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Messages - IndigoPrime

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Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 26 June, 2022, 09:38:24 PM »
Leigh: There are occasionally storytelling issues for me in the standard Prog/Meg. It used to be a lot worse during the Meg’s nadir in particular. It felt like you needed to be inside the writer’s head, and have them explain what’s going on. Perhaps these comics just aren’t for my girl, but I find it odd she struggles very specifically with Rebellion output when she reads a ton of other stuff with no problems whatsoever. :/

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 26 June, 2022, 11:23:14 AM »
Mini-IP read the rest of the new Regened this morning. Her verdict: “I just couldn’t follow most of the stories.” Maybe she’s too young at 8 next week. Does anyone recall what the target age bracket is? (She has no such issues with The Phoenix, Hilda, Chibi Usagi, Zita, etc. But she’s said the same about Monster Fun twice now.)

Announcements / Re: Pandora Perfect - coming March 2023
« on: 25 June, 2022, 02:55:01 PM »
Interesting, but… skinny. What format is this? Judging by what’s going on over at Phoenix HQ, 2000 AD might want to rethink its trade sizes for kids. That smaller, chunkier one seems to be doing VERY well compared to the old skinny floppies (which were already smaller than standard trades).

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 25 June, 2022, 02:53:03 PM »
Yes. But I’d say previous series could have been safely watched by kids of the ages the leads are now portraying and possibly a little younger. But there’s no way in hell I’d want anyone under at least a mid-teen watching the current run. The nature of the horror is really nasty.

Also, on the kids reading comics thing, mini-IP today noticed my 2000 AD was “different”. I explained it was a Regened all-ages issue. Since she’d read her Beano and Lego Explorers, she gave me a bit of a look and I said she could read it. She’s now scuttled off with the comic. I will presumably get it back at some point. Interested to see what she things, TBH.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 25 June, 2022, 02:22:34 PM »
Seriously, why are they bothering with Samantha Slade at all? It's the worst thing to appear in the prog since Rebellion took over.
I thought it was variable, albeit between readable and terrible. I know some folks here like it, but, yeah, it’s an odd one. Perhaps it’s a low-effort volume in the files being readily accessible and the brand (Sam Slade) appealing. Compare to, say, Armoured Gideon, which would have presumably required scanning/cleaning up and also isn’t well known at all.

Announcements / Re: 2000 AD - The Ultimate Collection
« on: 25 June, 2022, 12:44:17 PM »
Hogan/Hughes would have been quite good in the Samantha Slade book, upping the quality level a bit.

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 24 June, 2022, 08:37:40 AM »
Also not remotely the case in my experience nor that of mini-IP’s friends. Perhaps we’re anomalous, but the kids bloody love books and, to some degree, magazines. Also, parents aren’t keen on kids being glued to screens and so tend to ration that. And when my kid has a screen, she’d sooner (after doing their homework) play a game than read, because she knows she can read any time.

That’s not to say there isn’t a generation of young readers using digital. But they’re not going to be Beano age and also not the lower end of the Phoenix range.

General / Re: Sideshow Vote II: Slippery Jim is my name
« on: 24 June, 2022, 08:34:28 AM »
I’d sooner Rebellion pursues properties it can own outright (meaning no issues with ownership, reprint and usage in future) or assisting creator-owned (so creators get more) than adaptations. One exception would be if the property is well enough known to draw a big crowd to the imprint.

General / Re: Fake Britain Map
« on: 23 June, 2022, 07:36:18 PM »
Yep. I found that book earlier and duly added it to my wish-list. Birthday is coming up! :D

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 23 June, 2022, 07:31:50 PM »
kids today clearly do read weekly comics. phoenix has just hit issue 546. it's widely available in smiths and supermarkets
I’ve only ever seen The Phoenix in the wild twice, both times in Reading. I’ve never seen it where I live (a smallish town of ~35k people, but with a WHSmith that stocks even stuff like Shift, and with a Waitrose, which elsewhere sometimes stocks The Phoenix), nor in large towns like Basingstoke. So I always wonder how much organic readership there is.

On the point about approach, I think that aligns with mini-IP, who I was chatting to over dinner about this thread. She was incredulous about the notion kids don’t like weeklies, but confirmed hardly any of her friends got comics, and the one boy she knows who likes The Beano is now “more into football”. Even so, we live in a fairly well-off area. And so if kids here aren’t getting The Phoenix, that in itself is quite odd.

On two other points, Jamie Smart is the nicest guy in comics. His workshops are a joy, and he spends bloody ages on Twitter responding kindly to all the pics sent his way by happy parents. (At his recent one at the Phoenix Festival, mini-IP went a bit overboard and wrote up a long story, which he clearly looked through and then said something very kind about.)

Wolfie: you mention No Country, which is back next week. Do you know when the original ran? Mini-IP swears she read it, but I thought it was before her Phoenix time. (She clearly knows something about it, but couldn’t clearly explain the premise to me, just some of the smaller details.)

Oddly, both strips for me have the same problem. The both start in a blaze of glory. “It began with the bees.” Shudder. Skizz got lost once Moore went. II was OK, but III was terrible. Deadworld got tied up in its Elseworlds aspirations, too often bringing in things that didn’t really do a lot for me (like the Sovs). But the shorts still work wonderfully, and the ongoing narrative is… quite good. Also, on re-reading Skizz recently, that first strip isn’t quite as magical for me as I imagine it is for others. It’s good, but not amazing, and the cardboard South African villain was a bit… well.

So I’m going for Fall of Deadworld, not that it has the slightest chance of winning this match.

Meltdown Man has a thin story that ends abruptly, but it’s still good enough. Dash… er, no.

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 23 June, 2022, 12:18:23 PM »
Anecdotally, my youngest loves the Beano and part of the excitement of a Saturday is the latest issue dropping through the letter box. I also know a few Beano readers at my school. Would they move onto something else (like we all did) if there was something available? Again, I don't know.
Quite possibly, if it’s widespread enough, parents are aware of it, and the habit continues. One thing that has changed since I was a kid is that comics are increasingly seen as a valid medium. We’re still a long way from fully mainstream acceptance, but schools are recommending and stocking some collected stories here and there. It’s not a case of “grow up and read only straight prose”. The comics are also more likely in the older sector to feature contemporaries, which was less likely in the 1980s with the likes of 2000 AD and such.

Doctor Who is an odd one, though. Clearly, sales or distro wasn’t holding up, but I really liked that reprint full-size comic that ran for a year or so. But then Titan shrank it to US side, messed up the stories between it and Tales from the TARDIS, canned the original, and then wrecked the frequency of the surviving title. (Also the sole company I’ve dealt with whose subs people were actively hostile towards me, accusing me of lying when quoting their own emails back at them. Horrible.)

As for Rebellion, I think the broad strategy there seems to be working. It’s a big risk to do Monster Fun, let alone a weekly. I’d hope it would sell well enough to become a monthly, say, and go from there. But who knows? I do worry, though, that the weekly market will die not because there isn’t demand but because, as I’ve said, most kids (whose families have the means) aren’t even aware that the possibility of a weekly comic even exists anymore.

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 23 June, 2022, 10:59:12 AM »
Also, in this age of streaming, on-demand, bingeing and box sets, kids (as a demographic) don't much care for extended serials and cliff-hangers where they have to wait a week (or whatever) for the next episode.
Perhaps other parents will disagree, but that’s not my experience with mini-IP at all. Sure, she gets impatient at waiting for the next thing, but that’s kids. She finished the first Stowell Loki book and was immediately “Where’s the next one?” That there wasn’t one at the time just made her move on to something else, BUT she hasn’t forgotten Loki, because she likes it. Same with The Phoenix every single week.

Again, I think it’s mostly about habit. Kids bloody love getting physical, tactile things. They love getting some post that is just for them. They key is that becoming ingrained, and the habit has just been lost – and has been replaced by two other things: impulse purchase (which I suspect is a bigger driver in the ‘one and done’ idea) and collected content (which in many cases is often another flavour of one-and-done). For our family, weekly comics are normal, because I had that experience and wanted my kid to have it. Very few of mini-G’s friends (7–8) have parents who had that, because many of them are in their 30s.

(Which, obviously, doesn't rule out a weekly anthology where every story is done-in-one every time, but something in my gut tells me this is probably easier with shorter humour strips than 5-6 page action adventure ones.)
I’d say weekly still works. The Phoenix seems to handle adventure strips fine. Mini-IP happily follows them all, and loves getting a new episode of, say, Fawn. Where things fall down is if the frequency is too low – which is a problem with Monster Fun – and when the storytelling itself is problematic through lacking clarity (again… Monster Fun).

Although I was a little suspicious of Kingdom at first (bit Thunderdome language vibes), it quickly turned into one of my favourite 2000 AD strips. But also, I like where it ended up. There’s surely space for more stories, but I won’t be upset if we don’t get any. (I would have been had it just stopped, say, two books earlier. COUGH Brass Sun COUGH.)

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