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Issue 1 
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Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:22 am
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It is here! (along with my long awaited issue 2 of Strip Magazine, but that's another story)

My son is well impressed (me too natch), it builds on the excellence of issue zero.

Have read Pirates of Pangaea (first story), shaping up nicely - enjoying getting to know the "editors" as well. Bunny vs Monkey very funny as well, although looking forward to Star Cat more as we both thought that the best of the funnies from zero. Will read the rest tonight at bed time though my boy is having a good look just now.

First impressions are excellent then - let's hope it can gather enough readers to long outlast the initial funding period.


Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:35 pm
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Don't forget today's Times has a preview issue - 8 pages tabloid size inside the Weekend section.


Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:58 pm
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Bah, there's only a "Little Waitrose" (how twee!) in Manchester, and they didn't have it. Might go for a taster subscription.


Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:45 pm
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Well, there's a big one here (Westfield, E London) and there's no sign of it. Nor in the Canary Wharf branch.


Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:08 am
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Not good. It's only in Waitrose, and not even in all branches?

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Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:56 am
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Wasn't in Ely Waitrose either, I ought to have asked customer services what was going on.

Maybe if it was "released" on Saturday they meant it was made available online and sent out to the distributors, so will not actually be in shops until Monday. I'm going to try on Monday anyway (somebody's got to buy it in shops to encourage others to stock it too!). But if they don't have it then I'll subscribe.

EDIT: Further information posted by Black Rider on the sweatdrop.com forum:
Quote:
just a little warning about the waitrose thing.

my parents drove us out to a small town in Warwickshire especially to see if they would have copies. my mum thought she'd get some for comic club at her school. (which is pretty cool, I didn't know they had comic club)

but the waitrose didn't have any, so we asked about it (and showed them the newspaper version which has a note about the waitrose thing.). they didn't have any in store and none were being ordered.

so my dad checked the phoenix website were the wording is slightly different. I guess its only a very few amount of waitrose shops that will be participating. (I hope its not a london thing ... that would make me saaadddd)

sorry to be a bit of a whinger ... but I had my hopes up when we started driving there. its just disappointing (specially since we have to travel so far just to check)

Sorry .. the 'exclusive-ness' is just starting to annoy me a little bit. I know why these problems are happening, doesn't stop them being annoying.

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Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:46 am
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So basically, they haven't learned. The DFC failed because you couldn't buy it in the shops. Relying only on subs is not a good business model. Can't get exposure and new readers that way.

EDIT: Typo, meant relying, not replying. :oops:

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Last edited by Digifiend on Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:45 am
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Digifiend wrote:
So basically, they haven't learned. The DFC failed because you couldn't buy it in the shops. Replying only on subs is not a good business model. Can't get exposure and new readers that way.


We don't know what the actual situation with The Phoenix is yet or what promotions they have lined up. (Although apparently something will appear on the BBC this week.)

I was assured that the arrangement with Waitrose is on, so perhaps some shops are just late putting them out? I understand there has also been interest from other retailers.

Subscriptions are promising too, with 1200 subscribers last I heard. That's a good start for a new comic. To be honest I don't know why more members here didn't take up the sub offer of £10 for 5 issues rather than waiting to pay £2.99 a copy in shops.

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:42 am
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I suppose I wanted to support the shop to encourage them to stock it.lots of people have been asking Waitrose to stock it and asking where it is..so that can be a good thing.....as you say looks like we'll have to sub..

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:33 am
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It's a shame they can't do something like most part work series where the first two or three issues are widely distributed through WH Smith etc, after which subsequent editions are printed to order and only available via subscription.

- Phil R.


Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:46 am
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Whilst I understand Lew's point - ten quid is not much for 5 issues and it gives the publisher a boost - I'd really rather buy comics in a shop. Otherwise, digital downloads are my preferred format (like Strip Magazine), so I'm waiting for the Phoenix app, and keeping an eye on the magazine racks in Waitrose...

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:21 am
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Lew Stringer wrote:
I was assured that the arrangement with Waitrose is on, so perhaps some shops are just late putting them out? I understand there has also been interest from other retailers.


I'm going to try again tonight on the way home to see if there's any availabilty now we're a couple of days in to the first week. The funny thing is I've a vague feeling I read an news piece somewhere that said they're going to be in 'selected' branches rather than across the board, as per the note above.

Digifiend wrote:
So basically, they haven't learned. The DFC failed because you couldn't buy it in the shops. Replying only on subs is not a good business model. Can't get exposure and new readers that way.


Do we know that's why The DFC failed? It is an easy enough assumption to make (no exposure = no sales) but I suspect it was just one of a number of factors, not least of which is the recession and the general belt-tightening in all sectors of the economy. But I don't know and unless anyone has any inside information I suppose I never will. I'm sure they always planned to expand to a more inclusive model - why wouldn't they? - but never got the chance.

One thing I am sure of is that my investment in The Phoenix is going to come to approximately £2-99 per week. I'm not going to castigate those who've already invested many thousands more (and perhaps lost a packet on The DFC) for not exposing themselves even more to a volatile market place. Lew has explained the basics of the cost of getting stocked in WH Smiths - that alone would put me off investing!

It might be that we need to face the facts: weekly children's comics in the UK, distributed through the highstreet, are no longer mainstream. Perhaps digital will be the way forward, taking the costs of printing and delivery out of the equation? We're talking about a niche product though - and even then there's more traffic on this board about stuff from 30 years ago than there is about a brand new UK children's comic. A niche within a niche (if that's possible).

George

EDIT: found the article - "We have confirmation of some retail space in selected Waitrose stores and we assume that will include Oxfordshire stores, as we are an Oxford-based company". And there's a nice blog about the launch here.


Last edited by ogtec on Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:49 pm
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ogtec wrote:
The funny thing is I've a vague feeling I read an news piece somewhere that said they're going to be in 'selected' branches rather than across the board, as per the note above.


I took "selected retailers" to simply mean Waitrose, and a freelancer at The Phoenix said it'd be in all branches so perhaps they were mistaken.

philcom55 wrote:
It's a shame they can't do something like most part work series where the first two or three issues are widely distributed through WH Smith etc, after which subsequent editions are printed to order and only available via subscription.

- Phil R.


That'd be good but launching a partwork is incredibly expensive. Bear in mind they have TV advertising and display stands in Smiths. We're talking millions. They recoup that with the high cover price (after the initial low price launch) and international editions but I'm sure none of us want to see a comic costing £8. (And at that price, let's face it, it wouldn't sell.)

As Ogtec said, we have to pretty much forget about the way things used to be done in regards to comics. Strip Magazine has launched via the comic shop route (with the intention of expanding to newsagents later) and The Phoenix is starting off mainly as a subscription-only comic. With the attitudes of retail giants these days, and the general indifference of the public towards comics, starting small seems to be the best option now.

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:01 pm
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The DFC probably could have succeeded if it had been promoted even a little bit more (were adverts placed in the Beano and Dandy? I saw 2000AD do it in the 90's!) and had a cheap subscription offer like the "preview" one from the Pheonix. I seem to remember the cheapest DFC one being around £20 which is still quite a bit when you're at uni, like I was at the time.

Subscription only alone need not kill a publication, The Dandy appears to be virtually subscription only these days, after all! (though it does have the advantage of a much better distributed and better selling comic advertising it every week). You just have to get initial interest.

I'm going to try Ely Waitrose again on the way home tonight, and if they don't have it I'll blow out on a year's subscription... just because the binder looks nice. More shelf space to find!

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:08 pm
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The Dandy is easy to obtain where I am. I know at least four retailers that sell it (NewsPlus [Londis], Asda, Tesco, WHSmith). Hardly subscription only.

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Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:46 pm
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