Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Multiverse No.1 makes it through the snow
The first issue of Multiverse, the brand new magazine about comics, has finally been published despite delays including copies being snowbound at the printers for a while. The magazine should now be on a monthly frequency, with issue 2 expected in the New Year.
Fans who have bemoaned the expense of Comic Heroes should find no problem forking out a mere £2.50 for Multiverse. Although considerably slimmer than Comic Heroes, the new magazine does have 52 pages and is packed with news, reviews, and features on the world of comics.
Well, I say world of comics, but the emphasis is mostly on American product. This is something that used to disappoint me about UK fanzines of the 1970s and I'm sorry to say that Multiverse carries on that unfortunate aspect. American readers probably think we don't even have a comics industry.
However, I don't wish to be too harsh on publisher/editor Mike Conroy. American comics are his forté and he covers the current scene incredibly well, with articles that offer more depth than most online news sources and in a mature reporting style. For example, I'd assumed that the new line of comics from Boom! Studios that Stan Lee has given his name to were just using Stan as a selling point. However the interview with writer Paul Cornell explains that this isn't the case and that Stan has had more involvement than many of us expected.
There is some British coverage, but it's a quite negative article about the current state of collected reprints. Seems that several of Titan's anticipated books of UK reprints have now either been delayed or shelved. One can't blame Multiverse for this of course. Mike is reporting the news as it is, although countering it with news of the revamped Dandy and Commano's forthcoming 50th anniversary might have balanced it a little. To be fair though Mike can only work with what he gets, so hopefully UK publishers will send him press releases now the mag's up and running.
Regarding the cutbacks of British reprints I can only say "Use it or lose it". The potential market for such material was never large, but all those collectors who said they'd wait until the books were remaindered were being unrealistic if they expected publishers to make a profit like that. If fans aren't willing to support classic reprints then publishers are just going to move onto something else, and sadly that's what seems to be happening.
Going back to the article itself, there is one error. It states that Steve Holland's ventures, Cursitor Doom and The Phantom Patrol were never published, but one of them definitely was as I reviewed it here.
If you're interested in the current American comics scene then Multiverse is definitely a must-buy. Even if you don't buy a lot of American product it's still a great read to keep up with developments. The design by Barry Renshaw is clear and engaging, and it really is a worthwhile magazine all round. I'll certainly be supporting it. Will you?
Multiverse No.1, 52 full colour pages, £2.50. Available from comic specialist shops.