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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Egmont...IPC...Kids Comics And Two Women In Asda....

When comics are fun they are fun.

When you HAVE to earn a living from them -that's when the stress starts!

But then there is the industry itself and what it produces.

Yes, you can almost hear grating teeth from certain persons who know I am about to write about the UK comics industry again. 

They really ought to get used to it, you know!

Two women were looking at the, uh, 'comics' in the Asda supermarket and they were having trouble trying to decide what to buy "I never read comics" one said. I very politely interrupted and this was helped by my Danger Mouse t-shirt that made them giggle (I HOPE it was the t-shirt!).

 I pointed out which might be best for a boy and which for a girl. "They just don't make comics with action for kids these days" said the other woman who "used to read Mighty World of Marvel" when she was younger (she put the boot it subtly by adding "My dad handed them down to me".....grrrrrrr).
I have been asked before why there are no action comics for the pre-teens (7-11 years)?  Well, of course you can produce these.
You have to be aware that this age group now watches "Horrible Histories" on TV as well as Dr Who so a comic of adventure strips -even ghost stories- featuring young characters can be done but you have to remember the subtle way to write for -NOT write down to- youngsters and remember gore, etc., is out -my younger brother grew up on my comics and me entertaining him with quickly drawn comic strips. Ditto my niece who I raised til she was 14 and I have in the past drawn for other youngsters.

At Secondary School I used to not just teach Asian kids English but other kids in the school how to draw comics (and I was 14-15 years old!).  Comics were a good language aid.
Yes, kids can have action and adventure BUT comics need a publisher and that is where it all falls down sadly.

I used to get Robin occasionally and then The Topper -there were a whole range of comics suitable for youngsters produce by various companies including Amalgamated Press/Fleetway and "the Scottish company whose name must not be spoken!"

You see, girls like action stories just as much as boys -as proven by the lady in Asda.  The trouble is that most people working in publishing houses now have never read a comic, know nothing of UK comic history nor how to even put a comic together.

When you talk to people at IPC today and they say they had no idea the company published comics (it was well over 30 years ago now) or Egmont where they tell you "We don't do comics -we do magazines" when THAT is worrying since Egmont, in countries like Finland, DO publish comics including old British strips -these people have no idea what their own company does!

It is sad but this is "comics in the UK" and I wish it was better or even 1% like the European market but it isn't.

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