D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

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Big Simon
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Big Simon »

Now that "Britain's exciting new comic" BeanoMAX is already chocablock with reprints in issue 2, no less, and The Beano regularly reprints Robert Nixon artwork and Tom Paterson's 'Calamity James'; and the Dandy is republishing Jimmy Hansen's 'Class Act' and from next week Roger Kettle's 25-year-old 'Blubba and the Bear' from Nutty... I was wondering, do these wonderful artists (or their families) ever get 'repeat' fees?

I know there's a long history of comics using reprints. And I actually like to see Bob Nixon's artwork again, because he was a genius, but reprints in D.C. Thomson titles now seem to be getting more and more commonplace...

Thank god for new artists like Jamie Smart and Dan Gaynor attempting to break the mould.

Lew Stringer
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Lew Stringer »

Big Simon wrote:I was wondering, do these wonderful artists (or their families) ever get 'repeat' fees?
HAHAHAHA!

Oh you're serious?

Not a penny. Which is the reason they bung reprint in there. (Don't blame the editors though. These are always management decisions.)

Of course, the cost of reformating, colouring, relettering the reprints to suit the current Dandy format probably won't save much money anyway.

If their number crunchers have imagination they'll foresee that. If they know anything about the history of comics they'll know reprint never saved one comic from cancellation. (Unless it's a specific reprint comic like Classics.)

The good thing is the new material in The Dandy is strong: Jamie Smart, Steve Horrocks, Nigel Parkinson... all doing good work. (Bananaman is conspicuous by his absence though.)

Lew
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colcool007
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by colcool007 »

The same problem arises across the spectrum of DCT comics. I was well chuffed to buy large amounts of Warlord, Victor and Hotspur but I found that almost every comic that I picked up had a strong sense of deja-vu when I read it.

In Warlord, the first 3 or 4 years are refreshingly clear of reprint (unless you include the recycling of old story-lines) as with Victor and Hotspur. But then you get a few years down the line, then you find reprint after reprint. At least Commando was always up-front about it. As a kid, I always dreaded the tag-line "First published in 19XX" on the first page of the story, but now it's like an old friend and the fun is in guessing how long a gap is between first issue and re-release.

It is part of the reason that John Wagner, Pat Mills et al fought as hard as they did to enable artists and writes to get some small renumeration for the fact that their story could be used two or thirty times in reprints. But, in actuality, the renumeration only works for characters where the creator has retained the copyright.

Now as an adult, I do feel that it is/was slightly lazy to rely on the back catalogue to flesh out a comic or an annual (Fleetway, hang your head in shame for this crime of fleshing out Annuals with stories that were sooo out of date!) especially if your sales figures are strong. But with the increasing pressure on editors to cut costs and maximise profits, I can't really condemn them for taking an option that got The Management off their backs. Just wish that it hadn't happened so bleedy often! :evil:
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

Lew Stringer
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Lew Stringer »

For the sake of balance I should mention that The Dandy is no stranger to reprints. Back in the sixties it reprinted Barney's Bear, a strip so dull that when I bought a stack of 1964 issues again I had absolutely no recollection of that particular strip. Later of course the comic reprinted Desperate Dan after Dudley Watkins' untimely death, along with numerous other strips in the 1970s.

The problem now is that introducing reprint is often the thin end of the wedge, rather than a temporary measure as it was in the past. We've seen reprint gradually completely dominate comics such as Whizzer & Chips, Buster, Sonic, and new Eagle until the readers had enough and left.

I was very disappointed that BeanoMax has kicked off using some reprint, particularly as the strip content was already no more than the average weekly Beano. Sure, the younger readers might never have seen those stories before but, somehow, they'll still have the feeling they're "old". (I could spot a reprint a mile off when I was a kid. It's something to do with how the approach to storytelling changes with each decade; today's approach using wilder angles and more head shots for example, rather than full figure work in every panel.)

It's a lose-lose situation. If the comics don't lose sales the bean counters will want more reprint in. If the sales go down they'll blame competition from the new Playstation! Anything but admit their policies are short sighted.

Lew
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Shaqui
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Shaqui »

Why just pick on DCT? IPC and Fleetway always used to do it. And the current Redan 'Thunderbirds' is now purely reprint as well, recycling their own material...

:oops:

brisey
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by brisey »

Shaqui,To be fair IPC/Fleetway are getting some stick on this board.

But DCT are the big player.And to be putting reprints in the second issue is a bit short-sighted.

I cancelled my Commando subscription on the basis of the reprint policy-the fact that they were more recent rather than classic-but this allows me to only pick up the new ones at Smith-which helps no-one.

Brian

Conor B
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Conor B »

Lew Stringer wrote:Sure, the younger readers might never have seen those stories before but, somehow, they'll still have the feeling they're "old". (I could spot a reprint a mile off when I was a kid.)
Same here. The phone in Billy Whizz gave it away.
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Lew Stringer
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Lew Stringer »

brisey wrote:Shaqui,To be fair IPC/Fleetway are getting some stick on this board.

But DCT are the big player.

Well, they were, but no longer. Now only publishing seven comic titles (four of which have lousy distribution) they've been eclipsed by Panini and Titan who are the new big players in the comics field.

It's amazing they allowed it to happen.

Lew
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Conor B
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Conor B »

Lew Stringer wrote:Now only publishing seven comic titles (four of which have lousy distribution)
Are they Beano, Dandy, BeanoMAX, Classics from the Comics, Fun Size Beano, Fun Size Dandy and Commando? Which four have lousy distribution?
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AndyB
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by AndyB »

Fun Size Beano and Dandy, Commando, and Classics.

Only the Beano itself has any sort of decent distribution.

Lew Stringer
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Lew Stringer »

AndyB wrote:Fun Size Beano and Dandy, Commando, and Classics.

Only the Beano itself has any sort of decent distribution.
Indeed. Even for a new comic, BeanoMax seems in short supply around here. Things have changed a lot from the days when there'd be a pile of first issues on the counter.

Lew
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AndyB
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by AndyB »

Annoyingly, convenience stores which don't carry the Beano or the Dandy (and those which carry neither are increasingly common, so it's getting as hard to get a Beano as it is a Dandy!) do carry the likes of Thunderbirds and so on. Quality, people?

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Shaqui
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Shaqui »

Possibly nothing to do with quality but wheeling, dealing and retailing at supermarket level... those freebies with certain mags are attractive to shopping mums to keep their kids quiet.

I'd actually have a go at your local newsagent for regular old style comics if he's not stocking them...

:shock:

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philcom55
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by philcom55 »

Lew Stringer wrote: Things have changed a lot from the days when there'd be a pile of first issues on the counter.
Too true! I remember when the first issue of TV Century 21 came out: my newsagent had to set up a trestle-table in front of the counter which groaned under the weight of all the copies he had for sale - and they still sold out within 24 hours! It's frightening to think how much that pile would be worth today (I'm going to be SO rich when I finally perfect my Time Machine...!!! :D )

- Phil Rushton

David
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Re: D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by David »

Lew Stringer wrote:
Big Simon wrote:I was wondering, do these wonderful artists (or their families) ever get 'repeat' fees?
HAHAHAHA!

Oh you're serious?

Not a penny. Which is the reason they bung reprint in there. (Don't blame the editors though. These are always management decisions.)

Of course, the cost of reformating, colouring, relettering the reprints to suit the current Dandy format probably won't save much money anyway.
And then there's the readers that see one too many reprints and leave. How many will have been put off by the reprints in BeanoMax? I wanted to buy the first one but it had sold out. So I decided to buy the second one, but when I read about all the reprints I have changed my mind. Now I know I am just (or would have been!) one reader, but how many people have done the same?

And as for the younger readers, when I was a kid myself, I often bought old Beanos', Dandys' and other comics, so I would have noticed some reprints because I had the older comics too! I think I did notice a few, but I'm not sure on that.

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