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Author Topic: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion  (Read 669 times)

IndigoPrime

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This week’s Prog just arrived, and reader Kevin Etheridge suggested merging Regened into the main comic, in a manner broadly similar to Whizzer and Chips. His idea was to transform 2000 AD into a 48-page weekly, with half old strips and half new — the “best of both worlds”. Tharg asked what readers thought, and I figured a thread on this could be interesting.

Notably, the letter was followed by one in which Tom Chitty argued the Regened strips are in some ways more countercultural than the main Prog, although part of that appeared to hinge on Niemand’s Dredds having broadly ‘happy’ endings, which he called “head in the sand” fantasies. I’m not sure I agree entirely with that, but it’s an interesting take.

On the idea of a joint Prog, I’m unconvinced. As much as I’m happy having the Regened Progs show up once a quarter, every week might be a bit much. 2000 AD would ramp up in price — I’m not sure to what, but given that the majority of the comic’s outlay is in production (as in, paying creators and staff), I suspect it would probably double to six quid, which is a lot for a weekly. Moreover, there’s a key problem in terms of suitability.

My 6yo currently shows little interest in 2000 AD, but she does like comics and now owns what were previously my Cor/Buster and Tammy/Jinty specials. I suspect she’d be fine with Regened (although whether she’d be interested is another matter). But there’s no way in hell I’d let her read the current modern 2000 AD. Of course, that’s part of the point of Regened: 2000 AD, like many other comics, evolved with its readers. It’s not aimed at children (nor even ‘teens’, despite its newsagent designation). So Regened fills a gap, reimagining old strips and creating new ones that might gain a foothold in the market, and fodder for the collected editions that still sell to kids (because, let’s face it, newsstand increasingly doesn’t).

But that to me makes the Whizzer and Chips model unviable and even risky. Having a comic for children as an insert in standard 2000 AD — or even a flip comic, like the Phoenix Christmas issues — strikes me as a very bad idea with few upsides. Yet, as we know (and as Jim keeps writing here on a regular basis), there are so many roadblocks to Regened becoming its own independent thing that it just seems like it cannot happen.

All of which makes me think I’m more rather than less happy with the current set-up. Do I like everything in Regened issues? No. But then that’s true of the main Prog as well. But I like it enough for four issues a year. 50 of the things, though, feels like overkill, and having them as a literal part of the main comic doesn’t make any sense to me.

broodblik

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #1 on: 19 June, 2021, 11:31:15 AM »
I do not think a merge prog will work. Will the regular strips than have to be toned down so that it can fit more into the all-ages tag? Nope, it will rather create a scenario where it might confuse its own identity. Whom do we have to cater for (It is not warm, it is not cold, it is just lukewarm)?

My personal choice will always be a separate publication for the regen prog (weekly would be awesome, monthly will be nice, quarterly might be the most logical option). Most of us on the forum already knows the real world problems with this option. I can live with the current setup, quarterly as part of the regular prog.
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Colin YNWA

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #2 on: 19 June, 2021, 01:38:48 PM »
Hard to see how it works without making sure the 'regular' 2000ad stuff is toned down a little - have no real problem with that, by and large, as much of the stuff that would be an issue isn't a big deal... though how would stories like Hope, or Diaboliks (for example) be affected? As the stories would be in the same physical object just flipping them doesn't seem much of a seperation in my mind.

The option that I'd like to work (but keep reading as I accept it clearly won't) is to have Regened replace the Floppie so it can be passed around as a seperate product and enjoyed as such. The clear issue here is the floppie isn't a money spinner, rather a cheap way to pad out the Meg to help folks feel they are getting value for money (pretty sure Tharg has said this) - a good Regened will clearly cost a LOT and so that's a none starter I imagine.

If we can't get a seperate title, we'll need to make do with what we have. Which I've no real problem with as I find it refreshing, interrupting running stories aside. If the collections start to make money for Tharg (who knows how they are doing and I'm guessing the speed the second was announced was a timing rather than sales thing???) maybe that is the route to getting a second title under the Regened banner - which I'd genuinely love, not to seperate it from the regular Prog, but I would love this comic to exist full stop... but I'd also like Tharg to publish a regular Battle Comic as well ... so ya know... what I want and what is realistic really don't necessarily relate.

broodblik

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #3 on: 19 June, 2021, 02:06:19 PM »
I'd also like Tharg to publish a regular Battle Comic as well .......

Now you talking !!!!
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #4 on: 19 June, 2021, 02:07:59 PM »
Replace the floppy has multiple issues:

- No discoverability on shop shelves
- Lower distribution/visibility for the Meg as a whole
- Huge increase in production costs (which would increase the Meg’s price by a few quid)
- No circulation bump for 2000 AD

broodblik

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #5 on: 19 June, 2021, 02:12:24 PM »
The meg should stay the way it is. Yes, it is true that I do not always enjoy all the content but I like to idea of a possible bonus as part of the meg.

I just think the current regen run will most likely be kept for the foreseeable future
Old age is the Lord’s way of telling us to step aside for something new. Death’s in case we didn’t take the hint.

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #6 on: 19 June, 2021, 04:05:27 PM »
++GREAT NEWS FOR ALL READERS++
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

Max Headroom

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #7 on: 19 June, 2021, 04:29:43 PM »
Don't ever tone down 2000ad for a younger audience. I like the blood, guts and violence just the way it is!

Magnetica

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #8 on: 19 June, 2021, 11:48:09 PM »
I think there is a more fundamental question beyond what format Regened should take and that is: “is there actually a viable market for it?”.

And sadly I’m pretty much convinced the answer is no.

I’m primarily basing that conclusion on:

i) my own experience with my 11 year old son, who loves Star Wars, MCU, Harry Potter, Alex Rider, Dogman, Captain Underpants, Ultimate Spider-man comics, Lego Star Wars comics and and a few other things, but has precisely zero interest in reading 2000AD. And that is despite enjoying a previous Regened issue and Spacewarp - but he never asks me to give him more to read.

ii) Spacewarp, which was specifically launched as an all ages comic and a year later we are still waiting for the second issue. So I can only assume it hasn’t been a great success. But there may me other issues at play here to do with accessibility and distribution - I see issue one is about to go physically into shops.

Funt Solo

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #9 on: 20 June, 2021, 12:45:57 AM »
Just to provide an alternative perspective - my 8-year old daughter loves The Phoenix, which has stories in it that are not terribly far removed from Regened stuff. (We couldn't go beyond our first yearly sub, but that's another story and is entirely the fault of the publisher, rather than the comic's content.) Her cousin (same age) also loves our hand-me-down Phoenix's.

She also loved the recent Misty stuff, and Pandora Perfect. The only problem there is that accessibility for her is via my stored PDFs, and that's not an easy access format for her. She also likes Dogman, Underpants, Wings of Fire etc.

So, content-wise, I do believe there's a market for comics. It doesn't make sense, though, to package Regened content alongside standard 2000 AD content, because of the graphic nature of a lot of the non-Regened strips. If these comics were on the shelf of my local (US) comic emporium, she'd buy 'em.

(I'm not sure that Spacewarp is a great measuring stick - but my three arguments there are to do with format, quality and tone. A metaphorical old man ranting at young people in the park about his conspiracy theories will probably have the same effect as really having an old man rant at young people in the park about his conspiracy theories. 2000 AD had the advantage of multiple writers, so there wasn't just that single voice. A spoonful of sugar...)
« Last Edit: 20 June, 2021, 12:48:32 AM by Funt Solo »
++ map ++ thrills ++ coma ++

maryanddavid

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #10 on: 20 June, 2021, 01:16:37 AM »
I have no problem with Regened continuing as a quarterly within the prog. A lot of his and misses, there has been a few gems and some clearly not aimed at me.

But some clearly do,(have a problem) and as a continuing experiment at drawing in new readers it probably may need to grow out of the weekly as a standalone quarterly, taking up some of the special slots, heavily promoted through 2000 AD.

I have found it hard to get my kids to read any 2000 AD, the universal ones that they all enjoyed was Stront, and DR and Quinch, outside of that they mostly drew a blank, and even at that they never really came back looking for more of the ones they did like, the ReGened that they have read were all 'fine'.

My youngest has recently started reading The Computer Warrior from Eagle, he LOVES it, and its the first comic I have ever seen one of them devour that's not a Manga!

Anyway, I'm happy enough for ReGened to continue in whatever form it does.


IndigoPrime

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #11 on: 20 June, 2021, 01:00:28 PM »
I think there’s a potential viable market. The UK comics industry is hardly saturated. But there is clearly an issue in younger-gen parents (i.e those in their mid-30s and younger), who never experienced comics as a hobby now getting their own children into periodicals. They see magazines/comics as ad-hocs, not things to subscribe to, and mostly as waste.

From the publishes and creators I talk to, the majority of the market now sits in bookstores, hence The Phoenix’s drive towards collections (not least the rebooted Bunny vs Monkey ones in Dogman format) and Rebellion heading broadly in that direction in compiling its specials and Regened. There’s also that hump in getting kids who are into routine (many) to read something new.

As for the material itself, who knows? My 6yo loved Cor/Buster. She’d happily get that monthly. She’s reread both Tammy/Jinty specials a bunch of times. But she’s not yet Regened’s target. That said, as Funt Solo  remarked, those strips aren’t a million miles off of the action strips in The Phoenix. By contrast, Spacewarp feels more like an exercise in nostalgia, designed for people who think comics should be identical to how they were when they were young in the 1970s. Both have issues with frequency, accessibility and distribution, although Rebellion’s obviously well-placed to do rather better there.

I have found it hard to get my kids to read any 2000 AD
Again, I’m not surprised about this. The stuff we grew up with is from a different era. It’s not that the storytelling is bad or anything, but it’s alien to what kids would expect today. That said, I’m intrigued Computer Warrior is going down so well with your nipper, given that it’s a decidedly old-school strip based on ancient videogames!

Lorenzo

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #12 on: 20 June, 2021, 02:31:04 PM »
Don't ever tone down 2000ad for a younger audience. I like the blood, guts and violence just the way it is!
This.

Two-in-one would be a terrible idea. I understand the need for introducing fresh meat err, I mean new readers, but 2000AD hasn't been a teenage comic for decades. It works because the stories are mostly for young adults (or old farts who still think they are youngish). I know you need the comic to sustain the product, but surely the money is in the collected GN's not diluting 2000AD with 50% of something I have no interest in reading. I put up with Regened every now and again, but every week would kill it for me.

AlexF

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #13 on: 21 June, 2021, 09:37:06 AM »
While we're sharing anec-data, my two 11 year-olds read the Beano and Pheonix respectively, and enjoy them, but both vastly prefer reading bigger chunks of comics. Since comics are so slow and expensive to produce (compared to books), I can see that the only viable model is to pump out Regened issues as frequently as we grown-up readers can stomach it (4-6 issues a year in the current model would be about my max), and then collect them up as fast as they can. Full Tult Boogie went down well, and I can imagine them both enjoying a collection of Finder and Keeper (when there are a few more stories). I can even imagine them getting into Spacewarp, if the art was a little slicker.

I honstly CAN'T imagine them enjoying Cadet Dredd - frankly I'd suggest they read any random Case Files, although they don't show any interest in that. Not to say that the Cadet Dredds have been bad stories, but there's something in them that doesn't click for me, probably that young Dredd is too much of a hero. I wonder if there's a story to be had about bullying with the Academy and how he'd handle that as potential snitch/ bully himself (not hard to imagine teachers at the Academy actively encouraging bullying, because they are training up young kids to beactual bullies in the real world...)

Anyway, digression. I vote for Tharg to stick with his current model, and keep paying good creators to make good all ages comics with maaybe a few more more exploding heads in them.

Proudhuff

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Re: 2000 AD two-in-one format (standard Prog + Regened) discussion
« Reply #14 on: 21 June, 2021, 03:25:00 PM »


All of which makes me think I’m more rather than less happy with the current set-up. Do I like everything in Regened issues? No. But then that’s true of the main Prog as well. But I like it enough for four issues a year. 50 of the things, though, feels like overkill, and having them as a literal part of the main comic doesn’t make any sense to me.

This from me too ^^^^
DDT did a job on me