Tea Time Thursday: Marvel UK/Thought Bubble

Published on October 8th, 2009

Hey everyone. I hope you are all well, and I hope you’ve all had a somewhat less hectic past 2 weeks as I certainly have. Goodness me, firstly let me appologise for my incapability to put out a TTT last week, I was having a little bit of a hard time being swamped with University application nonsense, it believe me, it takes time if you’re someone like me who finds it hard to multitask.

Now, what on earth has happened to me reporting each week on the current Strontium Dog storyline in the 2000AD comics? Well good question, and let me propose my second appology here, although it’s not entierly my fault. It seems as though I’ve had to put the 2000AD stuff on hold for a while, as money has been a real issue with, after I quit my job recently, and I’ve been mostly catching up on spending the money I have for comics, on American comics such as current Marvel & DC publications. I personally blame comics such as the new Moon Knight series, and the current Blackest Night crossover for draining me of my cash. But if it’s possible, and I can get my hands on these copies of 2000AD that I’ve not been buying, then believe you me, I will do so when I can!

6721085e-3a7d-4662-8d49-effc863d8021Instead, today I would like to talk to you people who perhaps live outside the UK, about how the UK comics system works in regards to the mainstream publishers like Marvel. It might give you non-UK people out there a little insight, for if you even make that long and painful journey across the pond to visit our not so lovely country.

I’m sure most of you are aware of the ‘Marvel UK’ line of comics that were being published over here in the early 90’s before the mini-company ‘collapsed’ and sold out. Founded in 1972, it printed original works by famous UK creators such as Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison. It’s main objective was to reprint US Marvel comics to make them available in the UK.

In 1995, part of Marvel UK, was bought by an Italian group who now publish under the name ‘Panini Comics’, and it was this Panini Comics, which gave me my first insight into character such as Captain America & Thor. As Panini Comics set out at reprinting stories of the character we all love from Marvel. What I like about what Panini Comics do, is that they don’t reprint old stories from many years ago, no sir, theyre reprint run is very uptodate. At the moment they just finished publishing some of the more recent Captain America stories from this past year or two.

It’s a great way to get new people into comics such as Marvel. They are available in most newsagents and generally are around 72 pages long, containing about 2 normal issue’s worth of story. So you get your money’s worth. They are not available in the actual comic stores around here though, as they publish their comics weekly just as they will do in the motherland of comics, in the States.

Panini Comics are also responcible for the part publication of the popular ‘Doctor Who Magazine’, which funnely enough, my whole family are fans of.

As I mentioned, Panini Comics is a great publishing line and recently theyve attained more licencing from Marvel, and are now able to publish more and more, so they seem to be improving their line of books as time pushes on. I am a fan of this line of comics, as they are an incredible way to draw in new readers and as they are more widely available nationwide, more people will read them and check out the world of comic books. Comic books are certainly gaining in popularity at the moment in the UK, I see more and more people in my local comic store each month, checking out the Iron Man books, the Batman books and the various Superman related books available.

This pleases me and it’s great to see more and more people taking interest in my main passion!

Now, moving away from that little bit of information, I want to mention that the time is coming closer for my visit to the annual Leeds Thought Bubble Comic Convention this year in November. This will be my second year attending, and if anyone out there reading this is going to pop down (or up) for a visit to the show, then do shoot me an e-mail as I would love to once again meet up with fellow people at the con. I will most definatly be staying for the aftershow party in the bar, so once again I say let me know if youre attending, it would be nice to say “hi” to a few people.

Not too mention I will be setting up a few interviews with British creators whose books I have reviewed in my TTT’s, so stay tuned for that.

If you want to check out the Panini Comics website, head on over too www.paninicomics.co.uk, or head on over too the Leeds Thought Bubble website at www.thoughtbubblefestival.com. See you next week for the usual return to some British Comics!

Rob Andrews