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Friday, July 01, 2016

Your Comic Heroes - New magazine launched

When I heard that Future Publishing were launching a new magazine for boys I expected it to be yet another Toxic wannabe. There's certainly a strong Toxic influence about it, but Your Comic Heroes has enough of its own identity too. The curious thing about this new magazine, which launched this week, is that it's kind of a comics fanzine for young kids. 

The 36 pages of Your Comic Heroes No.1 focus entirely on comics characters, albeit American superheroes and only those that have featured in movies. There's a heavy emphasis on Marvel, with features on Spider-Man, Captain America, and Thor, plus a few other items. Don't expect anything too in-depth here. This is strictly a breezy read for young kids who are just discovering comic characters through movies and games. That said, it's a fun mag for its target audience.

It's not perfect by any means. A two page Spider-Man quiz that only features nine short questions feels like it was last minute padding. There's a decent plug for new "Star Wars comics" but it fails to explain they're only available in comics speciality shops and bookshops. (Surely the first place kids are going to look for them is the same place they found this magazine?) But these are just teething problems that hopefully will be sorted out in later issues. 

There are two pages of strips, both humour features. Lionheart is sadly uncredited, but Underpowered is illustrated by Faye Simms who also illustrates the free booklet Learn to Draw Your Own Superhero that's bagged with the magazine. 

A pleasant surprise was that the mag features an interview with a comics creator, - in this issue it's Cavan Scott, who has scripted various strips including Doctor Who, Adventure Time and Minnie the Minx. It's only a short interview and things are kept simple, but it's a great way to help educate the readers about the way comics are produced so I hope this is a regular feature.

As all of you know, Future also publish a quarterly magazine called Comic Heroes for teens to adults that covers comics news and views. I fear another mag with a similar title will only confuse retailers (and some readers) but I hope not. Your Comic Heroes is an interesting addition to the stands and I hope it succeeds. Issue 1 is out now, priced £3.99.

(On the very same day this new mag was launched, Future also published two companion magazines; Minecraft Mayhem and Your Gaming Heroes. Clearly the company wants to dominate the boys magazine sector and it'll be interesting to see developments.) For more info, see the Down the Tubes blog here:


Derek Marsden/Phoenix said...

My nine-year-old granddaughter Lois is seriously into Minecraft so it definitely isn't an activity purely for boys, although it was her younger brother Alex who introduced her to it. Muggins here allows himself to be persuaded to buy the games for them.

James Spiring said...

Well, THAT didn't last long. Cancelled after only three issues.

"Issue 3 will be the final issue of Your Comic Heroes to be published. It has been an extremely tough decision but unfortunately Your Comic Heroes will no longer be available on subscription. You can still buy back issues here."

Lew Stringer said...

I suspected as much when the latest one didn't advertise the next issue and the subscription ad had vanished. Thanks for confirming it.

It's a shame. There are LOADS of copies in the shops around here but clearly it just didn't find its market. I still think there's definitely a place for a comics news / features mag for a younger audience but YCH didn't quite get it right.

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