Sunday, March 2, 2014

Megazine Turns Epic

After just eight issues the Dennis the Menace and Gnasher Megazine has gone through a name change, perhaps suggesting sales aren't as high as anticipated. As of issue nine the comic will now go by the name of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher's Epic Magazine - an even longer title than before!

The cover of issue nine can be seen in the blurry picture above, and to be honest it's very disappointing, with everything just looking like a horrible mess, as though somebody accidentally dropped all the issue's images onto the front cover, and just decided to leave them there.

I have no idea what changes, if any, the new name will bring to the comic. The price tag is still the same of £3.99 a month.


1000MB said...

Its like Dandy Xtreme all over again.

Kid said...

At only around 20,000 or so copies sold per issue, DCT must be very disappointed at the comic's performance. No doubt being padded out with third-rate Dandy strips hasn't helped matters.

Kid said...

George, I don't think it's a good idea to let the offensive insult stand, lest it establishes a precedent. Perhaps it would be better to remove it - along with my response to it.

Then Anon can simply repost the first part of his comment - without the insult.

Bear said...

Kid, have you looked at the ABC figures for the regional press over the past 6 months? They were released thus week. Scores of them have recorded double digit percentage declines. We're not talking 10% either - some are much, much higher. In the 20 years I've been in Reading I've seen one title go from 30,000 sales to just under 6,000.

It might not seem related to the Dandy,but there is a huge shift going on from printed media to digital and it's accelerating.

That the Magazine is just a couple of thousand down on Beano Max and coming in the midst of a recession means that, all thongs considered, it's not a disaster.

I do take great issue with your stance on the Dandy artists. But that's for another post, another day.

The heart of the matter is not art - heck, look at the sales figures for the tat gift TV tie in 'comics' - but market trends for traditional media.

George Shiers said...

Comment and replies removed - please try to stay on topic.

Kid said...

Bear, as I've said many times before, no one denies that the general trend in magazine sales is downward and has been for years. (Although there were a couple of exceptions in the ABC figures, where a couple of magazines were up.)

However, without turning this into a discussion about The Dandy, it isn't wise to apply general trends over a period of years which have been happening to all periodicals, to The Dandy's specific, unique situation, which happened in a few short months after its relaunch, and affected only it. This desperate attempt to divorce what happened to The Dandy from the conditions peculiar to itself seems to spring only from those who seek to deny that the relaunch was a mistake.

Anyway, back to the Dennis mag. It's star has (or had; I don't know if it's still on) his own TV show, but sales don't seem to reflect that. Obviously DCT didn't consider what Beano-Max was selling to be good enough, otherwise they wouldn't have replaced it, so the fact that said replacement is selling less than the mag it ousted is not a good situation.

And I still maintain that, amongst all those other factors that some people are so fond of bleating on about in an attempt to deny the obvious, customer dissatisfaction with a product is bound to be one of them.

I bought the first issue of Dennis's mag, but decided not to buy any more. Why? Too dear, unwanted plastic tat attached, as well as too much filler material composed of reprints. And before somebody pops up to say that I'm not the target audience - yes, I am. I want to buy comics, I'm willing to buy comics, and there's never been a time since I was 5 or 6 when I haven't bought comics. Anybody with money to spend on comics who wants to buy them should be considered amongst the target audience.

In the past, even when the stories weren't that great, I could always buy them to admire the art. More and more, there seems to be less impressive art in many modern periodicals to inspire such admiration.

And yes, there is a shift from printed media to digital - The Dandy failed at that, too.

Bear said...

Hi Kid, you've obviously not seen this week's newspaper ABC figures. These double digit sales falls aren't over years but in the last 6 months. It is an unprecedented decline.
Reasons could include price rises, redesigns and syndicated material, but digital will be part of the reason.

Beano Max and Dennis Mega have never appealed to me because they're comic/mag hybrids. Not my cup of tea. But I'm 38, not 10.

There are lots of reasons for Mefazine sales being lower than hoped for, but I suspect it comes down to same reason as The Dandy: a complete lack of new stand presence.
If my memory serves, sales have shifted from newsagents to supermarkets. And how many supermarkets stock The Beano, the Dandy and the Magazine?
My high street Sainsburys stocks the cheap tat TV tie-ins but little DC Thomson stuff - certainly no Beano or Megazine. I don't think I've ever seen their wrestling title on sale anywhere.

That is gonna hit sales hard.

DoctorDeath said...

Whilst the subject of Sainsburys has come up...

Yesterday, as I left the store, I deliberately looked at the comic section to see if I could spot the Beano amongst the 'tie-in tat'. Much to my surpeise and delight, it was at the front, at what I'd call ten-year old eye level, or thereabouts.

Someone in in my local Sainsburys has a good sense of what matters, it seems; then again, maybe it's ended up there by pure coincidence...

Kid said...

Bear, I don't see how the first paragraph in your above comment is at odds with anything I've said. Of course digital is one of the reasons for the decline in sales of some periodicals - where did I say different?

As for Sainsbury's, are you actually looking for DCT mags when you're in, or just not seeing them? Every Sainsbury's I've ever been to sells The Beano and Dennis mag - and they're placed quite prominently too.

Lew Stringer said...

Distribution seems to differ from town to town. My Sainsburys doesn't sell The Beano. Asda does, but their shelving is small and crowded and you have to dig into the back to find it. (So unless you were already aware of the comic you wouldn't notice it. Bang go new readers.) My Smiths stocks it, but displayed higher than a child could see it.

Anonymous said...

And as we all know, children suffer from a congenital defect which prevents them from looking in an upward direction. They're also curiously uninquisitive, meaning that they never search through what's on offer to find something which interests them. It's obviously mishchievous pixies who throw these comic shelves into disarray. Naughty pixies.

Anonymous said...

Look, they're at it again. They added an extra h to mischievous in my previous comment.

Anonymous said...

Put the stock where the target audience can reach it.

It's bad management not to.

Kid said...

My local shops always put comics where the target audience can reach them - in the kids comics section.

Bear said...

kid, the point on the sales figures is that staple local newspapers have gone, in just the last 6 months, from a must buy to a don't buy for thousands of people. One paper managed to see both sales and digital go down. That takes some doing!
Even the Sunday Post has seen sales slide over the past decade. It is not confined to comics.

Is there a way to post pics of comic displays in shops on here? George could we send them to you for a blog post?
Our two town centre Saintsbury's, a Morrison's local, numerous Tesco Expresses and multiple corner shops stock the tie-in tat comics but no Beanos etc. That's a lot of retail to miss out on.
I even have to get my Sunday Post on special order, but then I am a Southerner!

Lew Stringer said...

Bear, here's a pic I took of the shelves in my local Smiths a few years ago. It was like that until a couple of months ago, and not much better now:

Kid said...

Bear, no one's disputing that sales have gone down on newspapers as well as comics. However, sales can go down for specific reasons which apply in an individual way, as well as general ones which have a wider application - so what applies in one case may not necessarily apply in another (but, of course, then again may - in some instances).

And how do you know your local supermarkets haven't sold out of The Beano when you're in doing your shopping? Have you asked? If they don't stock it, maybe it's because it didn't sell when they did. Horses for courses.

Bear said...

Thanks for your snap Lew (can't believe I'm talking to one of my childhood heroes!)
The Reading Smiths has a side aisle for tie-in tat comics, all at small person height. Go round the corner and you've got an end aisle where, at 5ft up, the Beano sits, unnoticed and unloved. Will take some snaps next time I'm in.

Kid's point about supermarkets selling out - if you look behind the magazine's you'll see an instruction ticket - Octonauts here, Now there etc. In my town centre stores, there is no sign for The Beano, nor was there for the Dandy. And at the end of its life, trying to buy the Dandy from anywhere was difficult - the few copies in my Smiths sold quickly.

But Kid, don't ignore the ABCs for regional newspapers: something seismic is happening to print RIGHT NOW in a general way.

At my heart, I disagree with you about the artists on the final incarnation of The Dandy. IMHO, the damage was done the second the Extreme relaunch was announced. At the time editor Craig told BBC News something that I think is really important to the debate:
"Following extensive research, we discovered The Dandy readers were struggling to schedule a weekly comic into their hectic lives. They just didn't have enough time.
"They're too busy gaming, surfing the net or watching TV, movies and DVDs. They still enjoyed The Dandy, but if they were going to buy it themselves they expected more than just 'a comic my dad used to read' ."

(Both) Beano (and Dandy) are now unique in the marketplace.
(There is the Phoenix, but it's mail order).
Proper comics ceased to exist a long time ago and we're fortunate that DCT keep ploughing resources into The Beano to keep it going for a new generation. But unless you can get the new generation behind the comic it too will fail.

It's a real shame that there's no cheap reprint comic range as there's strength in numbers. AT the moment the Beano is a sore thumb that doesn't really get the chance to stick out.

Kid said...

Good grief! How many times? No one is ignoring the ABCs. However, general trends don't necessarily always explain specific instances. How else do you account for Toxic and Doctor Who Magazine (I think) increasing their sales?

I seriously doubt The Beano being 5 feet up is much of a problem. Kids, as someone has already pointed out, are quite capable of scouring the comic shelves to see what's there.

As for the editor's rationalisation about Dandy Xtreme - mere publisher's BS. Kids were buying The Beano on a weekly basis without a problem, so his 'explanation' clearly doesn't bear scrutiny. I'll agree 'though, that Xtreme was extremely bad, but it still sold more than the 2010 version.

Kid said...

Incidentally, I've just spoken to Sainsbury's in Broad Street, Reading - they do stock The Beano. Customer services just checked the shelves for me. The one in Friar Street doesn't, for reasons of space they say. Might pay to put some pressure on them.