Monday, July 09, 2012
Last week, The Spectator featured a well-intentioned but surprising article by Paul Abbott bemoaning the apparent lack of a UK comics industry:
Today, James Hunt responds for The New Statesman explaining that we do actually have a comics industry thanks very much, if people take the trouble to look:
Unfortunately there's been a handful of people online over the past year or two claiming the British industry is either failing or already dead. Sometimes it's just the rants of bitter individuals who are no longer working in the industry, or nostalgic people who wish the type of comics of their childhood were still being published. Unfortunately their comments can influence a few people who, without checking for themselves, go on to repeat the myth that UK comics are a thing of the past.
To a certain extent the critics do have a point. The mainstream UK comics industry is far less healthy than it was 40 or 50 years ago and I doubt we'll ever see a return to those glory days. But it's certainly not dead. Comics have broken away from solely using the traditional weekly-in-newsagents format and branched out as graphic novels in bookshops, subscription-only comics, or online models. Just because WH Smith no longer has shelves creaking under the weight of dozens of comic titles doesn't mean they're not out there.
Check out the sidebar on the right for the websites of all the mainstream comics currently available. For up to date news about other exciting developments in British comics visit Down the Tubes and the Forbidden Planet International blogs to name but two.
I'd say more but I have some pressing deadlines for all those comics that apparently don't exist. Back to the drawing board...