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Author Topic: The Beano  (Read 1351 times)

AlexF

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The Beano
« on: 24 April, 2014, 02:04:37 PM »
I was at the London Book Fair a couple of weeks ago, and attended a short talk by a lovely chap from the Beano, whose name I have completely forgotten. David something? I think he worked in marketing, licensing and development.

Anyway, some interesting facts I thought readers here might like to know:
Current sales figures are around 32,000 copies per week (mostly paper but some digital), + 250,000 copies per year for the annual (the annual is usually in the Top 10 best selling children's books every Christmas). The feeling seemed to be that the comic is ticking along nicely, but not selling amazingly well.
The man was pretty adamant that the reason why the Beano has survived but the Dandy has not is purely because they managed to get Dennis and Gnasher on TV (the cartoon has been running for 15 years now, which I find astonishing). When they played with the format of the show a few years ago, it didn;t do well and they lost a bunch of readers, too. Changing it back helped.

Looking forward, he sees the Beano as something that will last only as a result of increasing visibility through TV, video games, apps and other merchandise, all based around the most popular characters. Not an especially surprising strategy, but when I pushed him on it he basically said that from his point of view, he expects that while the Beano brand, and a number of its most famous creations will hopefully last for many decades yet (nay, forever!), the Beano may well some day cease to exist as a comic. In fact, it seems that it's the Thomson family who are personally determined to keep the Beano comic going as a weekly thing in the traditional style, not necessarily the most financially sensible option.

He said that they do get a certain amount of money of nostalgia buying (the chunky reprints + increasing amounts of merchandise designed by Wayne Hemingway; lots of it looks pretty spiffy), but they expect this source to dry up all too soon.

Food for thought?


I can't fault their strategy, and I understand that the concept of a weekly newstand-distributed comic, for whatever reason, just isn't a thing in the UK at the moment, but I worry.

I worry that the format, the beloved medium of comics, that in itself led to the anarchically joyful creation of the Bash Street Kids, Calamity James, Minnie the Minx, even bloody Lord Snooty (did anyone like that strip?), will fall deep into obscurity. What's the venue going to be for the creation and showcasing of this type of character, and for those types of stories? Where will the kinds of artists who can do this stuff go?

IndigoPrime

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #1 on: 24 April, 2014, 04:40:34 PM »
I suspect marketing is the main issue these days. More things fight for attention, and major brands tend to get complacent. It was interesting to read Lew Stringer's piece regarding the freebie Beano in the Mail on Sunday. I abhor that newspaper, but the bounce was interesting: sales up 25% and 1,400 new subscribers.

Frank

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #2 on: 24 April, 2014, 06:04:54 PM »
it seems that it's the Thomson family who are personally determined to keep the Beano comic going as a weekly thing in the traditional style, not necessarily the most financially sensible option ... I can't fault their strategy, and I understand that the concept of a weekly newstand-distributed comic, for whatever reason, just isn't a thing in the UK at the moment, but I worry

One nasty jousting accident, and we'll all be getting a refund on our subscriptions. Thanks for sharing that interesting information, Alex.


shaolin_monkey

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #3 on: 24 April, 2014, 06:09:25 PM »
Does this mean 2000AD should be pushing their characters towards a TV series?

Frank

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #4 on: 24 April, 2014, 06:11:49 PM »
Does this mean 2000AD should be pushing their characters towards a TV series?

I'm sure there was some kind of film recently.


shaolin_monkey

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #5 on: 24 April, 2014, 07:30:25 PM »
Does this mean 2000AD should be pushing their characters towards a TV series?

I'm sure there was some kind of film recently.

There was one of Dennis the Menace too.  Does 2000AD also need a continual TV presence to encourage more sales?

Hawkmumbler

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #6 on: 24 April, 2014, 09:08:46 PM »
If only their where a Nemesis pilot out their somewhere....

Trout

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #7 on: 25 April, 2014, 01:26:38 AM »
I liked Lord Snooty.

AlexF

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #8 on: 25 April, 2014, 12:42:38 PM »
Obviously it'd be great to see more 20000 AD characters find homes in other media beyond the comic, and of course Rebellion are working on this! (with no small amount of success in the Video Games dept, for one example).

But if, one day, 2000 AD stops being a comic and is instead a brand and home to the existing staple of characters, what potential will there be to see new stories in this style?

Pete Wells

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #9 on: 25 April, 2014, 01:18:41 PM »
Great post AlexF. If I remember rightly, there was going to be a 2000AD TV-Series but unfortuately it never came off, sob! It woulda been frikking amazing! Here's the ABC Warriors teaser they did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJOphc0BD3w

Agggh, what coulda been...

shaolin_monkey

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #10 on: 25 April, 2014, 01:49:15 PM »
Great post AlexF. If I remember rightly, there was going to be a 2000AD TV-Series but unfortuately it never came off, sob! It woulda been frikking amazing! Here's the ABC Warriors teaser they did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJOphc0BD3w

Agggh, what coulda been...


NOO WAAYY!!!  Oh man, I nearly creamed myself in just that little clip.  How cool would an ABC series be??

Frank

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Re: The Beano
« Reply #11 on: 25 April, 2014, 06:29:26 PM »

Egmont, the evil Sith Lords of the 2000ad story, created Fleetway Film and Television to extract as much cash from Tharg's IPs as possible in the short time before the comic inevitably went bust before the end of the 20th century. The Kreeler Conspiracy was born of Wagner's wasted effort writing a treatment for a Strontium Dog TV show that never happened, and the TV rights to forgettable nineties on-the-rails shooter Outlaw had been sold before a single episode saw print.

Both Mills and Wagner say they're approached regularly by folk wanting to make screen adaptations of their strips, but they almost always come to nothing (and pay even less).