and should do well if the show is a hit. (The second dose of irony isn't lost on me... the original show inspired the long-running ThunderCats comic published in 1989-91 by Marvel UK.) Hopefully we will now see the next generation of comic readers growing up without the urge to move onto Marvel's older superhero titles. If there's a positive spin to be put on this, that could be good news for 2000AD, if it can hang on a few more years.
|To be published in June|
I've been hard at work on the next book but I've no idea how long it is going to take to write as I'm doing a little bit here, a little bit there, with only the occasional full day to work on it. I'm also trying to squeeze in some work on the next index, so there's a lot going on behind the scenes even if that's not reflected in the sedate way the Bear Alley Book website gets updated.
You can find a gallery of the covers here; I still have copies of the remaining 34 issues, although I'm down to only one or two copies of some, so grab 'em while you can!
Today's random scans...
A long, long time ago I did a cover gallery for John Wyndham... I think it was the first cover gallery I ever posted on Bear Alley. Well, I recently picked up a Penguin box set labelled The Best of John Wyndham. The covers were all by Peter Lord, as was the box, and they were so nice that I couldn't resist buying them... and sharing them with you. Rather than cram them in here, I'll do a second post, so you'll find them if you scroll down.
Next week, and, indeed, over the weekend, we'll have more from Paul Temple. See you next week.