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The Decline of TV21 
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Obviously someone at Fleetway House was aware of the selling power of football as Scorcher and Score n Roar soon appeared. I'm pretty lukewarm about football but they are two of my favourite comics (later to become one of my favourite comics.)


Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:45 pm
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stevezodiac wrote:
Obviously someone at Fleetway House was aware of the selling power of football as Scorcher and Score n Roar soon appeared. I'm pretty lukewarm about football but they are two of my favourite comics (later to become one of my favourite comics.)


Must confess that I always enjoyed Billy's Boots.


Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:15 am
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I thnk the problem with the football strips in TV21 (despite football being at the height of its popularity) were that hardly any of them were memorable.

Should've stuck to their guns & said we do Sci Fi only (imagine the outrage if say in a Marvel comic, baseball strips start appearing. A thought).

Other key factors in TV21's decline could be:

The replacing of other strong TV support strips such as "Get Smart" with weaker ones such as "Wright Charlie" (was that a tv series or something?) and "Bilko" (by then an old tv show).

Plus not adequatey replacing other strong non-Tv related strips sucj as "Catch Or Kill".

Plus. later on the introduction of a multi coloured letters page answered by Colonel White of Spectrum (clearly going to town on promoting Captain Scarlet). A wastage of colour that could've been used on a comic strip perhaps.


Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:28 am
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DavidKW wrote:
Should've stuck to their guns & said we do Sci Fi only (imagine the outrage if say in a Marvel comic, baseball strips start appearing. A thought).


Marvel's most successful comic in the 1960s was actually Millie the Model.

And in the Golden Age, American comics jumped on every popular genre. Moon Girl started off as a Wonder Woman knock off, slipped into horror territory, before turning into a crime thriller and ultimately ending up as a romance comic. Sports comics were part of the wide variety available. it wasn't really until the '70s that mainstream American comics became all superheroes all the time.

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Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:59 pm
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Marionette wrote:
Marvel's most successful comic in the 1960s was actually Millie the Model.


According to Roy Thomas Millie virtually saved Stan's bacon in the 1950s (she even appeared in DC Thomson's Romeo for a time), but by the mid 1960s her sales had dipped so far that he was only keeping her title alive out of sentiment.

- Phil Rushton


Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:41 pm
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philcom55 wrote:
Marionette wrote:
Marvel's most successful comic in the 1960s was actually Millie the Model.


According to Roy Thomas Millie virtually saved Stan's bacon in the 1950s (she even appeared in DC Thomson's Romeo for a time), but by the mid 1960s her sales had dipped so far that he was only keeping her title alive out of sentiment.

- Phil Rushton


That's interesting. In the mid-60s Marvel were stuck with a distribution deal that only allowed them to publish a limited number of comics a month, so they had to double up several of their less popular titles, such as Tales of Suspense featuring Iron Man and Captain America. At the same time Millie and Patsy Walker had two comics each.

Marvel have always played down the importance of their non-superhero girls' comics, since they didn't fit the narrative of the plucky young company finding success by injecting new life into the superhero genre. Perhaps Roy was confusing the actual history with the official history.

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Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:39 pm
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Of course, that distribution deal was made even worse by the fact that it was determined by a corporate arm of DC Comics - their arch rival.

Actually, I'd forgotten that Millie's own title lasted into the 1970s. In fairness to Roy it may be that he was referring to the last few years of her run, by which time Marvel had finally broken free of the Independant News Company's shackles, rather than the mid-1960s as I previously said.

- Phil R.


Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:12 pm
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Moon Girl started off as a romance comic called A Moon, A Girl, Romance. TV Century 21, like Solo, TV Tornado and the Power Comics will always be remembered as 60s comics and perhaps its only right they didn't survive into the 70s (save a completely reinvented TV21).


Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:40 pm
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stevezodiac wrote:
Moon Girl started off as a romance comic called A Moon, A Girl, Romance.


I fear that your cart/horse configuration is non-viable.

Image

After getting an origin story in the back of a funny animal comic, Moon Girl started her own title as Moon Girl and the Prince (for one issue), dropped the sidekick to become simply Moon Girl, toughened up to Moon Girl Fights Crime for two issues, and then became A Moon, a Girl... Romance for three (only one of which included Moon Girl) before finally settling on the entirely Moon Girl-free Weird Fantasy. It's one of the worst comics I've ever read.

Further info here, if you're interested.

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Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:48 am
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Apologies for posting responses utilising memories from eons back. It will teach me to check my facts first in future.

I was 37% right though wasn't I?


Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:38 am
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Going back to what key casues of TV21s decline:

I think the ultimate killer was the enforced merger with Tv Tornado which also caused the editor to leave the title, unhappy with this decision made by the boardroom (the average director's knowledge of markets being nil minus 1000). I think he was called Johm Embley.

Shortly afterwards, I think Mike Noble followed him out the door, where he'd next later go on the draw for "Sally" comic, then later reunite with Embley at "Look-In".


Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:33 am
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DavidKW wrote:
Going back to what key casues of TV21s decline:

I think the ultimate killer was the enforced merger with Tv Tornado which also caused the editor to leave the title, unhappy with this decision made by the boardroom (the average director's knowledge of markets being nil minus 1000). I think he was called Johm Embley.

Shortly afterwards, I think Mike Noble followed him out the door, where he'd next later go on the draw for "Sally" comic, then later reunite with Embley at "Look-In".


John Embley may well have existed, but the name isn't familiar to me. However, Alan Fennell was editor of TV21 for it's first two years and also the first editor of Look-In.


Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:14 pm
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Sorry I meant Alan Fennell (where did that name of John Embley enter my head? Answers on a postcard please).

I'll reword:

The forced merger with TV Tornado causing the departures of both Fennell & Mike Noble was perhaps the ultimate killer blow & key moment for TV21's decline & fall.


Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:40 am
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Just a question related to the drift to football material in TV21; was Britain the only place in the world where soccer comic strips were popular? Or was it an international phenomenon?


Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:32 am
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The only one I know of is a Dutch comic called Roel Dijkstra. After working on Dan Dare for Eagle and a number of Gerry Anderson strips for TV21 and Countdown the British artist Keith Watson went on to draw this popular football series about a fictional character who was loosely based on Johan Cruijff.


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Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:22 am
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