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Author Topic: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)  (Read 2719 times)

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #15 on: 26 February, 2020, 01:48:01 PM »
it's enormously (prohibitively so) expensive to create a brand new comic and distribute it to newsagents
As I’ve said before, there are six good reasons to not launch a new comic/magazine. (That would be the numbers, in a row, with a £ before them.) This is why you quite often see magazines code-sharing (one title flips between various forms), or magazine X take over from magazine Y, yet still technically retain the spot of the older title.

2000 AD locally seems to be improving in terms of distribution. I see it and the Meg now in some local supermarkets, which is great. But in a market that’s getting an absolute kicking, any new launch would be a colossal risk, and Rebellion are right to be cautious. Also, frankly, if Regened increases the viability of the Prog through more sales, that’d be great even if I wasn’t keen. (As it was, I enjoyed reading it.)

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #16 on: 26 February, 2020, 01:48:51 PM »
Just to second everything that PJ [EDIT: and IndigoPrime] said and to add that I used to work in newspaper/magazine production and, nearly twenty years ago now, I wrote a detailed business plan for launching a new high street comic.

Remember that we have twenty years' worth of inflation to consider, along with a far less healthy high street market to take into account when I say that launching a new title then cost a rock solid minimum £500,000 pounds to get out of the door — and that was with a minimal promotional budget and working on the assumption that I would be doing all the editorial and production for free out of my spare bedroom.

A more accurate figure to do it propely, even back then, would probably leave no change out of a million quid.

Add to that the horrific cash-flow of a venture where you're piling up commissioning costs weeks and months in advance, and a significant lag on revenue in the form of payment from the distributors. You're looking at being at least £1.5-£2M out of pocket before you have any idea whether your new title is going to break even, never mind turn a profit.*

Like PJ, I have no idea whether some hypothetical companion 'junior' title is the end goal of all this, but baby steps like these ones are absolutely the only sensible way to make any progress in expanding the market.

*Before anyone says "Didn't Rebellion just spend a gazillion quid buying a new set of film/TV studio premises?" remember that if a publishing venture like the one I describe flops, you have literally no resale-able assets to offset the losses.
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Keef Monkey

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #17 on: 26 February, 2020, 02:38:31 PM »
I guess I'm in the camp of not enjoying the Regened progs anywhere near as much as a regular issue, but also not having any problem with them existing. The timing breaking up the flow of weekly strips is definitely annoying, but four times a year is rare enough that it's hard to get too salty about it. I do think if as a kid I'd found a comic I liked but I was only able to read very occasional issues of I'd maybe find the whole thing a bit confusing, and if you didn't have a parent to hand that issue down to you then you'd probably have no idea another Regene issue was happening. I'd imagine they're of most value to regular readers who are parents and can pass these occasional progs to their sprogs, so would be interested to hear how they're enjoying them.

I think it works best when the stories don't necessarily feel like a departure from the main prog, that Cadet Dredd story would probably work well enough in the adult prog so was one of the highlights (although I kept waiting for the glasses established at the start to play into things? Unless I missed something that was all a bit Chekov's gun.

Finder & Keeper was also pretty enjoyable fun, and I liked the Rogue Trooper story. It played out like a Saturday morning cartoon version of Nu-Earth and that was fun to see, and the artwork was cool (it was great through the whole prog actually).

The Future Shock and Gronk stories didn't really work for me though, not sure why but they just didn't connect as well, possibly because they did skew more to the younger reader maybe? Not sure, but they still looked colourful and fun so didn't necessarily dislike them.

I'll probably still read these when they come out, but I have to admit that personally I'd much rather have a regular prog in their place so will be a little disappointed when they roll around. If they're fulfilling a service for other readers though then I've no problem with them existing.

Proudhuff

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #18 on: 26 February, 2020, 02:43:28 PM »

So the SprogProg finally landed in Huff Mansions Sur-Le Mer and I'm happy with lots, the heft, the breadth and breathless excitment of the whole thing  and anything that raises Tharg's standard over WHS and their midden of free plastic tat comic is always welcome...

Cadet Dredd - Solid action fun. No sense of threat or such but some great layouts and story telling, especially that subtle last page.

Finder & Keeper -  Folklore Thursday/ that's a good thing.

Future Shock - Kindof forgot it already sorry old age!

The Gronk - yeah fun, but I feel we've been here before? It feels some familiar.

Rogue Trooper - If this was done woth less cartoony mutants and a darker groove to the baby thing this would easily sit in the Prog.

Overall agree with questioning the timing of this issue rather than the content.


But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed

Proudhuff

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #19 on: 26 February, 2020, 02:45:49 PM »
Damn where's the feckin edit button!?
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Dudley

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #20 on: 27 February, 2020, 06:40:44 AM »
Since this Prog is aimed at younger types than the standard embittered by life forty and fifty somethings that inhabit this forum, can I suggest that any of you who have children in the target range hand over reviewing duties to your child for this week? The reviews here do snack a bit of the Doctor Who fanbase whenever the show tries to be extra kiddie friendly...

Tjm86

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #21 on: 27 February, 2020, 07:20:42 AM »
On the one hand I can see your point, Dudley.  Granted that the reviews have erred more on the dissatisfied side but I would question whether they reach anywhere near the vitriol of the WhoBase.  There is a fairly balanced approach looking for the positives and questioning rather than castigating.

On the other hand quite a few bodies here are subscribers and therefore not the target range.  Also, it is touted as an 'all ages' edition.  Considering that companies such as Pixar have managed to cater to both children and their parents at the same time, is it completely inappropriate to reflect from our "embittered forty or fiftyish" perspective?


norton canes

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #22 on: 27 February, 2020, 10:57:43 AM »
Sigh. Where to weigh in on the Regened issue issue?

After reading the prog, and this thread, my instinctive reaction was essentially this:

This felt too sanitised to compare it with 1980s progs. The best stories to read as a kid were the ones you knew your mum wouldn't approve of you reading. Stories where the art is detailed and doesn't look like your artistically-inclined mate could have drawn it himself. Stories where the lead characters are adults not kids.

I hope this sells lots of copies and inspires a generation of children to read or keep reading comics, but it's not like the comic we grew up with

Beacuse 2000 AD was 'all ages' back in 1977 and look what it gave us - gore, violence and plenty of bad attitude in the best traditions of pre-hiatus Action, with only liberal use of correction fluid and the odd Thargnote to provide any semblance of responsibility. And in 2020? Everything's cool and glossy and agreeably droll, but almost entirely devoid of any visceral thrills. How much better would that Dredd story have been with a panel showing one of the cadets suddenly being eaten alive? How much better The Gronk, with Gronks actually looking properly dead, like they did in The Gronk Affair all those years ago? Or Finder & Keeper with a devilish foe that looked more like some fiendish nightmare from Caballistics, Inc. instead of a cloven-hooved emo that actually said "Baaah!"?

I did love all the strips this week, honestly, because I can see they were all lavished with the enthusiasm and attention that creating thrills for the Galaxy's Greatest Comic engenders in even the humblest droid. And yet, as per Richard's quote above, I think TMO might have just lost sight for now of what made 2000 AD so great in the beginning.

However...

For all that I've said there, the best moment of the entire prog came right at the very end of the Rogue Trooper story, with the rescue of the cloned babies and the revelation that the mutant Nort troopers raised them as a family. It was a nice, and unexpectedly touching, conclusion. Maybe I've got it all wrong after all.

Dudley

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #23 on: 27 February, 2020, 11:56:57 AM »
Considering that companies such as Pixar have managed to cater to both children and their parents at the same time, is it completely inappropriate to reflect from our "embittered forty or fiftyish" perspective?

Not at all, just thinking that other perspectives could be encouraged as well. :)

broodblik

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #24 on: 27 February, 2020, 12:42:44 PM »
I am not against the idea of the regen prog, but I would rather have it as a separate special. The biggest problem as with the previous regen prog was the scheduling.
 
Hopefully this is a success and might see a release of such a publication.

Tjm86

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #25 on: 27 February, 2020, 02:48:06 PM »

Not at all, just thinking that other perspectives could be encouraged as well. :)

Okay, give you that one ....

Just leave off referring to us in the same vein as those Whonatics out there (although if anyone ever tries a female Dredd ... )

The Sherman Kid

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #26 on: 27 February, 2020, 02:56:23 PM »
Making your loyal readership pick up a kiddy comic (again!), is not a smart move.

Actually felt a tinge of embarrassment buying it, and then asked for £5 for the privilege, a tad annoyed. Having spent no time at all reading it a tad more annoyed. Felt like being taken for a sucker, playing on the 'completest' drive your readership has.

The stories were wafer thin, with no great thrills or intrigue to draw them in and the artwork the most basic (like children can't appreciate great artwork?).

Above all the logic of this escapes me.

What age group is this aimed at? I would say 6-9, I know my 10 year old nephew would find this childish, so even older is a dead cert. So how would that age group suddenly buy into the regular prog which is a completely different animal -Deadworld anyone? This isn't a 'transitional prog', not even close.

So what is the aim here? That years down the line they buy a prog themselves because the read one issue? Hardly likely (especially give the instantly forgettable stories that were included).

Bringing in new readership is sound policy but this is not the way to do it.

First time round I suggested a separate issue -but pointed out this is prohibitively expensive, fair enough. I had no idea this was going to be repeated -let alone 4 more times this year! I seriously doubt I will buy another similar issue and I have been with 2000ad since Prog 1 (like so many others).

A better option would be a bagged supplement (like the Meg) so parents could wean them on over time, perhaps and charge a little extra. But as it stands all it is doing is alienating existing readers with, what I imagine virtually no return.

This whole strategy needs a rethink





TordelBack

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #27 on: 27 February, 2020, 03:26:47 PM »
But as it stands all it is doing is alienating existing readers with, what I imagine virtually no return.

See, you say that, but presumably Rebellion has numbers that say different. It's not like this is some isolated punt that Matt is taking, it's clearly part of an informed strategy.

FWIW I really don't agree that any of the art is 'basic' at any level, but I do have my doubts about its overall direction.  For one example, there is some very serious craft on display in Finder & Keeper (my favourite if the stories), boosted by Boswell's always-ace colour job, but the design choices seem odd to my ageing eyes. Our heroes are clearly young teenagers, but they are depicted as large-headed tweens, almost like hobbit-children; the setting is a construction project at a church in a cemetery, and its packed with detaiued backgrounds... but the specific details of the unsecured re-bar-free concrete* base, the hand-written signage, the post-office-style parcels of equipment, are all very soft and unconvincing: this is not what a construction site looks like, outside of Camberwick Green anyway.

Now I don't think for a minute that this is anything but a deliberate stylistic choice, carefully executed... I just wonder whether this is appealing to kids, who in my parental experience like their fiction to include (if not adults) children who are older than them, and settings that convey something of the real world. Maybe this is a Manga thing? If so, it's over my head.

I did like the story very much though, a nice bit of modernised folklore and a solid ending that answered the question that I'd had since the beginning - thought the design of the Grim itself was great and memorable, facial expressions were excellent, and the labour poured into the complex backgrounds was impressive.





*Let's not think about the appalling caustic burns Finder must have sustained wading about in liquid concrete in a pair of tights.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #28 on: 27 February, 2020, 04:26:09 PM »
*Let's not think about the appalling caustic burns Finder must have sustained wading about in liquid concrete in a pair of tights.
Mm. I mentioned that earlier. I find it surprising this bit made it through the edit, given the damage this would have caused the protagonist. (And with children’s comics, it’s important to ensure they don’t end up in situations like that that which could potentially be mimicked in the real world.)

I do get some of the other criticisms. I’ve already said I find the scheduling an issue; and there – as with a lot of what Rebellion is doing right now – is the “what next?” problem. But I’m glad the company is trying new things, rather than aping a lot of other publishers right now, and basically doing the same thing to diminishing returns, until inevitable closure.

Plus, again, I liked this issue anyway. I maintain that the general scripting vibe of this issue didn’t feel that far removed from a lot of 2000 AD’s classic era strips.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Prog 2170 - Regened (2020)
« Reply #29 on: 27 February, 2020, 04:41:12 PM »
I seriously doubt I will buy another similar issue...

Okay - problem solved then, no?