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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Egmont Classic Comics

Back in November 2012, Egmont UK announced the expansion of their Classic Comics imprint, which was the imprint being used by the company to reprint a wealth of classic comics from the Egmont archives. Four volumes of Roy of the Rovers appeared as e-books in June 2012 and the latest launch added a fifth, plus The Thirteenth Floor from Eagle, Johnny Red, Major Eazy and Charley's War from Battle and material from Misty.

I believe the experiment came to an end a year later—in November 2013—when Charley's War Book 16, taking the story up to March 1917, appeared. Over that year there appeared Kindle editions of Tales From The Mist (1 vol.), The Thirteenth Floor (2 vols.), Major Eazy (2 vols), Rat Pack (2 vols), Hook Jaw (1 volume) and Thunderbirds (5 vols).

It's a shame that the experiment seems to have come to an end. At the time, David Riley, Managing Director of Egmont Publishing Group, said: "Roy, Battle, Misty... these are iconic magazines which still have a place in the national consciousness. They deserve to be brought back; their appeal also has the potential to transcend the generation gap and reach an entirely new, younger audience. With the limitless possibilities offered up by digital publishing, there has never been a better time to bring these comics to the fore."

Despite Riley's belief that the Classic Comics titles could attract two audiences, the series seems to have fallen squarely between the two: attractive to the (relatively small number of ) fans of the original comic who wanted to read these adventures on paper and younger warriors of the digital revolution who read digital books but were not drawn nostalgically to forty-year-old characters.

When the second wave of titles was launched in November 2012, Egmont accompanied the press release with four promo postcards featuring comics from their archive. It's a shame there was no attempt to publish any humour in digital form.


1 comment:

  1. It was a shame that these came to nothing, but I think Egmont didn't really choose the best material they could have, give enough thought to who their audience might be, or consider the limitations imposed by the old UK comics format (the pages are an utter bugger to read on even a large e-reader screen).

    I've found younger readers to be fascinated by the craftsmanship of the art in titles like Misty and Scream, while the stories were easy to follow and often hit touch-button elements (mermaids, pony drama, manipulative mean girls, etc), so I do believe Egmont have some highly lucrative material in their vaults just waiting to be fully exploited - but I think they need to put the work in and not just release things into the wild.