• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

Buy Misty For Me

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
Now this one really is fascinating. It definitely does feel like something that had a lot of potential to find its own long-running niche, especially considering the potential LGBT fanbase intersection.

There's a very interesting potential effect on outside perspectives on the UK comic industry as well methinks. At present 2000AD, so far as I understand it, is basically sort of sitting there as the big UK success story outside of the Beano-Dandy-etc. 'kids' market continuum. A surviving and successful Misty strikes me as a situation where you get this sort of tripartite dichotomy going on in comic circles- 'Go to America for superheroes, go to Europe for literary storytelling, go to Britain for horror-dystopia'.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
There's a very interesting potential effect on outside perspectives on the UK comic industry as well methinks.
It'd certainly come up during discussions about getting girls to read comics - even before manga storms in, here'd be a prominent example of some of the same people behind 2000AD doing it, So Why Can't Marvel Pull It Off?
 
This series has been really interesting to read - I've really enjoyed it a lot and I feel like I have learned a lot about comics from it. It is a little sad that I don't really know a lot about British comics, but when I was growing up, it was DC Thompson and Sonic the Comic and then if you stayed with comics you either went for 2000 AD or in the direction of the Panini reprints of the Marvel books (I went the latter way and here I am now). There just didn't seem to be as much stuff that was as readily accessible, which I guess is a consistent theme you've driven at throughout this series and beyond. What do you think, having done all this research? Is it other stuff pushing the homegrown comics - whether for boys, girls or otherwise - off the stands at the newsagents or is was it the internal machinations within the British comics business?

As for Misty, you know, it really sounds like something that if it could only have chugged along a little bit longer, maybe it gets onto CBBC, or even more prestigiously, it gets a teatime series in the second half of the 2000s when the BBC is casting about to find something to go in the Doctor Who off-season (c.f. Merlin, Atlantis etc.) or ITV is trying to compete with it (c.f. Primeval), gets onto BBC America, that kind of thing. Who can say?
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
There's an idea - "the kids sure like Goosebumps/Are You Afraid Of The Dark and our rival's Are You Afraid Of The Dark/Goosebumps, what if we did a British one based on this horror comic with the sexy woman on it?"

There just didn't seem to be as much stuff that was as readily accessible, which I guess is a consistent theme you've driven at throughout this series and beyond. What do you think, having done all this research? Is it other stuff pushing the homegrown comics - whether for boys, girls or otherwise - off the stands at the newsagents or is was it the internal machinations within the British comics business?
The reason most of the homegrown stuff died is a perfect storm of:

a) Companies not really caring too much for too long - it was the cheap stuff for kids that made money, why pay more than you had to? (Marvel UK was the only dedicated comic company) This leads to bad working practices and a failure to notice the market had changed, and unlike American comics the British stuff didn't have a large direct market to sneak into

b) Creators being treated like crap. So why stay in British comics when books or TV or American/European comics were giving you a better deal?

c) Competition from American comics, which were getting easier and easier for British kids to get and in their 'uncut' form

d) Competition from non-comics. That undercut sales, which can be dealt with (it's not like books have died out despite TV, video games, and streaming) but then we're back to a) and b)

The reason so little old stuff was available goes back to a) - Egmont Fleetway and DC Thomson didn't care, except for a few exceptions like the old Classics From The Comics reprint monthly or the usual Dredd paperbacks. Sonic the Comic went on for years and no trades (except I think one of early strips) for readers who'd missed anything or lost their issues, and if that was the case for a huge seller then what chance does Janus Stark or Jinty or Jonah have? Titan Books did a few trades of other old stuff but they're just one company; Hibernia Press did a few titchy small reprints (the only chance you'll read Doomlord now!) but that's a small outfit.

It's only in the last four years that's changed, after Rebellion basically bought half of Fleetway's back catalogue (and bought the other half in the last year!). Now American comics used to be terrible with this too, especially Marvel, but consider that before 2016 you couldn't get a trade paperback of Misty at all, it's only this year you can get one of Trigan Empire despite it being a huge thing for a whole generation of comic folks. Even now, DC Thomson doesn't bother, you're not going to see a trade paperback of classic Bash Streets or Dennis the Menace or Beryl the Peril

EDIT: put it another way, Carlos Ezquerra died in 2017, not long after news came out that El Mestizo, one of his personal fave projects, would finally be collected the next year. Could you imagine if Jack Kirby or someone like that died in 2017 and one of their favourite strips, the one they kept talking about, a thing that kept coming up as having been a big deal in some way (one of the first black leads in a British comic) was not collected by then? But until Rebellion nabbed the rights, nobody cared or thought there was a market.
 
Last edited:
Of course, I could easily see a sort of bad time for a comic like that where it ends up snagging a predominantly male fanbase who decide the comic is "for" them. Has happened in the past with things originally aimed at (or even just originally popular with) a mostly female audience. I mentioned Gundam a while ago. That's one that wasn't necessarily targeted at women, but was more popular with women than with men at first, then the balance shifted the other way when the plastic model kits started coming out and all of a sudden the girls are getting pushed out.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Of course, I could easily see a sort of bad time for a comic like that where it ends up snagging a predominantly male fanbase who decide the comic is "for" them.
While not pushing any women out, there is an argument I've seen from IIRC Jenni Scott that Misty was one of the better-known girls' comics because it was the one boys in the day felt 'okay' admitting they read
 
Top