Are weekly comics doomed?

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Kid Robson
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Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Kid Robson »

With the recent demise of The Dandy, and The Beano selling only in the region of 35,000 copies a week - and continuing to decline - do you hold out much hope for it lasting another 75 years? The Beano is the last weekly comic of its kind left on the shelves, and I'm sure we all want it to continue. So, if its fate were in your hands, what would you do to try and ensure its future as an in-print publication?

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George Shiers
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by George Shiers »

It's very sad to think about how many humour comics there were on the shelves in the 1950's and 1960's and compare that to how many there are now (two if you include The Phoenix - although it doesn't follow the traditional style of humour comics).

Obviously you'd need to keep the Beano aimed at the current generation of kids, but I'd remove a fair amount (but not all) of the celebrity content. I also think that sometimes there is a little too much text in the cover, which can distract you from the cover illustration. Although I do like comic strips on the covers I think the one big cover illustration is great as it stands out and is eye catching.
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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

STOP ACCEPTING OUTSIDE ADVERTISING, and use the space to push brave NEW characters instead

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Digifiend
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Digifiend »

That's suicide. The loss of advertising income would force the price up. As would adding more original content. And a higher price might put some readers off.

Kid Robson
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Kid Robson »

George Shiers wrote:It's very sad to think about how many humour comics there were on the shelves in the 1950's and 1960's and compare that to how many there are now (two if you include The Phoenix - although it doesn't follow the traditional style of humour comics).

Obviously you'd need to keep the Beano aimed at the current generation of kids, but I'd remove a fair amount (but not all) of the celebrity content. I also think that sometimes there is a little too much text in the cover, which can distract you from the cover illustration. Although I do like comic strips on the covers I think the one big cover illustration is great as it stands out and is eye catching.
Might be an idea for them to perhaps have a strip on the cover for two or three weeks in a row, then follow it with one big illo the week after (or vice versa), George. That way, fans of both styles are happy.

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BeanoKev70
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by BeanoKev70 »

no but I think major things need to change to stop the last one going. The main change is marketing/shop displays (see my latest post in the Beano board as a good example). The other is a way of bringing these comic characters to the attention of pre school children. I really think a pre school title should have been introduced by DCT years ago current pre school mags sell 50 to 60k per issue. Imagine a learn with the Beano & Dandy title using the comics characters, when the child out grows it the natural progression would be to move onto the weeklies.

Kid Robson
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Kid Robson »

BeanoKev70 wrote:no but I think major things need to change to stop the last one going. The main change is marketing/shop displays (see my latest post in the Beano board as a good example). The other is a way of bringing these comic characters to the attention of pre school children. I really think a pre school title should have been introduced by DCT years ago current pre school mags sell 50 to 60k per issue. Imagine a learn with the Beano & Dandy title using the comics characters, when the child out grows it the natural progression would be to move onto the weeklies.
Certainly an idea worth considering, BK.

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philcom55
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by philcom55 »

BeanoKev70 wrote:I really think a pre school title should have been introduced by DCT years ago
...Wasn't that Bimbo?

- Phil R.

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Digifiend
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Digifiend »

And Twinkle and Little Star. They did launch pre-school titles, but they all ended up going the same way as Beezer and Bunty.

Raven
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Raven »

I never thought DCT's nursery titles were that strong - the likes of Bimbo don't seem as appealing as Jack and Jill, Playhour, Hey Diddle Diddle, etc. from the competitors.

felneymike
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by felneymike »

Possibly

Much is said about the Franco-Belgian and Japanese markets, but those are far from rosy either (though doing much better than our own at present, of course).

I think, if they are going to survive, they'll need huge investment. Ideally they'll be published by a company which also has a hand in a chain of shops, guaranteeing they will be reliably sold in at least one place.
The same company will also need to do it's own printing and distribution to keep the costs down to an absolute minimum (the end product needs to be no more than £1.50 I reckon, ideally £1). Probably a company that is making large profits somewhere else and is willing to plough money into something that will make a loss (though hopefully only to begin with!).
Then, they'd need to advertise it extensively - at least quarter pages in all the main newspapers, half-pages or even pullouts in the other comics (er, other comIC, depending on the audience), TV and across the internet in relevant places (kids' websites, as well as art sites like Deviantart).

Then there's the content - doing this modern "looks like it's for kids, but has adult jokes they won't get" type of storytelling in the comedy stories is a must. If the writers of Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean etc can do it, why can't comic writers? Adventure stories need to be pretty straightforward, at least to begin with. No epic magical world with rules that the readers need to guess, nor constant hard-edged-satire ("oh look, this is just like how the Iraq war started... again"). Oh and it needs to look good and be intelligent, encouraging readers to "read up" to it.

Of course, none of that's going to happen in this country, and Japan appears to be stuck in a bloated rut of samey "moe" stories which is hemorrhaging money due to piracy. Time to move to India! ...and I hear Egypt has just started it's first indigenous comic, though at the moment it's monthly, and barely above small press).

DavidKW
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by DavidKW »

Speaking of nursery comics as lead ons to the humour weeklies:

I remember in the mid-70s DCT re-launched "Magic", which included "Cuddly & Dudley", Biffo the Bears nephew & niece, plus "Copy Cat", Korky from the Dandy's nephew. Sadly Magic never quite caught on & is not so remembered.

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Digifiend
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Digifiend »

Eh? A fourth Korky nephew? So Nip, Lip and Rip had a brother or cousin?

As for Biffo, it seems that DCT have forgotten that Cuddly is female. Despite the fact she wears a bow, the Beano website referred to both as Biffo's nephews. http://beano.com/characters/meebo-zuky/ ... 27s-biffo!

Bunty Girl
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by Bunty Girl »

I saw The Beano for sale in my local supermarket recently, the price was £2.50!! Golly, is this the usual price of the weekly comic or was it a special? When I read the Beano in the early 1960s it cost 3d.
Last edited by Bunty Girl on 08 Oct 2013, 15:34, edited 2 times in total.

felneymike
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Re: Are weekly comics doomed?

Post by felneymike »

I went to buy a new Ford family saloon and it was £25,000! Golly, is this the price of cars these days. When I got a Cortina in the early 1960's it was only £552 9/6!

I think the Beano is normally £1.99, and £2.50 for special issues with non-free gifts. But then The Phoenix is £2.99 (and worth that, too! The Zara stories are great!) and I beleive Doctor Who adventures is £3.99... but that always has crap toys stuck all over it (and very little comic strip).

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