Thursday, 15 October 2015

THUNDERBIRDS ARE HERE...


Images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

Picked up this new comic in my local WHS today.  Only got
two feet out the door before I was rugby-tackled by security, but
I managed to kick the schecht out of her.  Only kidding of course.
So, what has the new THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO monthly
mag published by D.C. THOMSON got going for it?

It's a neatly presented 36 page mag, 12 of which are in comic
strip format utilizing what looks like screen grabs from the TV
show.  A bit too much padding with pin-ups, puzzle, info & activity
pages for my tastes, but it is a 'magazine' rather than an outright
'comic' and fits the format that most kids are used to nowadays.
(Must say I don't much like the 'dutch tilt' speech balloons in
some panels - they don't quite work in my view.)

At £3.99, the price seems a bit steep, even allowing for the
Thunderbirds-related toy which accompanies every issue, as the
toy is declared as 'free' on the cover.  £3.99 for a mag and a toy
is not bad, especially as the toy appears to be of good quality,
but as it's supposed to be free, then the mag is overpriced.

This isn't really aimed at older children of my age, but it'd
make a nice treat for your kids, or nieces and nephews, and you
could always play with the toy when they're reading the magazine.
The last licensed title I recall DCT doing was 'BUCKY O'HARE',
so I suppose they deserve a pat on the back for having another go,
and trying to rekindle the embers of what was once a mighty
comics publishing industry in this country in days gone by.

I'll buy the first few issues until I've got all the craft, but
whether I purchase any more depends on the toy.  When you
think about it, that's rather a poor reflection on any publication -
and is a sad indictment on what's wrong with children's periodicals
today.  Kids are buying comics not for the comics themselves, but
for the items that accompany them.  Whether or not my assess-
ment of the mag will be shared by the target audience remains
to be seen, but let's hope it's not a case of 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 -
Thunderbirds are gone!




And look at this great little TB1 model - over 3 and a half inches long.

11 comments:

Phil said...

Hmmm! If they do issues 2 and 3 with TB 2 and 3 that would be neat. Well at least it's a "comic book" even though the art isn't drawn. It's pictures with words. I'll be interested to see if it makes it over to the US since the new show isn't on tv here- and why isn't it! It's a well known property.

Kid said...

Well, it's a magazine with some comic strip content, but it's not quite my idea of a 'comic book', Phil. TB2 is the toy that comes with #2, so I'll definitely be buying that. The show is bound to turn up on U.S. TV at some stage, I would think.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I caught the pilot episode a little while ago, not too great really, it was kinda oddly paced and the script was a succession of exclamations played out over, what seemed, a contiguous incidental soundtrack. It was all a bit of a mess, much like the cover of that comic, very busy and lots of colour, not a great deal happening. They might consider looking at some examples of Frank Bellamy's work, to learn how to effectively convey drama on a page, nice toy though.

Paul McScotty- Muir said...

I wasn't aware there was a revamped Thuderbirds show on kids TV here I'll need to have a look. I wonder if that is screen grabs from the TV show or new PC generated art - looks nice to be fair but for me its not as fluid as a traditionally drawn comic strip (the word balloons are awful) - still kids (and fans) will like it especially the free toy. I saw this in Glasgow yesterday it is a very nice freebie and I may pick it up for the green Thunderbird (2?) Compared to the amazing "Countdown" issue you showed just below this I'm afraid it fails by comparison in so many ways, but it is different times etc and a nice package for the TV show fans (are there no drawn strips at all in it?) I wasn't aware the DCT did a Bucky O'Hare comic I liked Michael Golden's art might look out for the odd back issue on that,

Kid said...

Changing Brains ethnicity was the programme's biggest sin for me, DSE. At a stroke, he was no longer the person everyone remembered after 50 years of history. As for the 'comic', I prefer the one from the early '90s. The toy is the best thing about the new mag, but it's a bit of a cheek to call it 'free'.

******

It looks like screen grabs, McScotty, but I'm not 100% sure to be honest, as I've only ever seen the first episode on TV. There's a page of three little mini-strips which are hand-drawn, and one or two illustrated pages. (They may have been touched up on computer 'though.) I find myself uninterested in the mag to be frank, the toy is the main attraction for me.

DeadSpiderEye said...

They have to call it a free gift, because of new VAT guidance over zero rating periodicals. As for Brains and his new background, it's inconsequential to me really, mostly because I'm probably not gonna watch the rest of it but also, the alterations to his character are pretty trivial in comparison to other changes.Tin Tin for instance, now Kayo, what the hell happened to her? She used to be such a chick, now she's one of those babe warriors that don't exist in reality, have yous seen what a female boxer looks like, Milla Jovovich they are not.

Kid said...

If the price of the mag includes the toy, then it's false advertising to call it 'free', DSE. If the price doesn't include the toy, then DCT are being awfully greedy in charging £4 for a 36 page mag. I don't see why they couldn't leave the 'free' part out of the equation and just let the VAT man assume that it's free. As for Brains, he's an icon, and to change him in some sort of PC exercise is taking things too far, in my estimation. If they wanted an Indian character, they should have introduced a new one, not changed an old one.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Brains: perhaps he just tans well, he's about the same colour I go if I've been out in the sun. I suppose you could make a complaint to trading standards over the cover price, I haven't a clue how that would play out but the VAT man is not someone you wanna monkey with, so promotional items have to be provided without adjustment to the cover price. Of course this still means that the cost of providing them has to be recovered, or a publisher will go out of business pretty sharpish. So, one of two marketing scenarios should play out, either the entire run of the comic/magazine will be published with a, free gift or the same price will be asked for the an issue without the gift. If a price reduction should surface without the toy, it either means that they're charging VAT on the toy, which could explain the price, or they're gonna be in trouble with the VAT man, in either instance I think it would enhance your case with trading standards.

Colin Jones said...

Every November I buy BBC Wildlife magazine for the free calendar - of course it is free if you buy the mag (which costs £5) every month but I only buy it once a year for the calendar so it's not really free for me as I have to buy the magazine to get the calendar. I suppose I'm buying the calendar and the magazine comes extra.

Phil said...

On this we agree! Don't change races for existing characters it annoys older fans and its pandering. Introduce new characters. Why not just modernize Tintin? who is Kayo? I suspect the Hergé people objected.

Kid said...

If I remember correctly, DSE, DCT used to increase the price of The Beano and The Dandy whenever they had a bagged toy, so that was obviously to cover the cost of it - even 'though they advertised it as a 'free gift'. I think they eventually stopped describing it as such, but they'd damaged they're credibility by then. As the new Thunderbirds comic will have a toy every ish, I think there's a chance that the £3.99 includes the cost of the toy. If so, I don't mind - but, if that's the case, I DO mind them describing it as free.

******

Nah, it's still free, CJ - it's the mag that cost a fiver. But I see your point - you have to spend a fiver in order to get the free gift.

******

I'm not sure if Tintin (or however her name is spelt) is still in it, Phil, but if so, then I doubt that Herge's estate could object. There's no way to confuse the two characters in their own context. However, if Tintin were ever to receive her own comic (unlikely as it is), then the Herge estate would have a case to object, I think.

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