Kind words

14th November 2019

I have no idea who Tom Spurgeon is. I’ve never knowingly read his work. It seems he was the editor of Comics Journal for some considerable time (my comic wilderness years) and then went on to run his own Comics Reporter website. What I do know is he was 51 when he died (the same age as me) and people have had some incredibly nice and touching things to say about him. An advocate of comics, generous with his time, a supporter of comic creators and thoroughly nice bloke are great ways to be remembered. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

A few more shares of our twitter subscription competition today, a handful of Comic Award nominations and I’ve been sending details of issue 10 out to our media and shop contacts. I am thankful for the coverage we get from some of the other comic media. Without their support we wouldn’t still be here and able to share some great comic work on newsstands. I hope you are all remembered as ‘one of the good ones’ when the time comes (which I also hope is some considerable time away!)

David Dignan, our designer at the Burgh, was in touch to tell me our ‘Review of 2019’ article from Richard Bruton for issue 11 probably won’t fit into my three allocated pages and expect to see it over seven pages or so. It’s at time like these I’m glad an advertiser has pulled out from this issue and our indie reviews will be six pages instead of eight. Although if memory serves me I’d already allocated that to other articles, so some Harry Potter style magic may still be required! With e mails also passing to an fro about how many pages we need for the next instalment or Rok of the Reds I think we are going to need a bigger boat!

My ‘Roy of the Rovers Transferred’ book arrived today. A softcover for the same price as the hardcover last year. Although, as a publisher, I do understand why such decisions are made I’m not too annoyed. As a comic reader I’m not too bothered either. I am just glad there is an original story to enjoy! I’ve devoured it and all I’m saying it’s left me wanting more, gasping for air and this new creative team is quite literally on fire!

The shock news of the day was the Panini U.K. ‘Mighty World of Marvel’ ceased publication with immediate effect. A quick decision and another comic leaves the newsstands. Rising paper costs and a decreasing profit margin on distribution (by 1.5/%) may be a factor. We are certainly being encouraged to keep ComicScene on the shelves a little longer in newsagents, move into other international markets, encourage subscriptions and bring down editorial costs to help mitigate market changes beyond our control. Probably a little more to take into consideration than whacking a bunch of US comic reprints into UK shops. As our marketing efforts of the day suggest we are working on it, alongside freshening up our content. Our overheads are small so even a little increase in circulation and sales would bring big benefits to both readers and the industry. As we get to our 16th issue at the end of the year (Vol 2, Issue 11), which is when Crikey! Magazine bit the dust, it is probably worth reminding everyone if you don’t buy it, you’ll lose it.

Team effort Melchester – lets get to it!

Goodnight Comic Fans – see you next time.

Tony

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