Monday, 31 July 2017

DOWN THE TUBES, BUT UP FOR THE UK COMICS INDUSTRY

I did have the new Relive Oink! section published but soon had to take it down because it wasn't displaying correctly on mobile devices.  I can't have it looking a mess obviously, so while I tinker about with redesigning and reprogramming it I just wanted to share a great piece from the UK comics website Down the Tubes.

The name John Freeman is synonymous with the UK comics industry, having worked on a huge array of titles which include some childhood favourites of mine such as The Real Ghostbusters and Havoc, both of which have been covered right here on The Oink! Blog before.  John knows the business inside and out; if indeed there's anyone with their finger on the correct pulse it's him, so when he speaks up about the current state of the UK scene you know you're getting a proper, factual insight.


Back in April Andy Oliver of the Broken Frontier website wrote an article which brilliantly summed up how the UK industry never died, it had evolved into something different than it had been before.  A couple of years ago I actually posted a lengthy piece up here as a comics fan, showing how clearly this was indeed the case.  There's some people online who, for one reason or another, would like to convince you there's no such thing as a UK comics industry anymore, but they keep changing their definition of what constitutes a "comic".  Moving the goal posts like this is the only way they can keep their charade going, so I compared these definitions to the comics I grew up with.  The response was great and John even published it up on Down the Tubes at the time!

Now John himself takes a look, focussing mainly on the shelves you'll see in the newsagents and supermarkets.  While the comics industry is in no way restricted to these buying options anymore they're usually the target for the online diatribes.  After the subject cropped up on social media at the weekend John decided to respond by breaking down how the industry has changed over the last few decades and, most importantly, why.  He also has a look at the modern industry and asks the question of whether the UK scene is still seeing itself shrink or whether it's actually growing, hence the title of the article:


It's a great read from someone with the knowledge you can trust.  It's fascinating to have the newsagent shelves properly analysed like this and John covers licenced material, reprints, the sale of printing presses, distribution changes and the influence of supermarkets on the publications being made.

Give it a read and make sure to bookmark the site if you're in any way interested in the latest news from an exciting, varied and original comics scene.

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