Are weekly comics doomed?

Talk here about just about anything associated with British comics or story papers and the industry that does not fit in any other forum.
There are separate fora open to registered members for discussing specific comics, artists, websites etc.

Moderators: AndyB, colcool007

Raven
Posts: 2829
Joined: 16 Aug 2007, 22:58
Location: Highboro'

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Raven »

Bigwords wrote: It shows that people are always looking at the negatives, and trying to tear things down. We shouldn't be looking to find fault with the way things are, but to improve the things we appreciate. Focusing on positives rather than negatives can eliminate some of the supposed "problems" which people simply love pointing out.
Remember, though, it's only negatives from one point of view - that of the people seeing their old culture become museum pieces. For the new and next generations, it's anything but negative. They'll experience exciting new art forms that, as I said earlier, we would have seized upon ourselves as kids, had they been available to us.

It's not about tearing things down, but trying to focus on what the real situation is.
Bigwords wrote: Remember the early days of Vertigo? That was British talent. If things had gone differently, the majority of what was published could have easily been produced in the UK. When I pointed out that chances aren't being taken, that is precisely what I am getting at.
I agree that if DC Comics had really wanted to revitalise itself, it should have looked to create the new Watchmen, Sandman or Invisibles for the 2010s, not clog the shelves with (almost) 52 new, same old, superhero comics in a market oversaturated with superhero comics that the world has no interest in.

When a market is shrinking and sales are dropping, companies are much less likely to take any risks, when taking risks might be the best thing.

But the real issue for comics as we know them to continue is that the new generation of kids must get into them and want to read them for pleasure - and they're the ones who, with their own new media literacies and diversions - mostly aren't interested.

Bigwords
Posts: 90
Joined: 25 Sep 2013, 14:22
Contact:

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Bigwords »

Long post is long. You might want to grab cookies and a coffee before you begin...
Raven wrote:Remember, though, it's only negatives from one point of view - that of the people seeing their old culture become museum pieces.
Oooh. "Culture." :D I could have some real fun with that word.

The aspects of comic culture which ensured - even briefly - loyalty to a character, title or publisher have been shattered completely through the disappearance of multiple titles and publishers. We don't have the breadth of choice that once marked out the scope of British comics, and thus we might be persuaded to think that this is is it. This is the big one. Doom and gloom and no more slap up meals at the end of a page of hijinks. We still have a culture here in the UK, but even though it isn't what it once was, there's life in the old beast yet. Take this forum - and other fora - for example. Just because something changes, what once was is still there, like obsolete DNA swirling around our bodies.

When we look to the past, we aren't really looking at the past. Not truly. It's mixed in with rubbish from pop culture, and other people's memories, and things we would like to remember slightly better than things actually were. Brutal, unflinching, often painful honesty, in examining that supposed past is what is needed. Was it really a great culture, or could things have been better? There are some things which have massively improved - creator rights, for one. From the collecting end of things, distribution may have become hit and miss, but there are specialists delivering the comics people want right to them

And yes, I did trip up over your answer to my comment there - took me a moment to self-correct from mausoleum to museum. Either would, I suppose, fit. Still, we aren't witnessing the end of anything, merely transition. Nobody knows what is happening during transitions unless they have a crystal ball. For all we know, the Next Big Thing could come along and shift the kinds of numbers Viz was enjoying in the late 80s.
Raven wrote:I agree that if DC Comics had really wanted to revitalise itself, it should have looked to create the new Watchmen, Sandmen or Invisibles for the 2010s, not clog the shelves with (almost) 52 new, same old, superhero comics in a market oversaturated with superhero comics that the world has no interest in.
But those titles - the gloriously anarchic, rule-breaking, attention-grabbing and (massively important in light of the 1990s UK crash and burn) profitable comics - should have seen light from a company such as Fleetway Editions, or Trident, or... Whatever publisher was available. That those creators had to go to the US is the issue, which leads to...
Raven wrote:When a market is shrinking and sales are dropping, companies are much less likely to take any risks.
It is the best time possible. :) When there is nothing to lose, then there's a window of opportunity - the shrinking market means that whoever gets the notion to grab all the attention and sustain a period of quality which engages readers is going to be the one to make it out the other end of a difficult time. This is a difficult time. This is precisely the time to aim above the parapet and see just how much of a potential readership is out there.
Raven wrote:But the real issue for comics as we know them to continue is that the new generation of kids must get into them and want to read them for pleasure - and they're the ones who, with their own new media literacies and diversions - mostly, aren't interested.
Yeah. The kids are the main problem. :D

There's ways of approaching narrative involvement - and not just like the utter failure of a title Diceman - which replicates a degree of interactivity. The other aspect that is required to interest (and maintain) younger readers is immediacy, which is why you ignore that completely - It is why you don't give people what they want, you give them what they need. Continuing stories, which will compel readers to keep purchasing a title, is the only way to stave off the shrinking story mass in comics. I have some comics which have pages stuffed with artwork, and when I see pages with seven panels, or eight panels, or whatever reduced number we are inching down to, it signifies a lack of trust in the reader. Readers - even small children - are incredibly intelligent.

One thing I hate - utterly detest, and wish that publishers would quit already - is signposts. Large, neon signs illuminating how clever and witty they are, and explaining why the reader should know what they have done. Ugh. No. Be clever and let kids figure things out. When things are so simplified, so contained within the confines of expectation, there is no room to enjoy the grand world of the characters. They stop being individuals and are turned into cyphers. There's a TV Tropes page - don't explain the joke. All the little bits of business should stand or fall on their own merits.

I have pointed out (numerous times across the internet) that writers should always write up to an audience, but I am not seeing that across comics as a whole.

User avatar
starscape
Posts: 979
Joined: 17 Jul 2011, 14:51
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by starscape »

I've long thought that the way to get a comic industry in the UK was to have an indie press umbrella organisation. Not one that takes on anyone but to have a stable of good quality magazines of a number of genres. But, available from the one place, under the same header. Marketing budgets could be pooled, advertising in each other's comics, special one off annuals/specials bringing together a selection would all be tried.

I did try to get this together but it just wasn't happening. Some agreed, others didn't. Shame really.

Phoenix
Guru
Posts: 5350
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 21:15

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Phoenix »

Bigwords wrote:Take this forum - and other fora - for example.
I hope you don't mind my pointing this out to you, Bigwords, but when you want to talk about more than one forum, in the way you are using it, as a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged, the plural is forums. The word fora is the plural of the word forum only when it refers to a public square or marketplace used for judicial and other business in an ancient Roman city.

Bigwords
Posts: 90
Joined: 25 Sep 2013, 14:22
Contact:

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Bigwords »

Phoenix wrote:I hope you don't mind my pointing this out to you, Bigwords, but when you want to talk about more than one forum, in the way you are using it, as a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged, the plural is forums..
My Latin is notoriously rusty (working out present participles nearly drove me insane).

I prefer the term "big boardy thingamajigs" anyways. :D

User avatar
philcom55
Posts: 5170
Joined: 14 Jun 2006, 11:56

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by philcom55 »

Phoenix is certainly correct that 'forums' is now the preferred plural term for internet sites such as this as specified in current editions of the Oxford Dictionary where popular usage is accepted as the ultimate arbiter. Unfortunately, the same thinking has also resulted in the recent validation of 'decimation' for wholesale destruction and 'literally' being used in a purely figurative sense ("I literally died", etc.). However, not all the English dictionaries tend to be quite so democratic. Words are funny things - and the rules they adhere to are notoriously unstable. :?

- Phil R.

Phoenix
Guru
Posts: 5350
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 21:15

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Phoenix »

philcom55 wrote:Phoenix is certainly correct that 'forums' is now the preferred plural term for internet sites such as this as specified in current editions of the Oxford Dictionary where popular usage is accepted as the ultimate arbiter. Unfortunately, the same thinking has also resulted in the recent validation of 'decimation' for wholesale destruction
Language is a living entity, constantly in a state of development and change. The very concept of validation should be challenged. If what people say communicates adequately what they mean, and their listeners understand them, then that language has served its purpose, it has communicated, and is therefore correct even if it contains some words or phrases that are so new that they have not yet made it into a dictionary. For this reason, I see decimation, a word from a clear Latin source (decem = 10 : decimare = to take a tenth part, as in kill one of every ten) to be an acceptable development from that source into a different modern meaning, whereas fora, a natural Latin plural of a word in normal use today, regardless of which of the meanings of forum we are using, is an unnatural development because it is looking backwards to its historic use as a plural in the Roman era, and is only likely to be used now by some of those people who learned Latin at school. Must stop there, I'm off out for a couple of jars.

User avatar
philcom55
Posts: 5170
Joined: 14 Jun 2006, 11:56

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by philcom55 »

Phoenix wrote:I'm off out for a couple of jars.
...Were they amphorae or amphoras. :)

Phoenix
Guru
Posts: 5350
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 21:15

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Phoenix »

philcom55 wrote:...Were they amphorae or amphoras. :)
Great reply, Phil. :lol: To be fair, the jar is no more than a vessel (vas). Of more concern was whether it was filled with Carling or San Miguel.

User avatar
ISPYSHHHGUY
Posts: 4275
Joined: 14 Oct 2007, 13:05
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I do hope that the amphorae provided liquid euphoria for you, my good Mr Phoenix.

Phoenix
Guru
Posts: 5350
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 21:15

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Phoenix »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I do hope that the amphorae provided liquid euphoria for you, my good Mr Phoenix.
Well I wouldn't go that far, Rab, it was only two pints of San Miguel after all, and I often think that's little more than dyed water. I find it disappointing, as a Hispanist and a Hispanophile, that the decent quality Spanish beers, wines and spirits that I got used to when I was living and working in Madrid are so scarce round here. The only oasis in the local desert is Lunya, a tapas bar just off the Liverpool One shopping area, near Waterstones if any local members are interested, but that's a train ride away from my place.

User avatar
ISPYSHHHGUY
Posts: 4275
Joined: 14 Oct 2007, 13:05
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

Here in Scotland, Phoenix, the only 'decent priced pint' comes via Witherspoons, so


VIVA ENGLAND,


----in this case at least.....

User avatar
Hard Truths
Posts: 31
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 23:57

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Hard Truths »

Chortle! I had a right laugh reading this thread! :lol:

User avatar
ISPYSHHHGUY
Posts: 4275
Joined: 14 Oct 2007, 13:05
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

great stuff, HT!

User avatar
-MikeD-
Posts: 372
Joined: 06 Jan 2011, 18:15
Location: Hull - UK
Contact:

Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by -MikeD- »

Unless I'm looking in the wrong place, it appears that DCT stopped revealing The Beano's ABC's publicly last year. I'm sure there could be any number of reasons, but I notice other comics are not so coy, and it would be nice to know if the recent Dandification was successful.

I really hope the comic is still in rude health.
My new art blog...beta version... http://mikedcuk.blogspot.co.uk

Post Reply