Tuesday, 29 April 2014


Look at the ad on the last page on this post - the 'FANTASTIC
EXPLOSION!'  It was a lie of course.  Two comics becoming one is
only an implosion, but publishers ODHAMS PRESS could hardly
admit the truth - can you imagine?  "Sad news inside, chums!  Due to not
enough people buying TERRIFIC, we have no option but to cancel the
title and move some of the strips over to its sister publication, which is
also ailing.  By combining the two readerships, we may be able to
limp along for a little while yet!"  Nah, doesn't have quite the
same ring, does it?

So these events were always promoted as something to get ex-
cited about - something that readers 'demanded'.  That's why you
can regard just about any claim from any publisher as complete and
utter p*sh, because they always try to put a positive spin on things!  They
seldom, if ever, tell you the truth.  A comic being cancelled after 75 years is
promoted as a bold new chapter in its history rather than a sad event.  Any
whim of the editor is hailed as a response to what the readers wanted.  When
The DANDY changed to fortnightly publication back in 2004, the excuse
given was that research had shown that kids no longer had time in their
busy lives for a weekly comic, hence the change to every two weeks.
Meanwhile, better-selling sister publication The BEANO proved
the lie of that claim - week after week after week. 

Anyway, enjoy the wrap-up of JF's current adventure - and be
sure to return for the final Fantastic weekly episode - a seven page
single story - on this, the very best blog of its kind (according to
my pal Bob, and he wouldn't lie - I think) in the history of everything!
(H'mm, maybe I should 'big' myself up a bit.  Whaddya think?)


John Pitt said...

I always HATED that "Great News, Readers!" announcement whenever I saw it! Even though it meant less pocket money to pull out, it dealt like the kiss of death for a comic and for me, it was always a miserable experience. It was the same as an adult , whenever I saw it, it was always a downer.

Kid said...

H'mm, I wonder if that's why they tried to present it as something to be happy about - because they knew kids would be sad about losing their favourite comic? I'm probably being too charitable, JP - it would doubtless have been for more commercial reasons.

Anonymous said...

I remember the inside back-page of Planet of the Apes No.87 which said something like "spine tingling news in next week's issue" alongside some pictures of the apes and Dracula which told me with sinking heart what was coming - I hated that merged comic and the way the mighty arching apes masthead was all squashed up to make way for the Dracula Lives masthead but as a POTA fan I kept on buying it until about five issues before the end when I finally gave up on it. My favourite bit of comics spin though was in Captain Britain No.23 when they announced that next week there'd be a new GLOSSY COVER but totally failed to mention that all the colour pages were being dropped !!

John Pitt said...

Just like Col, I started buying Marvel UK with POTA, but I also liked Drac as well, so that announcement was just like Terrific joins Fantastic all over again! But even worse was to come! - when POTA joined TMWOM is was just like Fantastic joins Smash all over again!! I knew the end was nigh for my beloved Apes. And I so much wanted the TV series to be drawn and even the Return To... Cartoon series.
When I first saw Chewie in Star Wars THAT gave me something to look forward to, but the new SW weekly didn't really do it for me.I had to wait until DWW until my spark of enthusiasm returned. Thank GOODNESS the only "good news, readers!" we ever read there were the smooth transitions from weekly to monthly to the magazine it still is today!

Kid said...

DWM - one of British Marvel's (and now Panini's) longer-lasting success stories, JP. (I have to say that I think I preferred the weekly 'though - it was more comic-strip orientated.)

John Pitt said...

In hindsight, I suppose I do too. I remember once walking absolute miles to get one ish. #26 had been an Easter issue and, as such, had come in the shops early and had completely sold out everywhere on the town. So I caught the bus to the next town and started touring all the shops on that town, only to find a similar story. Downhearted and very weary I reached the very last newsagents on the outskirts of the next town - to discover they still had ONE copy left. Well I bet you can imagine how I felt? Now THERE'S true fanaticism for you!!
So whenever you see that yellow cover - think of my poor aching legs!

Kid said...

I hope to get around to doing a cover gallery of DWW in the not too distant future, JP. I often walked for miles trying to hunt down comics, so I know just how you feel. I don't think I'd have the energy or the stamina to do it nowadays.

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