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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Out today from Panini UK...

These modern day equivalents of Fantastic and Terrific are in WH Smiths and selected newsagents now!

AVENGERS UNIVERSE #13. On sale 29th November. £4.50.

76 pages of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Three awesome stories!
The Avengers and the Champions fight their way to the heart of the High Evolutionary’s power – but the price of victory may be too much for them to bear! By Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos and Jesus Saiz!
The Uncanny Avengers take on the Juggernaut, and Quicksilver makes a BIG mistake! By Jim Zub and Sean Izaakse!
A classic 1960s Marvel tale! The first adventure of Captain America’s second generation Avengers, by Stan Lee and Don Heck!
Featuring material first printed in Champions #14, Avengers #674, Uncanny Avengers #29 and Avengers (vol 1) #17.

WOLVERINE & DEADPOOL #12. On sale 29th November. £4.50. 

76 pages of mutants and mayhem! Three killer stories!
Wolverine and her family battle the Orphans of X and The Hand! By Tom Taylor and Jaunn Cabal!
Old Man Logan returns to New York, and challenges the might of the Kingpin! By Ed Brisson and Dalibor Talajic!
Deadpool and Old Man Logan battle through an army to save a young mutant girl! By Declan Shalvey and Mike Henderson!

Featuring material first printed in All-New Wolverine #29, Old Man Logan #36 and Deadpool vs Old Man Logan #3-4.

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ParryS said...

That Avengers/Champions storyline has been one of the best I've ever read!

These titles continue to go from strength to strength. If only Titan could show the same consistency with their CEs; instead we get erroneous next issue dates, reprint errors, retrospectively announcing that a series was a mini-series even though it wasn't announced as one, a lack of communication on their Facebook page, numerous complaints from subscribers, plus constant relaunches, one of which made their Batman title unavailable on WHSmith's ordering system at one point!

And now the current DC titles do not have a "next issue..." date on the inside back cover, leading to much speculation on Facebook. Naturally, Titan haven't chosen to explain this. 95% of the visitor posts on Titan's FB page are complaints.

Oh well, at least Marvel is covered with Panini's superior stewardship of the licence. Maybe one day they, or someone else, will handle the DC licence.

Stephen Parry

Lew Stringer said...

I'm afraid I've given up on Titan's DC comics. The last straw was replacing Scooby Apocalypse with Aquaman! (And God knows how the readers of Suicide Squad felt when it was suddenly changed to Teen Titans Go!) I can appreciate that poor sales must be the reason, and as they're a business they can't turn out comics if they're not making enough profit, but it would be nice to see axed comics have their storylines continue in another comic. The days of merging comics seems long gone.

Anyway, yeah that Avengers story was alright, apart from the daft first episode where they tried to slow down an asteroid from hitting the Earth when it was already visible in the daytime sky. That was stretching credibility a bit too much.

James Spiring said...

The problem is, if they moved the Suicide Squad story to, for example, the Justice League title, that would mean aborting Wonder Woman's storyline. They can't win there.

ParryS said...

Lew, I feel I've given up, too. A bit of communication, and regular updates, by Titan would make things better.

One guy on the FB forum was subscribing to BATMAN/SUPERMAN (or is it SUPERMAN/BATMAN?). He presumed that when that book ended, his remaining issues would switch to SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL subscription. It didn't. He's had nothing, and the subscription people haven't answered his questions.

I cannot imagine that happening with Panini. If, say, AVENGERS UNIVERSE ended, and was replaced with something else, I know Panini would write to every subscriber, and update their website, so everyone would be aware. I mean, when THE INCREDIBLE HULKS was cancelled, Scott Gray mentioned it in that issue - and I am sure existing subscribers were switched to another title.

Also, marketing and communication seems almost non-existent at Titan. SCOOBY: APOCALYPSE, which I was also enjoying, was *never* marketed as a mini-series (the US issues are ongoing). Nor was SUPERGIRL marketed as a mini-series. I am absolutely fine with titles ending if sales are poor, but not if there's a lack of communication or a retrospective (and rather disingenuous) argument of, "Oh, it was a mini-series." Customers aren't stupid.

Sorry, Lew, I feel strongly about this. A "Scooby: Apocalypse is being cancelled as sales are low..." is fine and readers will understand that, but inconsistent and disingenuous explanations are insulting to customers. And hopefully this doesn't sound like I have an axe to grind, but so many Titan posts on their FB page are from people complaining about some of the issues raised.

If something like DEADPOOL: UNLEASHED had been cancelled after 4 issues, Scott Gray would not have announced, "Oh, it was a mini-series." Like he did when MARVEL HEROES REBORN and THE INCREDIBLE HULKS got cancelled, he announced it, Panini were upfront about it, and readers switched to something else. Titan could do so much better.

It's very rare that I am right about anything in life(!), but I think the facts are there.

Anyway, this is a Panini post, always appreciate you sharing the images. I am a subscriber. I would love to see the new WEST COAST AVENGERS book reprinted in AVENGERS UNIVERSE. I only read the first issue, but it was a lot of fun.

Stephen Parry

Chris said...

In the early days of DC's licence with Titan about 10 years or so ago the Justice League title was canceled after about five issues and one of the storylines was carried over to the Superman title. That was also followed by the Supergirl title being canceled after one or two issues I think, a practice that continues to this day at Titan towers.

Have to agree the way they treat their titles confuses the heck out of me and not just DC. Interesting what has happened with Simpsons comics, just a few years ago one of the best selling titles on the market. Now it's been re-formatted and distribution seems to be massively cut as I never see it at Supermarkets etc any more. I know bongo has closed in the US, but this started before all that trouble

ParryS said...

Titan should not have been so keen to launch titles on a whim based on a movie being out.

I remember one of the Panini editors years ago (when they published four CEs) saying they wanted to increase sales on the four CEs they published before tackling a fifth. Now we have seven CEs, but it's been a long, consistent road on the part of Panini, building an audience, communicating, etc. The two casualties (MARVEL HEROES REBORN and THE INCREDIBLE HULKS) didn't last, but readers/subscribers were immediately notified.

The lack of recaps in Titan's DC titles also doesn't help. When there's been 2-3 months between issues, a recap would be nice.

Bleeding Cool reported on Titan's erratic handling of the licence, I was hoping that Bleeding Cool's blog entry would have encouraged Titan to up their game.

It's not just the DC titles. Their Doctor Who title was plagued by erratic scheduling (again, Facebook posters complained about lack of updates). And between about November 2015 and April 2016, there weren't any STAR TREK MAGAZINE issues published. I was buying that, but Titan didn't answer e-mails, post updates on their FB pages, etc. One simply had to wait five months for the next issue.

It really is no way to run a licence, and the contrast between Panini and Titan is astonishing. I know Panini may be more profitable and is a larger organisation, but there are no excuses for the lack of engagement by Titan. It's embarrassing to visit their FB page and see visitor post after visitor post, complaining about erratic scheduling, unreceived subscription copies, etc.

Stephen Parry

James Spiring said...

Chris - Simpsons Comics sales had obviously dropped, hence the relaunch. Unfortunately, it's demise in the US must mean the UK version clearly also only has a few issues left now, unless Titan grabs the US licence and revives the title there. At least that title gets released consistently. Doctor Who's scheduling has been a total joke - there was only five issues this year.

Stephen - I think you'll get your wish regarding West Coast Avengers. This is probably why they chose Hawkeye to replace Champions in Mighty World of Marvel (Champions having moved to Avengers Universe, at least temporarily, due to it's crossover). WCA is a direct follow up to Kate's solo series - and with only one other Avengers team book currently, WCA is almost guaranteed a slot in Avengers Universe. Regarding your later post, those aren't the only two casualties. There used to be a Fantastic Four Adventures title at one point.

Chris said...

James - yes had assumed sales had dropped, but find their decisions regarding changing format, reducing availability and retailers tending to place it nearer the more adult comics rather than the kids sections interesting. I don't think the lack of new issues is necessarily a problem, it seems to be a majority reprint title nowadays and Titan have recycled a lot of the first 100 or so issues quite a few times across various publications over the past few years .

ParryS said...

Ah, of course, how could I forget FANTASTIC FOUR ADVENTURES? I really miss that one. It was the first time I got to see vintage FF in colour!

Thanks for the comments about WCA. I only read the first US issue (I lost track), so it'd be nice to see it in a Panini title.

Yes, I've seen numerous complaints about their Doctor Who title. They really need to have a proactive FB page - and an updated website. Their site appears to not have been updated in months. It really is grossly unfair, and bad business practice, to leave consumers, especially subscribers, guessing and waiting.

People can handle the truth. If Titan put out a FB post such as "Our Dr. Who comic will be on an erratic schedule, apologies!", then that's fine. AT LEAST PEOPLE KNOW. But just look at the embarrassing visitor posts at Titan's FB page.

And there are no "next issue..." details on the inside back cover of their latest superhero titles. No-one knows what is going on. Cancelled? Licence transferred to another publisher? Titles continuing, but on hiatus? Come on, Titan, let us know.


Lew Stringer said...

There's no point asking here, Stephen. I'm not aware of any Titan editors who read these posts.

Chris, retailers are correct to place the Titan DC comics next to 2000AD, Judge Dredd, etc. They're aimed at teens upwards, not the Beano audience, and Titan and Panini will have asked them to do that.

The only thing that concerns me about retailers is that for a couple of years now some branches of WH Smith have decided that comics for teens upwards should be hidden behind the counter and only sold if customers ask for them. That includes all the Titan comics, Marvel Collectors Editions, 2000AD, Judge Dredd, and Commando. They claim they do it to prevent shoplifting. I don't believe them. I think it's a form of censorship.

Lew Stringer said...

Incidentally, may I ask why you guys don't simply buy the DC comics from comic shops or online, rather than suffer Titan's erratic handling of the reprints?

Chris said...

Hi Lew, I'm talking about the rebooted Simpsons Comics being placed in the teen/adult mags, totally understandable why they put the DC/Marvel comics there.

Lew Stringer said...

Ah, right, sorry Chris. It's displayed next to Beano, Toxic, etc in my local Smiths.

Chris said...

Only just read the second bit of your post Lew so apologies for the second quick comment. In my local Smiths they have all those titles on display, but you have to ask for DWM, also supposedly due to security reasons. In fact for a while DWM and all the Marvel DC mags were security tagged for a while. That has thankfully stopped now.

Personally I don't buy the individual DC issues for a couple of reasons, for one Im just not as interested in DC (so a big one there) but I quite like the curated nature of the CE reprints. So much choice in both Marvel and DC these days I don't have the time to seek out and research individual issues that I'd like - although personally I haven't bought Titans DC range with any regularity for about 7 or 8 years.

ParryS said...

Lew, you ask a fair question. My view is akin to Chris' view: the curated nature of CE reprints appeals to me, but I'm going to try and locate the US originals now.

Also, I agree it's censorship, hiding titles behind the counter. What a lame excuse.

Adults can steal, too. In the history of newsagents/WHSmiths, I'd wager fishing magazines have been stolen, railway magazines, music magazines, etc. In fact, I got fed up of going in the Co-Op and seeing 'free' CD-ROMs and CDs ripped off the front of IT and music magazines. Are we really saying that kids jumped six feet in the air and ripped the CD-ROMs and CDs from the front covers of IT and music magazines?

It's a lame excuse by WHSmith. I'd have no objection to a store hiding certain titles (not just comics) behind the counter based on local intelligence, e.g. if a particular store keeps getting fishing or car magazines stolen, but a blanket policy of hiding comics behind counters is the lamest excuse I've ever read.

If a particular branch of WHSmith has intelligence pertaining to regular thefts of, say, the CEs or The Beano, then by all means hide them behind the counters. But if it's a blanket policy based on ignorance, that is wrong - and publishers should kick up a fuss.

In the new WHSmith here in Birmingham, it's quite hard to get to the front to see what is behind the counter. There's often a large queue - for the tills and self-service checkouts - plus all the junk food to navigate through. It could be off-putting to get near enough to the tills to see what is behind the counter.

Stephen Parry

Lew Stringer said...

I've informed publishers about it but it still happens. Thankfully it's not in every branch, and WH Smith at New Street Station has a very nice display of Panini/Titan/2000AD comics.

ParryS said...

I know what I am about to say will sound lazy, but I was in the city centre branch of WHSmith - and one of the partworks was behind the counter. In among all the junk food, Xmas stuff, the long queue to the till and the self-service tills, I didn't want to "fight my way through" such a crowd just to get a partwork issue from the shelves.

So I left and decided I'd wait until I was in a corner shop - where all titles are accessible.

I'm not saying a keen/enthusiastic potential new reader would be permanently deterred by poor or inaccessible stacking, but it can be off-putting. There may well be people interested in comics, but if there's a queue of several people, many of them wanting staff to check their lottery numbers, quite a few people might think, 'Ah, can't be bothered.'

Will they get their comics somehow? Maybe. But it is ludicrous to place titles behind the counter. My WHSmith branch is always busy, and I'd have no desire to queue behind 8-9 people simply to ask for a comic to be handed to me.

Stephen Parry

Lew Stringer said...

Exactly. I think it'll put a lot of people off, especially teenagers who might feel too embarrassed to ask for a comic. Also, it completely prevents any new sales, because no one is going to ask to have a look through the comics. If they can't browse first, they won't start buying it.

The shoplifting excuse is pathetic. I'm sure they get chocolate and stationery pinched all the time but that's not kept behind the counter. To me, this is a deliberate attempt to target comics for older readers. Perhaps some area manager has a pious attitude and thinks all comics should be for the very young. Who knows? At any rate, the shoplifting excuse doesn't hold up.

ParryS said...

I think you're right, Lew.

I can imagine chocolate and stationery, and maybe newspapers, being stolen more than comics. Quite a few branches have security guards in them. I am sure their role is to keep an eye out for such things.

And, yes, the browsing thing is important. I would browse before buying a comic. Still do.

I think any barriers are unhelpful. Most unhelpful. I'd like to think some people will just say, "Ah, I'll get it from the corner shop instead." But WHSmith is the only shop in the UK that stocks a wide range of comics, partworks, etc. I mean, around here, I haven't seen a Panini CE in a corner shop for at least 15 years. There are at least six corner shops I can visit within a certain radius - and none of them stock CEs. It's WHSmith or nothing.

Stephen Parry

Lew Stringer said...

My corner shop has Avengers Universe and no other CE or Titan comic. My newsagent told me that suppliers decide who gets what these days. Seems totally ridiculous to me to remove that power from the retailer and let the "middle man" make the decisions.

Robert Carnegie said...

Scooby Apocalypse is odd anyway - though I enjoyed it in the reprints, and it isn't the first time that the Scooby-Doo cast have explored real monsters and mature relationship themes - "Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated" demonstrated both. But this time it wasn't really the original characters either.

It was odder to offer it in Britain where customers don't expect a comic to be rated for teenage-and-up readership, which it discreetly was. I almost had to stop a man buying it for his little daughter once, but she wanted something else anyway. I think we do recognise a "Parental Advisory" logo, but that's for music.

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