Issue 1

From the ashes of the DFC rises... the Phoenix.

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Lew Stringer
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote: Comparing modern storytelling to comics of 40 years ago is perhaps unfair. A) Today's children won't make that comparison and B)That method of condensed storytelling fell out of favour many years ago unfortunately as the readers gradually abandoned IPC comics in their thousands.
Well, I'm not so sure it fell out of favour with readers. I'd suggest that with kids' attention spans probably much shorter now than then, even *faster* paced stories would be in order now; but, really, it's just good dramatic writing to have several plot turns per instalment.
Perhaps it will as the series progresses but otherwise you've just proven my point. The Lost Boy is a fast read. That's how decompressed storytelling works, apparently moving the plot at a slower pace but with storytelling at a faster, more natural speed so the reader is drawn into a "real time" adventure.

Anyway, time will tell if The Lost Boy is working or not. My gut feeling is it'll be more popular with girls.
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meherenow
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Re: Issue 1

Post by meherenow »

Well, following my up my original opening post, my five year old LITERALLY jumped for joy when I told him The Phoenix issue 2 had arrived - Yahoo! he shouted. He was equally well impressed that it arrived a day early too.

Straight onto "the dinosaur story" he was, pesky schools teaching him to read, looks like I may be redundant soon :cry: (he did say it was better with me doing the voices though, so maybe not just yet :D ) We read it together at bedtime but he's already devoured it all and he says he loves it.

Sure it's got its faults - Corpse Talk is a bit of a weird history lesson, even for me, and perhaps the Von Doogan puzzle page is a little out of his depth just now (I sure enjoy racking the old brain though).

It is a shame to read about all the distribution teething problems, hopefully folk will get their issue 1's sorted out, but the thing that worries me for the future is the absence from Waitrose - no Waitrose anywhere near me but this is obviously the route to turn casual readers in to long term sales. Hopefully the Phoenix team have a big stack of issue 1 back issues ready to send out!

All in all a good second impression (or should that be third including issue zero?). Glad I took out a sub early, now where's that promised free binder....?

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

Matt_Baxter wrote:I came to this forum expecting lively, well leavened debate, criticism (good and bad) and passion. Sadly, despite some really interesting posts and comments, this thread is getting mired in very poorly reasoned, uninformed conjecture and unconstructive cynicism.
I really can't see why you are getting your knickers in a twist, Matt. I do see lively debate, although quite what you mean by well-leavened I'll let you explain, I also see criticism (good and bad), I also see passion. To that extent we have actually satisfied your expectations. On the other hand, I don't see anything in this thread that I would describe as poorly-reasoned, let alone very poorly-reasoned, nor do I see any evidence of cynicism. The rest of your post is more difficult to understand because your expression uninformed conjecture is very nearly a tautology and the word unconstructive is not listed in my New Oxford Dictionary Of English.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: Perhaps it will as the series progresses but otherwise you've just proven my point. The Lost Boy is a fast read. That's how decompressed storytelling works, apparently moving the plot at a slower pace but with storytelling at a faster, more natural speed so the reader is drawn into a "real time" adventure.
Well, I can't really agree - "real time" automatically makes it a slower dramatic progression (even if it's quicker to read because there's not much to read).

Kids' films, for example (probably the closest medium to comics for them) don't move at a slower pace to allow their protagonists to have a "real time" adventure, do they? They move fast, with as much condensed into as short a time as possible. "Real time" writing isn't good dramatic writing, which depends on progressive complications, a cracking pace (of action events) to keep it exciting, and constant plot turns.

There's an art to weekly adventure serial writing and I thought one of the mistakes the DFC made was running some stories that would work better as a graphic novel collection but didn't really work as gripping weekly serials. It's one of the areas where today's creators could learn a lot from the older comics. Nothing to do with nostalgia; just that there were lot of professionals who really understood the form and wrote very tightly. Tom Tully's work is worth studying!
Last edited by Raven on 16 Jan 2012, 19:49, edited 1 time in total.

Lew Stringer
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote: Kids' films, for example (probably the closest medium to comics for them) don't move at a slower pace to allow their protagonists to have a "real time" adventure, do they?
I'm not talking about film. That's comparing apples to oranges and a different subject.
Raven wrote:Nothing to do with nostalgia; just that there were lot of proferssionals who really understood the form and wrote very tightly. Tom Tully's work is worth studying!
And yet.... all those comics eventually folded. What worked in 1970 with such brilliance doesn't necessarily work today. Yes, The Lost Boy is clearly paced for the book collection, and I see your reasons why that may weaken each chapter, although that never seemed to hurt European strips which had a similar sort of rhythm when they were first serialised in weekly chapters.
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: I'm not talking about film. That's comparing apples to oranges and a different subject.
Not really - it's talking about the pace of dramatic visual entertainment for kids today. Film tends to strongly influence popular entertainment. The bestselling books seem to do well not because of literary values but because they resemble Hollywood screenplays.

Raven wrote: And yet.... all those comics eventually folded.
Because they started to sell less than 150,000 - 200,000? Which today's comics would kill to sell a small fraction of.

And the original batch of creators would be bound to run out of steam at some point anyway on that grinding schedule. For a new generation of creators, I think *timeless* storytelling values and disciplines would be just as apt.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

Raven wrote:Kids' films, for example (probably the closest medium to comics for them) don't move at a slower pace to allow their protagonists to have a "real time" adventure, do they? They move fast, with as much condensed into as short a time as possible.
Lew Stringer wrote:I'm not talking about film. That's comparing apples to oranges and a different subject.
I think Raven is making a valid point. Of course an apple and an orange are different but they are both fruit. Adventure stories in films are obviously different from adventure stories in comics but they are still adventure stories.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Time will tell as to whether The Lost Boy is popular or not. I don't really want to get bogged down on the pros and cons of one 2 page strip. All I'll say is that if I, as a 52 year old bloke who's read tons of comics (and who isn't really a fan of decompressed storytelling) can be sufficiently intrigued by the strip to want to know what happens next (the main requirement of a serial) then I'd hope most of The Phoenix's young readers will also stick with it.
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Digifiend
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Digifiend »

Richard S. wrote:Just got an email from Waitrose and they say.....

I have been in contact with our buyers regarding your query and they have advised us that the Phoenix Comic will be available from today in all of our branches that stock magazines.

so start looking for it!

I will reply to them once I find a copy
Trouble is, issue 2 is due out tomorrow... so I hope they'll keep both 1 and 2 out until issue 3 is due out - assuming of course, that the later issues are on sale on schedule.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

I've been informed I'll be sent my first issue now, which is good news. I've been asked to allow up to 28 days for it to arrive, but hopefully it won't take that long as I should have issues 3-5 by then!

Lew, I don't want to say too much about The Lost Boy till I've read part one and some other instalments, myself, but I hope you'll appreciate I was broadening the topic to talk about the pros and cons of the modern type of decompressed storytelling in general. I haven't read the other serials yet.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Phoenix wrote:On the other hand, I don't see anything in this thread that I would describe as poorly-reasoned, let alone very poorly-reasoned, nor do I see any evidence of cynicism.
Your suspicion that Richard's review wasn't genuine and "has all the hallmarks of a propaganda piece, written in all probability by someone close to the editorial team" sounded pretty cynical and poorly reasoned to me! :lol:
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

Phoenix wrote:
Matt_Baxter wrote:Some good news. Firstly, a cracking review by Richard and (more importantly) his daughter Molly over on the Forbidden Planet blog
I would like to believe that this review is genuine, but unfortunately it has all the hallmarks of a propaganda piece, written in all probability by someone close to the editorial team.
I have reread the FP review and I am sticking with the opinion I expressed earlier. However, in the light of Lew's information about knowing Richard, if I were writing my comment now with that knowledge I would replace close to with very sympathetic to the aims of.

It goes without saying that a review, whether of a play, film, book or whatever should be factually accurate and fair, focusing on the good, the bad and the indifferent, and then express an opinion, the whole thing presented as concisely as possible. No more but no less than is necessary. This review, in my opinion, was too long and too favourable. Swirly has spotted a sliver of what he sees as verging on criticism, but I think it is a mirage. Richard is simply wondering whether that strip should continue for much longer rather than actually criticising it. It's a moot point though. To my way of thinking, Richard strayed beyond his remit as a reviewer when he started to outline the various plots, not only a big no-no but a major reason why the review was too long. If he had been more dispassionate and less eager to persuade, he could have incorporated some less revealing comments within what proved to be merely his opening remarks.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

Phoenix wrote:I think Raven is making a valid point. Of course an apple and an orange are different but they are both fruit. Adventure stories in films are obviously different from adventure stories in comics but they are still adventure stories.
Lew Stringer wrote:Time will tell as to whether The Lost Boy is popular or not. I don't really want to get bogged down on the pros and cons of one 2 page strip.
I thought we were dealing with something rather more fundamental than a mere two-page strip. I'm sure Raven thinks so.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

Lew Stringer wrote:Your suspicion that Richard's review wasn't genuine and "has all the hallmarks of a propaganda piece, written in all probability by someone close to the editorial team" sounded pretty cynical and poorly reasoned to me! :lol:
As I said once before, In the absence of facts, conjecture is all we have. In any case most of what I wrote is not in dispute.

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starscape
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Re: Issue 1

Post by starscape »

Sheez, with friends like these... :headbash:

I agree 100% with Matt.
your expression uninformed conjecture is very nearly a tautology and the word unconstructive is not listed in my New Oxford Dictionary Of English
Sums it all up. Wood for the trees. How petty.

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