Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Toxic is 200 issues old today!
This week, Egmont UK's Toxic comic-magazine reaches its landmark 200th issue. This would be an impressive achievement for any publication in the history of comics but particularly so in recent years when many comics have stumbled before they've even made half that number.
Launched in 2002, Toxic was squarely aimed at the juvenile market of 7 to 11 year old boys. Often a tricky demographic to win over these days, but with its combination of "gross humour" comic strips and breezy topical features on the latest movies, games, and sport, Toxic became a success. It spawned imitators and even influenced DC Thomson to rebrand The Dandy as Dandy Xtreme for a while but Toxic still remains the top selling comic-mag of its type. (Latest sales figures saw a climb from 40,503 of Jan-June 2011 to 41,521 for July-December 2011.)
Issue 200 is actually fairly quiet on the celebrations (perhaps holding out for the mag's 10th anniversary in September) but I've produced a Team Toxic story that sees the vilest villains of the past 200 issues team up to try and beat the heroes.
Team Toxic has been running in every issue since No.1, and I've written every episode (and I've also been drawing it since issue 15). However I'd like to give a big thanks to the Team's original artist John Rushby who designed the five Team Toxic characters, and also to Lorna Miller who coloured the strip for many issues until a few years ago.
These days every other issue features a Team Toxic classic reprint in order to accommodate new strips such as Russ Carvell's Luke's Spooks and Captain Gross. Issue 200 features all-new material though, including a two page Captain Gross strip.
Another new recent addition is the I-Spy double page spread, which I draw; a large busy image for readers to seek out various characters. Watch out for one of those in issue 201. Speaking of which I'd better get cracking on the next one!
Toxic No.200 is out now, a 40 full colour page magazine bagged with two gifts for £2.75. Here's to the next 200 issues!