Saturday, October 08, 2011
Multiverse 4 is here!
The fourth issue of the sporadic Multiverse magazine is now out. Subjected to delays for various reasons it appears that the comics news magazine is on a more reliable frequency, which is good to see.
Contents of the 52 page full colour issue include comments by writers of some of the "New 52" DC Comics, an obituary to Gene Colan, pencil roughs of John Byrne's new series Cold War, news, reviews, and more.
With the instant accessibility of the Internet do people still have interest for a comics news magazine in print? Editors Mike Conroy and Barry Renshaw obviously believe so, and with Multiverse they've produced a magazine that's well written, sharply designed, and often more in-depth than online news items might be. And it's 100% troll-free, which is an added bonus.
Those of you looking for news items on traditional British comics won't find it in this issue unfortunately. Multiverse is pretty much American superhero/fantasy - centric. It makes sense to favour those genres as the magazine is mainly sold in comic specialist shops frequented by customers with those interests. It would be nice to at least see a page devoted to traditional UK material though because, after all, Multiverse is a British magazine, but I'd guess that depends on whether British publishers are sending them news releases or not.
To be fair, there is a four page article on independent UK publisher Com.X and their new 64 page one-shot BlueSpear, and there's an interview with UK writer Rob Williams on his new Ghost Rider series for Marvel USA. It seems that Multiverse isn't deliberately avoiding running news on British comics but they can only work with what they're given. One could argue that any journalist should seek out the news him/herself but any news editor looking at the jumbled bagged product on the shelves of British newsagents isn't going to know where to start. (Especially when many of the titles don't even feature comic strips, and many newsagents don't stock all titles anyway.) It's up to publishers to contact magazines such as Multiverse and Comic Heroes in order to promote their wares. The core readership of Multiverse might not give a damn about who's drawing for the latest Beano or Commando, but (as I've discovered with Blimey!) a percentage of them certainly would, and it might raise the awareness of UK comics with other readers.
You'll be pleased to hear that subscriptions to Multiverse are now available for 6 or 12 issues. Full details are at the magazine's website here: