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Messages - Jim_Campbell

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I tell you what if this carries on I'm going to scrap all the votes that have gone before, start again and we'll do that until you all get it right!

Democracy in action! ;-)

Wow. A couple of draws have surprised me, but to see the (IMO) terrible Mean Team hold up against Firekind (which, I'll concede, is not Smith's best work and shines largely due to great Marshall art and because it ran in the company of some terrible strips in the prog at the time) is genuinely baffling…

Don't get me wrong — I'm not slating anyone for liking what they like, but I'm just, well, surprised that a chunk of certainly-not-terrible Smiffy is getting a run for its money against a complete pot-boiler that Wagner/Grant bailed on after the first series. Anthologies, eh…?

General / Re: Prog 2 Price
« on: 28 June, 2022, 09:51:51 AM »
Many thanks Sheridan. Much higher than I thought - I was expecting under 100k copies. I’m guessing the subsequent issues then dropped off a little.  Where did you get the 220k number from?  Cheers.

2000AD routinely sold around the 100,000 mark through most of the '80s.* Given that it was full sale-or-return back then, I'd expect the print run to have been double that. Launch issues tend to be higher still — there's no point in spending advertising money if there's no product in the newsagents for people to buy. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if the actual print run was considerably north of 250K for the first few issues (and by no means all of those 'returns' would have been destroyed/pulped).

* It had dropped back to maybe 70-80K during the Burton/McKenzie years, before a distributor change around 1990 knocked another 20K+ off that overnight and (IMO) the combination of reduced availability and the fact that the comic just wasn't very good sent it into a death spiral of haemorrhaging sales until Tharg's assistants John Tomlinson, then David Bishop, then Andy Diggle, all made some fairly herculean efforts to at least stabilise the sales figures. Andy ascended to the Right Hand of Tharg pretty much on the day the deal to sell the 2000AD group to Rebellion was inked, then handed to the reins to longest-serving RHoT, Matt Smith a couple of years later… and that seems to have turned out OK. ;-)

General / Re: Hivemind query - anyone recognise this story?
« on: 27 June, 2022, 09:55:38 AM »
"Seb Coe Sportsplex" - that's got to be it!

It definitely is. Google image search doesn't turn up a scan of the money-shot, but it ends with Dredd facing off against a huge mutant whose hide is so tough it's basically bulletproof, so he turbo boosts his bike off the diving board (the bike responds to this development with Shark's remembered "Thanks a bunch!") and into the mutant's chest.

General / Re: Hivemind query - anyone recognise this story?
« on: 26 June, 2022, 07:23:07 PM »

Wasn't there one where Dredd jumped off his Lawmaster mid-turbo-boost, leaving the bike to plummet to destruction, and the bike says something like "Thanks a bunch!" Or did I dream it?

Same story, I think.

General / Re: Hivemind query - anyone recognise this story?
« on: 26 June, 2022, 08:27:46 AM »
He’s since said his timing is probably wrong but that he strongly remembers Dredd using his bike to spear the big EOLM baddy.

Isn't that the single episode 'Firepower' by Ennis and MacNeil?

(Prog 736, Case Files 16, according to Google.)

Off Topic / Re: This is the News!
« on: 24 June, 2022, 09:23:01 PM »
As I saw someone observe elsewhere on social media: Clarence Thomas’ insistence on referring back to the supposed intent of the original framers’ of the Constitution in the 1700s would preclude his seat on the Supreme Court entirely, because he would still be regarded as property, not a person.

I’m genuinely unable to process this.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Inspectre vs. Defoe Rd 3 Heat 52
« on: 24 June, 2022, 06:36:31 AM »
As straightforward as they come this one.

To be fair, notwithstanding the little-loved Defoe In Space! last book, it's unquestionably the better thrill.

General / Re: Fake Britain Map
« on: 23 June, 2022, 10:36:57 PM »
Although it’s nice to John Allison get a look-in here, I think Tackleford is both too far west and little far south…

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 23 June, 2022, 01:43:28 PM »
But with double-length episodes, so that the two-parters were equivalent to a four-parter in the 20th century show.

The length isn't relevant to the point, though, which was the relative absence of multi-parters in the Who revival, because the target demographic doesn't like 'em much.

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 23 June, 2022, 11:58:47 AM »
- The revived Doctor Who proved that there WAS an audience for a family adventure tv series ( And the dwindling of viewers can't just be down to the advent of catch-up but must be because it stopped targetting that audience).

Although you'll notice that, in the revival, the four- or six-parters that were common in the previous era were jettisoned in favour of mostly done-in-one episodes with the occasional two-parter.

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 23 June, 2022, 08:11:25 AM »
From what I can tell, it’s not that they don’t want them. It’s that they don’t get into the habit of getting them.

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. I recall the late, great Nigel Dobbyn saying that he was explicitly told by editorial not to pitch multi-part Billy the Cat stories because the readers overwhelmingly preferred done-in-one tales.

(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.)

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 21 June, 2022, 11:26:58 PM »
The Regened sells more than the weekly we are told, surely that tells us something about the sort of material 2000AD should be aiming for

OK… I say all this as someone who has, purely as a fan playing armchair Tharg in my non-droid days, argued quite strongly for the idea that 2000AD could go all-ages and the Megazine could be the grown-up version, but…

The simple fact is that the target YA audience isn’t keen on weekly periodicals. It’s just a fact. If the prog was all-age, all the time, then that small but vocal minority of current fans who despise the whole idea of Regened would certainly bail, with no guarantee of making those numbers up from an all-age/YA audience.

The Regened strategy is cautious, yes, and maybe an odd half-way house, but 2000AD is the last man standing out of all the comics of the 70s and 80s, and Rebellion is the only reason we got to find out what 2000AD would be called in the year 2000… and we’re still here in 2022.

I believe that they know what they’re doing, and my wider understanding of the all-age market makes me think this strategy to make inroads into that territory has a lot of merit. At the very least, if the strategy did fail, then the way it’s been structured means that we wouldn’t lose the Prog and the Meg as a consequence, and if it succeeds then the whole 2000AD family is healthier as a result.

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 21 June, 2022, 07:21:06 PM »
Either commit to one thing or the other, but dont flirt with a young adult audience AND a diry old man one simultaneously.

With the usual proviso about having no inside info on Rebellion's specific strategy, I think it also bears repeating that the target market for 'Regened' has no love for weekly periodicals. The intention (I would have thought) is clearly not for kids to immediately hop onto the regular prog.

What seems logical (to me, at least) is to regard 'Regened' as a quarterly sampler for all-ages material, with the breakout hits given a run in the prog long enough to provide material to be bundled up into a TPB, which the target audience buys in extraordinary numbers.

General / Re: Forum’s Fav Thrill - Inspectre vs. Defoe Rd 3 Heat 52
« on: 21 June, 2022, 12:56:55 PM »
Defoe, deffo

Even I would struggle to disagree with this assessment. :-)

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