Friday, October 09, 2015

Comic Heroes reborn

In 2010 Future Publishing launched Comic Heroes, a bimonthly newsstand magazine dedicated to the world of comics. Cynics predicted it would bomb, citing its £7.99 cover price as too expensive. However the magazine proved to be successful enough to maintain a good run of four years, albeit changing frequency to quarterly towards the end. Its final issue, No.24, was in July 2014. 

And that was that. Until today.

Comic Heroes is now back on the shelves of newsagents, with a quarterly frequency and a redesign but continuing the numbering with issue 25. The relaunch issue is a large size 148 page glossy mag and its declaration is that it's "Serious about comics". Hopefully not too serious. 

The issue is packed with a variety of features. Here's a few examples:

• Interviews with UK comics creators such as Grant Morrison, Paul Cornell, Jessica Martin, Mike Carey and Mike Perkins.

• A preview of the new Johnny Red comic.

• A look at Marvel's all-new, all-different relaunches.

•Joel Meadows looking at the new range of Vertigo comics. 

• Stephen Jewell previewing Dynamite's new James Bond comic.

• Paul Gravett on the Frech artist Fran├žois Boucq.

• Leah Moore reporting from a convention in Mexico.

• David Barnett looks at Aces Weekly.

Plus reviews and tons more stuff.

I think there's a certain joy for anyone interested in comics to be able to wander into a newsagents and buy a magazine dedicated to the medium. I hope Comic Heroes is here to stay this time. Although a British magazine, its content is mainly American-focused because that's the stuff that its target audience is following and America is generating more comics than the UK. That said, it's clear that the mag is definitely willing to cover the UK and international scene as well. 

All in all, it's great to see Comic Heroes back and it's a magazine that anyone with a genuine interest in modern comics should be reading.

Comic Heroes No.25, 148 pages, £7.99. Out now! 


Colin Jones said...

I bought most issues of Comic Heroes but I was really disappointed by the last few when it went quarterly especially as they dropped the review section which was one of my favourite bits - and the "more pages" claim was a con as they just incorporated the separate "taster" section into the magazine. But I'm willing to give it another go - it's strange that they haven't restarted it as No.1, it is a relaunch after all and restarting at No.1 is the done thing now even though it's normally just a gimmick - here they have a genuine reason to begin again at No.1 but they don't bother. The £7.99 price doesn't worry me as it's only once every 3 months. I'm most looking forward to reading about the new Marvel titles. I hope they still have those "20 Greatest this or that" as I always liked those. My one criticism was that there were a bit too many interviews with comic creators, writers, artists etc. But as long as the review section is back I'll be happy enough :)

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, there's quite a few pages at the back given to reviews. As for continuing the numbering, I'm guessing it may be something to do with how the computerised ordering system works for retailers and their suppliers. (My corner shop had three copies, just as they used to.) Or some other technical reason. Perhaps renumbering only works if there isn't a gap in publication. Just my guess anyway.

Richard Williams said...

I saw this in my local Tesco's as I was picking up the latest issue of the Titan Dr Who Comic (which has relaunched with a new No.1!)and had a quick flick through! It looks good but for me its a waste of money as £7.99 could be spent on more comics and I get all of my comic & comic related info from the Internet - your blog is a prime example of this Lew, it keeps me up to date with all things British and also delves into our rich comic books of yesteryear!
I used to regularly read Comics International back in the day but then, that was free with my monthly parcel of comics!
However, I will add that for people who have stopped reading comics but still have an interest in what's going on in the comic world then mags like this are a must!

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Richard, although I don't have time to cover all developments in new British comics. Down the Tubes and the Forbidden Planet International blogs do a good job of that though.

I still like the idea of a paper publication about comics, and find Comics Heroes is a good way to comfortably read about upcoming and current comics rather than searching the net, clicking on links etc. It's also a little more in depth than most comics websites. And you don't have to recharge it. :-)

Colin Jones said...

Yes indeed, it's nice to relax with a magazine for a change rather than searching the internet all the time and Comic heroes has plenty of things you wouldn't get online. I'm glad Richard saw it in Tesco as I no longer have a local WH Smith's - I'll have a look in Tesco on Monday morning. But if it was cancelled first time around why do they think it'll sell this time ? I'm wondering how long this new version of Comic Heroes will actually last :(

Lew Stringer said...

That's a fair point. I think there is a potential market out there so maybe they thought it worth another go. It's a bit cheaper than it was when it folded so it might work. Hope so anyway.

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