Tuesday, 8 December 2015


I've been informed that some prat with a face you'd never get
tired of punching is taking a little pop at me over on his blog devoted
to a comic that was never very good at its best.  His post completely
distorts my point of view (and motives), railing against his own straw
man interpretations of my opinion in an attempt to heap scorn on it,
and in doing so, merely reveals the feeble nature of his position.

Only his small circle of industry pals with whom he seeks to
curry favour and win approval will see any merit in his ingratiating
brown-nosing, as the facts are simply against him.  Can he name any
company producing comics today who turns them out in the numbers
that IPC and DCT once did?  Can he name any British comic that
has a circulation even approaching that of any comic of the '60s
and '70s?  No, of course he can't, because they don't exist.

Fewer children buy comics today than they once did, but he
conveniently overlooks this salient fact in his sad endeavour to
discredit me for merely expressing the plain and simple truth.  To
accuse me (or anybody) of trying to tear down what passes for (or
'poses as' would perhaps be a more accurate description) the cur-
rent comics 'industry' and destroy the jobs of those  trying to
earn a tenuous living from it is a ludicrous assertion.

My criticism of The DANDY, for instance, was intended to
identify what was wrong with the ailing periodical in the hope
that corrective action could be taken to save it.  My assessment of
the current state of what is laughably called the comics 'industry' is
voiced for the same reason.  Comic strips of course, survive on the
internet and in book form, but the format of a comic has its own
individual 'character' and 'charm' that cannot be replicated
on a computer screen, mobile, or iPad.

He can squeal as much as he likes of course, but pigs will
fly before his outrageous assertions and provocative distortions
will prove to have anything more than the most superficial resem-
blance to reality.  It's a shame he didn't address the actual issues,
instead of trying to settle scores on behalf of his few disgruntled
chums.  You never know 'though - maybe there's an oinkment
they could rub on their affected parts.  (Mutually in all proba-
bility, given their obvious 'admiration' for each other.)

Now that's what you call bringing home the bacon.  Next!


Oh, and don't worry, I ain't going soft.  I'll be going through
his post piece by piece and exposing it for the lies, distortions,
misrepresentations and fantasies that it is.  Coming soon, so
  don't dare miss Kid kick @ss!  


TC said...

Of course, the comic book and comic strip media are (to put it mildly) struggling. That's true in the US as well as the UK. Some people are almost irrational on the subject, and will become near-hysterical if you point it out.

A couple of years ago, I mentioned on a blog that today's best-selling comics are basically "big fish in a small pond," because the market is so small now. Another commenter (not the blog owner) accused me of trolling. (The topic of the post had to do with comic book sales, so I was not posting irrelevant comments. BTW, I still comment on that blog semi-regularly, but my accuser seems to have quit. Afaik, he was not banned; maybe he just lost interest.)

Why comics sales have dropped is a subject we could probably discuss for hours. But the fact remains that sales figures are a fraction of what they were in the Silver Age. And that is a fact, not an opinion.

Kid said...

So true, TC. I don't mind someone expressing an opinion about my point of view, but I just wish they'd address what I've actually said, not their distortion of what I've said. And how I can be described as a 'troll' for expressing my opinions on my own blog is beyond me. Of course, their defense will be that I 'wasn't actually named', but it's clear who they were aiming at.

Is there what can be called a comics industry in Britain today? Well, it's not what I'd call an industry - certainly not with a capital 'I'. If what exists can be called an 'industry' it's with a small 'i', and it's a declining one. However, to me it's more akin to a small craft fayre or car boot sale. But I've committed the unpardonable sin of expressing an opinion not in a accord with a few self-important individuals who seem determined to put me 'in my place'.

Quaking in my boots.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

I'm all for a bit of a debate and so on, it's the obtuse nature of it all that irks me...

Reading it, I gathered it was probable he was referring to you, likely he was also talking about Terry Hooper and Lee Turnock, and a SLIGHT possibility he was also talking about me. Leaves me wondering whether I should defend my corner or just ignore it, not get involved and carry on doing the stuff I enjoy waffling about, hmm...

Kid said...

The impertinence of his assumptions (to say nothing of his distortions) is almost staggering, THB. So anyone who criticizes the comics that he likes is trying to tear down the comics 'industry'? And it's because they're failed comickers with a grudge? Two of the people he mentions I've demonstrated to be liars before, so it shouldn't surprise me that he also has scant regard for the truth. They tend to band together, don't they? I'm not sure that he was including you 'though, because you're a fan and a supporter of 'small press' stuff.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I read his piece, one particular paragraph stood out, the one claiming a renaissance er--yeah! I've a some sympathy for his point about a certain kind of negative criticism being unwarranted in particular circumstances. I think though, it's not really acceptable to address critics nebulously in the way he did. Without direct citation or explicit references to individual instances, you can get away with claiming anything about those opposing your view, which is what he did. Oddly though, he further weakened his case by unravelling his own argument with some examples that clearly contradict him, that was a little bizarre.

I don't want come down on the guy too hard though because there a kernel of validity in his argument, there is unwarranted criticism directed at the modest degree of success within the industry. Thing is though, if that success, modest as is, is to fulfil any greater potential, then a sense of perspective is called for. Claiming that the British comic industry is thriving doesn't bode well for that prospect.

Kid said...

I suppose there's always at least a kernel of validity in every big lie, DSE, and the man is entitled to express his opinion on his own blog. However, when he makes huge assumptions or lies about the motives of those he's targeting, with no regard for the facts, then he ends up undermining his entire argument. It's likely that the reason he never explicitly named anyone ('though it's obvious to all who he's talking about) is so he can escape culpability by saying later that he didn't have any particular person in mind.

It seems that, nowadays, if anything hangs on for long enough in the face of declining sales (which is the overall trend, despite some blips upwards from time to time), it's hailed as a success. Some are easily pleased it seems.

Mr Straightman said...

A fairly positive thing to come out of the punk 'DIY' ethos was the fanzine. People discovered that they could write down any old guff eulogizing their band of choice, get it printed up anywhere photocopiers could be found, and sell it to like-minded people down the pub or across the counter at their local record shop. Very few people, however, took up the challenge and put together a decent-looking publication that could compete with the mainstream music press on its own terms. Not only was that prohibitively expensive, it was also uncool. Sticking it to the man with barely readable, poorly photocopied, badly-designed fanzines was where it was at, dude! This was all very well until the ethos of the messy 'zines began to bleed over into the 'real world' of the legitimate press, most notably into the world of children's comics.
The effect Oink! had on the children's comics industry was twofold. Firstly, it meant a more open acceptance that kids find jokes about bodily functions and naughty bits hilarious - as any fool could have told you, hence the runaway playground success of the Young ones and the Kenny Everett Television Show. Secondly, it meant a pretty drastic decline in the standard of published artwork. Oink! had some very good work within its pages - Tom Paterson was a contributor, as was J.T.Dogg who drew the beautifully-presented Streethogs - but much of the work in Oink! was scrawly, patchy and downright ugly. Most of the cartoonists responsible for this stuff simply weren't cut out to work in the comics. Their background was in pocket cartoons and illustration - and, in the case of Marc Riley, punk rock. The days of Ron Spencer, Ken Harrison, Dudley D.Watkins, Trevor Metcalfe, Dave Sutherland and virtually any other artist of the 'old school' - i.e. those who wanted to create a comic page that was a work of art in its own right - were suddenly numbered as the contents of Oink! handily lowered the bar for the standards of published comics everywhere.
I admit, I bought Oink! myself for quite a while, but most people I knew bailed out after only the first few issues, largely because some foot-stamping from the moral majority caused the editors to drastically tone the content down and it all got a bit childish for its own good. Plus, there's a definite sense about those later issues that they were written AT kids rather than FOR them. The main men behind Oink! - namely Patrick Gallagher, Tony Husband and Mark Rodgers - took great pride in taking the p*ss out of the Beano and the Dandy because 'they've been running the same strips for years', without ever stopping to consider the reasons why. The Bash Street Kids, Little Plum, Minnie the Minx, Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan and so on ran and ran because readers liked them. Every strip was likely to be a well-plotted, well-scripted affair with top-quality artwork and enough gentle anarchy (if that's not a contradiction in terms) to tickle the average schoolkid. Whereas Oink! strips were, literally and metaphorically, all over the place. From issue to issue, Oink!'s strips were wildly variable in their content and execution, often taking the form of an illustrated prose poem, or an exercise in surrealism, or a single-frame throwaway gag. Kids respond most strongly to simple stories told well and good, interesting narratives, not a load of pretentious 'experimental' bumph that only makes sense to the people who wrote and drew it.

Kid said...

I bought Oink! as well - may even have bought (and may even still have) every issue. But that was my collector's mentality, as I don't think I read it beyond the first few issues. I can't really say anything better than you've already said. Funny how, at one time, fanzines' obvious aspiration (even 'though they usually failed) was to look like professional comics or mags. whereas, as you alluded to, professional comics and mags now seem to aspire to looking like fanzines. A bit like The Dandy in its last couple of years in fact. (I had to get that kick in there somewhere.)

Mr Straightman said...

Oh you are naughty. As opposed to 'a wretched scabby vulture' in the words of a certain choob who shall remain anonymous.

Kid said...

Yes, I'm a rascal and no mistake.

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