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

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

Post by tonyodonnell »

I was sorry to read that Trevor has been dropped by the BEANO...it does seem like a lot of artists have been dropped recently, myself included and although it is true that this is the risk you take in order to 'sit at home drawing comics' ...it would have been helpful if I had been given even the benefit of perhaps, a month's notice.
I may return to freelancing but I think it would be on a 'paying hobby' basis, I may even start painting again but my immediate priority is to earn a living, as I already had a part-time job I am halfway there.
It may be a good thing ..as I was a very 'slow' artist and it will be good to start working my way towards a better income.

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

Post by Lew Stringer »

tonyodonnell wrote:I was sorry to read that Trevor has been dropped by the BEANO...it does seem like a lot of artists have been dropped recently, myself included

Sorry to hear that Tony. I did wonder what had happened because I just picked up today's Beano and the Ivy strip was a Bob Nixon reprint. (Featuring a vynil record player, making the strip look very dated too!)

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
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philcom55
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by philcom55 »

In some ways I'm reluctant to be very critical of DCT's reprint policy as they've held the line on original material for far longer than any of their old competitors. To my mind this is the positive side of their reputation for old-fashioned paternalism; unfortunately their peremptory dismissal of loyal employees like Trevor (especially saying he'll "never work for them again") seems wholly indefensible, and tends to confirm all too many of the negative things I've heard about them in the past. A shame, as I really wanted to believe they'd adopted a more enlightened attitude in recent years. :(

- Phil Rushton

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

Post by Gary Northfield »

Lew Stringer wrote:
(And the government hate our independence so much we have to pay our taxes a year in advance of salaried workers, based on the assumption we've earned the same amount as last year!)

(I know you were probably already aware of that but I just wanted to clarify it in case anyone thought we received some sort of compensation.)

Lew
I have to say I seriously came a cropper with this "payment in advance" shenanigans with the taxman and nearly packed in free-lancing last year because of it. Bloody nightmare and extremely unfair system.

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

Post by Lew Stringer »

Gary Northfield wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote:
(And the government hate our independence so much we have to pay our taxes a year in advance of salaried workers, based on the assumption we've earned the same amount as last year!)

(I know you were probably already aware of that but I just wanted to clarify it in case anyone thought we received some sort of compensation.)

Lew
I have to say I seriously came a cropper with this "payment in advance" shenanigans with the taxman and nearly packed in free-lancing last year because of it. Bloody nightmare and extremely unfair system.
Indeed. Have a poor year following a good year and you have a huge tax bill to pay, even though you've had to dig into savings to stay afloat.

No one should have to pay tax a year in advance. (It used to be INCOME tax, not Money You Might Get Next Year tax!) If anyone should do that it should be people on a salary who know what they're getting in advance! - but of course that'd include people working for the Inland Revenue so it ain't going to happen.

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

Post by NP »

Yes it's a real bed of roses, innit?

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

Post by Garen »

Ha - reading this is giving me that feeling of camaraderie.. I also have had to pay my biggest tax sum (for a good year in 2004-05) out of my earnings for a poor year (2005-06). Thankfully this year is looking better, but jobs are only just coming in on time to keep me afloat.

I've had to pass on a couple of good longer-term opportunities as I'm still waiting to hear on an excellent longer-term opportunity... if it happens it will great (nay, superb), if it doesn't, I'll regret passing on the others.

I mainly wanted to post after reading Lew's comments about all his time in the business and it's still not looked on as a proper job. I just had a comment this morning from someone who was amazed I charged people for something I did "as a hobby". Actually, it's how I make my living. This happens so often!

This comes not long after a comment from a client who was trying to get me to lower my price as the drawing wouldn't take long. I didn't get to explain all the rough sketches I'd have to do so they could decide what it was they actually wanted, the backward-and-forwarding while the finished artwork is fine-tuned ("can you just move that person to the other side of the page", "actually, I've changed my mind, can he have a full head of hair instead"...), not to mention the reason I can do the drawing in a few hours anyway is because I've spent my life drawing.

That drawing took 37 years and 2 hours!

Sorry... ramble.. rant.. ramble... etc etc! (I do love it really, and most of my clients are completely wonderful).

Very sorry to hear all the DCT artists being dropped - especially you, Tony.

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

Post by David »

If DCT want to kill off their two last (main) successful comics, they're going the right way about it...

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

Post by MikeC »

This is a side issue, but don't you pay tax in arrears as a self-employee? i.e. you don't pay tax for a financial year until after the end of that financial year? I just filled in a tax return for 2005/6, I think, and I definitely didn't pay any tax during my first year self-employed.

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

Post by Lew Stringer »

MikeC wrote:This is a side issue, but don't you pay tax in arrears as a self-employee? i.e. you don't pay tax for a financial year until after the end of that financial year? I just filled in a tax return for 2005/6, I think, and I definitely didn't pay any tax during my first year self-employed.

Are you sure that's not 2006/07? (A tax year ends on 5th April, although you can choose your own annual date.)

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/keydates/keydates.htm

Without getting into specifics obviously could it be that your earnings weren't high enough in your first year to be liable for tax? (I've forgotten how it works now as it was 1984 when I went self employed and self-assessment wasn't around then.)

Since self-assessment came in you have to pay half of next year's tax in advance, before you've received that income, based on the assumption you're going to earn the same as the previous year. (Unless one knows one's going to earn less, but the self-employed can't predict that.)

If you end up paying too much, your tax bill will be reduced the following year to compensate. Of course, that doesn't help when you're faced with a huge bill and trying to weather the storm through a bad financial year before you get next year's reduced bill.

You'll find you're also taxed on invoice, not on income. So say you did a well paying job in March 2007, invoice the publisher, but he doesn't pay up, you still have to register that amount on your 2006/07 tax form and you'll pay tax on that sum, but you'll be able to put it down as a loss the following year!

All in all it's an unfair and over-complicated system designed to punish the self-employed for daring to be independent I reckon. (Otherwise, why aren't all employees on this system?)

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

Post by Big Simon »

Have a glance through the latest issue of the Beano and you'll see the MOST number of reprints this comic has ever had... repeats of Les Pretend, Calamity James, Ivy the Terrible, Fred's Bed and Bash Street Kids... some 7 full pages...

So obviously DCThomson are either losing confidence in their comic titles... or circulation/sales have dropped so much that they are having to sack their current artists (like Trevor M and Tony O'D) to save money...

Anybody know what's going on?

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

Post by Lew Stringer »

Big Simon wrote:Have a glance through the latest issue of the Beano and you'll see the MOST number of reprints this comic has ever had... repeats of Les Pretend, Calamity James, Ivy the Terrible, Fred's Bed and Bash Street Kids... some 7 full pages...

So obviously DCThomson are either losing confidence in their comic titles... or circulation/sales have dropped so much that they are having to sack their current artists (like Trevor M and Tony O'D) to save money...

Anybody know what's going on?

The excuses that other publishers used to give for going reprint was to save money. Although God knows what paltry effect it makes to save a few hundred quid on a weekly budget when they're paying thousands in other ways to get the comic on the shelves.

If a publication is successful then management gets the praise. If it fails, they blame the workers. Sound familiar? It's society in a nutshell.

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
My website: http://www.lewstringer.com
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Peter Gray
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by Peter Gray »

Hopefully David Sutherland is having a Easter holiday...


I think The Beano should put its price up to the same as Dandy and have some new stuff....

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

Post by Lew Stringer »

Peter Gray wrote:Hopefully David Sutherland is having a Easter holiday...


I think The Beano should put its price up to the same as Dandy and have some new stuff....

Strips are drawn at least 6 weeks in advance of publication so I doubt the reprint was due to David having an Easter holiday. ;-)

Putting the Beano up to ?1.30 would kill it. After all, it hasn't done the Dandy any good in the long term.

(Also, BeanoMax is in The Dandy format and even at ?2.48 it's still not all new material.)

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
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Blog about my own work: http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/

big bad bri
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D.C. Thomson: The curse of the REPRINT!

Post by big bad bri »

I agree with lew about putting the price of the beano up to ?1.30 would kill it.I think the dandy is now the worst its ever been with too many wasted pages on things like game reviews,contents page,whole page ads for website, plus if they ditched the crappy gifts they could charge a quid,and as for the new stories introduced over the last few months i think are terrible,i didn't mind them bringing back classic characters like brassneck,korky and beyrl with new styles and art,they just took a little getting used to,but they were solid reliable characters from our youths.
I really think it is due to the fact that it is probably mid 20's to 50's year olds buying comics they are been kept alive.kids are not buying comics these days.That's why 2000ad is still going because they knew this and made their stories more adult orientated.
If you go into say forbidden planet or any comic shop in london it is mainly adults buying comics and i know the sales of american comics are really low compared to what they once were.What happens when people like us on this forum dies,then the last remanents of the british weekly will prob die as well.
big bad bri

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