- Comics International
Comics International Editor-in-chief Dez Skinn (1990–2006)
Mike Conroy (2006–2010)
Categories Comic books news/criticism Frequency Monthly Publisher Quality Communications (1990–2006)
Cosmic Publications Ltd. (2006-2010)
First issue 1990 Country United Kingdom Language English
Comics International was a British news and reviews magazine about comic books. Founded in 1990, it was published monthly by Quality Communications until 2006. At the time of its demise in 2010, it was published by Cosmic Publications Ltd.
Described in Time Out as the NME of comics, Comics International provided up-to-date news and reviews of comics from around the world. There was a particular focus upon British comics, and British comic creators, with the magazine also featuring details of British retail shops and conventions, or events related to comics. Comics International became quite popular, often outselling the very comics it covered. Being so comprehensive in content, Comics International was carried by many leading UK reference libraries.
Originally printed in black-and-white on newsprint, the magazine later featured full-colour glossy covers, as well as colour pages internally.
The magazine included up-to-date reviews, as well as having a lively letters page. There was also a question-and-answers section for readers questions to be answered by comics experts.
The magazine was published and edited by Quality Communications owner Dez Skinn for its first two hundred issues, from 1990–2006. (Skinn's "Sez Dez" column appeared in each issue during this time.)
Following Skinn stepping down, with the publication of issue #201, the magazine's ex-news editor Mike Conroy became the editor. (Conroy had taken over the main news section of the magazine in 1997 from Phil Hall.) Conroy announced a new direction for the magazine under his editorship:
“ My vision can be distilled down to a news-driven blend of Amazing Heroes and Starlog's Comics Scene presented with CI’s traditional level playing field approach and straightforward reportage. I’d like to think that we can capture the middle ground between Wizard’s irreverent hyperbole, The Comics Journal’s serious, intellectual approach and whatever it is Comic Buyer's Guide has to offer. ”
After the editorial changeover, however, the magazine's frequency became increasingly sporadic, casting doubt on its long-term future under the new editorial team. In May 2010, Cosmic Publications was dissolved, thus confirming that Comics International had ended, after publishing only eight regular issues (and a few specials) under its new regime.
In addition to Dez Skinn's own editorial column, Comics International's main features included:
- "Talking Shop", a column about British comics retailing by Stephen Holland, owner of Page 45.
- "Its Only a Comic", a humorous column from the creator's side by Tony Lee.
- "Novel Graphics", written by Paul Gravett, dealt with graphic novels; this column originally started appearing in the comics magazine Borderline.
- "Networks", compiled by Tim Pilcher, deals with Internet comics gossip. Pilcher went on to become associate editor on the magazine.
- "Illuminations", written by Martin Averre, deals with upcoming news of future comic releases.
- "Movers & Shakers", which was the comics industry's first ever gossip and marketing column and was voted the most popular column in the magazine in a poll conducted in 1997. The column was created by former Comics International news and features editor Phil Hall.
- "Hotshots" - a top ten picks column, written by Phil Hall originally, and later by Martin Averre.
- "Frame to Frame", a look at the comics industry in film by Mike Conroy
- The World of Jack Staff (a serialised comic strip), written and drawn by Paul Grist,.
- Comic Cuts, by Mike Kazybrid, a three-panel gag strip
- Outside the Frame, by John Freeman/Nick Miller, a three-panel gag strip
In addition, there was a lengthy review section by a regular team of over twenty reviewers, a festivals calendar, and listings of U.K. comics specialty stores, mail-order companies, and the following month's U.K. & U.S. releases.
- ^ a b c Johnson, Rich. "Comics International Closes Shop," Bleeding Cool (May 27, 2010).
- ^ Voulieris, John. "All the Rage: A Little Rage Under The Tree," Silver Bullet Comics (Dec. 17, 2006).
- ^ "‘Under new management’ – FPI speaks to Mike Conroy, new editor of Comics International," Forbidden Planet International (Feb. 27, 2007).
- ^ Freeman, John. "Comics International publisher company dissolved," DownTheTubes (May 21, 2010).
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