Wednesday, 20 May 2009

And now some sad news...

Well, as some of you are now probably aware (Yesterday's August solicits finally confirmed it) Captain Britain & MI13 will be coming to an end with #15 in July. A very sad event I'm sure you'll agree. Unfortunately, while the book has fought hard to establish a very dedicated fan base it hasn't raised the sales which Marvel required to keep the book alive. But luckily, writer Paul Cornell has planned for this, and explains how the book will be drawn to a natural conclusion through the next two issues and the annual, over at his Blog:

Goodbye Captain Britain

It's a greatly sad turn of events. But I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul, Leonard Kirk and editor Nick Lowe, for what has been a greatly enjoyable book for the past year and a bit. It really did, in terms of quality, play at the same level as Marvel's bigger titles. The attention to detail, and way in which it weaved both into the Secret Invasion event and more recently Dark Reign, was at times arguably better than those main events. And while it is sad to see the cast once more slide into limbo I feel sure that this run will be remembered, for quite some time to come, as the way in which a British Marvel story SHOULD be told - and told well.

And I am sure that plenty more of you reading this will also feeling this way.

The announcement yesterday, I'm sure it won't surprise you, triggered a lot of responses from some very saddened and angry people on Twitter ) Here and across the Internet, at everywhere from
Comic Book Resources, iFanboy, Comixfan, Newsarama, to Millarworld Here and Here. Heck, at Millarworld they have even opened a Draw Off thread as a tribute to the series: Here.

A lot of people loved this book. Two months ago, due in part to fans actually spreading word of how good the book was (In spite of how little it was advertised) sales began to rise. But last month that fell by 3,000 readers. How, one might ask? I know that several of you mailed me to tell me that you'd struggled to get hold of a copy. It seems that after those false cancellation rumours in the winter a fair number of Comic Book stores lowered their orders. Despite the previous month's rise it would seem that in some case there just wasn't enough copies last month to meet demand - which may have been part of the problem.

I understand that some of you might want to murder Marvel right now ( ;D ). When you look at the sheer number of Marvel Universe titles they have cancelled or not chosen to take beyond a test mini-series in the last 3-4 years you do have to wonder how there's an actual Universe left sometimes. But I'm not a fan of sitting around feeling angry. It's a bit of a waste of time.

Take that anger and try to turn it into something more positive. If you love this book, let Marvel know. You can try emailing them, Twittering them or posting on their forum. But at the end of the day the best way you can voice your disappointment at the book's cancellation is to grab yourself a sheet of paper, and an envelope, and write Marvel a letter. That may seem old-fashioned to some, but using snail mail and writing either by hand or type shows that you're not just spamming their mailbox - your making an effort to voice your opinion.

You could send your letter to the The Editor, or The Publisher, c/o Marvel Comics, 417 5th Avenue, New York City, New York, U.S.A. .

I'm not saying that it will guarantee that Marvel will reconsider, but it will certainly help to make it clear that the book has a fanbase, and that it is vocal enough to tell them they are disappointed. How they then react is up to them. But it's certainly far better than sitting and brooding now, isn't it?

And don't forget to continue spreading the word about the book in trade. Pick up the
first trade, and preorder the second and third. Improving sales of those can only go to help, and you'll have a complete run in three pleasing volumes.

It would also be criminal if a book like this were not acknowledged in this year's Eagle Awards. For those US readers the Eagles are British Comics big fan-voted awards (They take their name from the now sadly defunct Eagle Magazine, which used to house characters like Dan Dare). Nominations for this year's awards are open until Friday (22nd May) and I would urge you all to offer some nominations:

Captain Britain and MI13 was very much a group effort between Paul Cornell, artist Leonard Kirk and editor Nick Lowe. Paul and Leonard both deserve nominations for their work, but if ever an editor deserved acknowledgement, for such hands on involvement with a title, Nick Lowe is that man.

I'd urge you all to nominate wisely, and get those votes in SOON.

I'm going to sign off now. Great apologies for the lack of recent blogging. I just haven't had the time to post, recently. When I do there will be fair bit of content to put up. So keep them peeled.

I'll speak to you all soon.


1 comment:

  1. Great post and a very good point about the value of "snail mail". Cheers.