Definitive book on British comics?

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Lew Stringer
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Lew Stringer »

philcom55 wrote: On the subject of the Gravett book - has anybody seen this for sale in ordinary book shops yet?

Sadly I haven't. I bought mine from Amazon.

I hope the bookshops aren't taking the same attitude newsagents have towards comics, ie: only ordering "recognisable brands".

Lew
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David McDonald
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by David McDonald »

Have seen it over here in my local bookshop, along with a copy of the Dandy monster comic, but at crazy prices around ?30 euro each.
Got mine off the book depository for neary half that, and free delivery too!

David

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fústar
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by fústar »

Lew Stringer wrote:
I hope the bookshops aren't taking the same attitude newsagents have towards comics, ie: only ordering "recognisable brands".
Hard to believe the big book chains will ignore the Gravett book, especially at a time of the year when people are more inclined to buy "nostalgic" items.

Having said that, it's not cheap...and the tone is serious and enthusiastic. Impulse buying punters normally want something a bit more P**s-takey and facile for their buck (alas).

Lew Stringer
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Lew Stringer »

f?star wrote: Having said that, it's not cheap

True, but since the end of the Net Book Agreement it's likely that shops would charge less than the cover price anyway.

Lew
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Gary Northfield
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Gary Northfield »

I picked up Paul's other book on graphic novels from Waterstones, so I'm surprised it's not visibly out and about, seeing as it's the same publisher.

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HighAndMighty
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by HighAndMighty »

my local waterstones had a couple of copies in a week ago but they've both gone. could it be that it's a massive sellout?
cor!

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ogtec
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by ogtec »

Lew Stringer wrote: I hope the bookshops aren't taking the same attitude newsagents have towards comics, ie: only ordering "recognisable brands".
Lew
Although not directly related to this particular book, I have noticed that Border's have posters on the Underground suggesting what to buy as an unusual (or different) gift this year.

The two books they suggest are R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz, & Country and True Grit, this year's commando collection. Crumb is a well recognised 'brand', but going with Commando means someone has been willing to go out on a limb.

George

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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by David McDonald »

Dunno would I agree with that.
Commando would be more recognisable than Crumb to most ordinary ie non comic reading people. Commando is still visible in newsagents, and a lot of people who dont read comic would have read them in their childhood. Crumb really hasent got out of the comic shops or the niche section of some bookshops.

Still if someone bought me either id be happy,(pm me for my address) :P

David

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fústar
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by fústar »

Was going to say something fairly similar David.

The Commando volume in question looks to me to be appealing to the nostalgic ("Weren't those comics we read as kids hilarious?!") market. In the run up to Christmas big booksellers are likely to want items like this available as stocking-fillers etc.

In contrast, I don't think anyone other than comic fans (or blues/jazz fans) would buy the Crumb volume. In that sense stocking it means going out on more of a limb than stocking Commando. Nothing wrong with Commando of course, just making the point that in terms of its presentation and content it'd have more immediate, "novelty gift" appeal.

Cap Haggis
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Cap Haggis »

Although I take your point on Crumb, I'm not sure I agree 100% re Crumbs lack of appeal in certain areas. Roert Crumb has a massive fan following among comic and non comic fans and is considerd very arty "even" for a comic book artisT. His work on underground comix is considered pretty cool and groundbreaking and he has had a few films made on him (or about his characters) then there is his work on LP covers, magazines, advertising , calenders, Posters , T shirts etc which are all avidly collected he has a pretty large following and his book is selling well in Glasgow (Waterstones and Forbiden Planet) - certainly i would agree that among the average person in the street hes not the most famous and his comics aint for kids - Commando is, as you say, the commercial one - I was stunned that so many of these books are in Waterstones etc literally pilled up about 3 foot high in the Glasgow branch - - I expect the sales tp have a few left.
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chrissmillie
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by chrissmillie »

Yeah, but did you see last years Best of Jackie sold 35, 000!!! I'm sure a similar boys annual would do the same at least. Imagine Best of Hotspur or Victor? These other books like The Dangerous Book for Boys (and another whose name escapes me) seem to do ok and these really mimic what was around in the 50s and before (adventure story papers and Look & Learn style facts and stories without comics). I'd imagine 60s/70s even 80s comic annuals would do better.

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ogtec
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Re: Definitive book on British comics?

Post by ogtec »

David McDonald wrote:Dunno would I agree with that.
Commando would be more recognisable than Crumb to most ordinary ie non comic reading people. Commando is still visible in newsagents, and a lot of people who dont read comic would have read them in their childhood. Crumb really hasent got out of the comic shops or the niche section of some bookshops.

Still if someone bought me either id be happy,(pm me for my address) :P

David
The thing is, outside of a niche market (British War Comics) in an already niche market (British Comics) I'm not sure Commando means anything to anyone any more, not in the way 2000AD or Spider-Man does. When I noticed Commando in WHSmiths a few years ago I was shocked to see it was still being published, and I'm the sort of person who has been going to comic conventions for 20+ years. Incidentally, I've never seen it outside of Smiths.

Crumb, on the other hand, is very mainstream, albeit 'Guardian'/'Independent' readers rather than 'Mirror'/'Sun'. Look at the enormous success of the Crumb exhibition from a year or so back. To put it another way, if there are ever any articles on Commando in the press you can be sure the word 'achtung' will appear somewhere and the thrust of the piece will be, as mentioned, "Weren't those comics we read as kids hilarious?!" Crumb will be treated as an artist, not necessarily as 'just' a comic artist. Chris Ware and Joe Sacco are starting to get the same sort of serious attention.

Now, if it were Dennis the Menace I'd ageee with you ;-)

However, you're right that when it comes to the Christmas market, Commando could be a good bet as a 'fun' and cheap stocking filler, along with all those Best of Smash Hits/Best of Jackie volumes that are currently piled high. It's part of the same thought process that brought us the Action Man book a few years ago. 30-something men with money to spend on childhood nostalgia.

In any case, it's pleasing to see that a major bookshop is willing to use two, radically different, comic books in its advertising.
chrissmillie wrote:Yeah, but did you see last years Best of Jackie sold 35, 000!!! I'm sure a similar boys annual would do the same at least. Imagine Best of Hotspur or Victor?
Chris
I bet you that next year that's exactly what we get. Commando has done well enough to get its second annual volume, and the shelves are heaving with 'Best of Girl' (which actually looks quite good), 'Best of Smash Hits', et al.

Assuming this year's volumes make a return, A Best of Hotspur, Best of Battle, or Best of Eagle would be a relatively easy sell to a publisher's marketing department. The content is sitting in the vaults, and there's a proven Christmas market out there. I'll be more than happy to help select the strips.......

George

Brendan McGuire
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Definitive book on British comics?

Post by Brendan McGuire »

My children bought me this book for my birthday. I'm pleased as Punch with it. It's an absolutely stunning publication. The timeline is an excellent idea. I cannot praise this book highly enough.
When my daughter went to buy it, the lady in the shop said, "this isn't for you, is it?" My daughter said "no" in a wry way. I know because she told me after I had unwrapped it. :)

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