After doing six parts of this series of blogs which summarise a large part of my time in comics, not to mention some major parts of comics history from the history of Glasgow’s shops in the 80’s, to the growth of the direct market and British distribution, the messy battle between AKA Books and Comics and Forbidden Planet in Glasgow, a bit of background on FP, the battle between Neptune and Titan and last time, the opening of FP in Bristol you have to ask me as a reader ‘well, that was some nice stories, and I didn’t know most of it but what are you on about?”
Well, it’s fairly easy. These are stories which people don’t know, or maybe only know bits and bobs of it or looked in from afar. It’s a heady cocktail of stories that were sad, fun, interesting, boring or whatever, but throwing these stories out were to make a point:
That they’re gone. They ain’t coming back and like all good things that promised so much and were amazing at the time they’ve been replaced by more dreary and mundane things. It’s a final flight to remind me, and you of what is done and past, or if you didn’t know, at least inform you of a bit more of what happened at a time when the comics industry in the UK was completely transformed from a ramshackle bunch of shops owned by hippies, amateurs and crooks to big business, and the loss of variety and creativity.
This isn’t to say there’s good shops, not to mention people involved in comics in the UK today. There’s bloody loads of them. However I’ve had the feeling for decades that if AKA hadn’t had FP open up you’d see more new talent coming out of Glasgow, or if Comics and CD’s hadn’t sold up I’d be sitting behind a till just up the road from where I live now, or if Neptune hadn’t collapsed spectacularly I’d still be there, or Trident Comics would still be going, and on and on and on.
You get the picture. There’s a vanload of regret here, not to mention sadness that so much opportunity was missed, or wasted even if for much of time I was involved in these things it was fantastic, shiny and wonderful. I shouldn’t really regret these times as they were great, but it’s those missed opportunities for the future, now my past, that I do but if I had a superpower it’d be the power of hindsight.
So these times go flying off into the past, and that’s the point not just of my little bitter sweet memories of those times, but probably much of what I’ll end up blogging about generally. It’s going to be like the final flight of Concorde…
Next time: something bridging my love of comics and Glastonbury Festival….