A few words about the Comics Scene article about Toxic!

Comics Scene is a new magazine about the medium and history of comics.

Launched at last week’s Edinburgh Comic Con, the magazine is an oddity. An analogue product in the digital age, but for old and new fans of comics Comics Scene provides some fantastic articles on the history of comics. One of those articles is written by John McShane about Toxic!, the sadly aborted attempted to launch a serious competitor to 2000AD.

John is restricted by space, and in his second part John’ll be going into a wee bit more detail, but it’s a sort of parallel story to my blogs on the history of Neptune Distribution. In John’s article he speaks of of Geoff, Neptune’s MD, formed the crew that became Trident Comics, which at that time printed work from Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Michael Moorcock, Paul Grist and a number of established creators not to mention creators who would soon become established like Mark Millar.

One of the things Comics Scene provides a platform for it to put these seemingly small, but actually huge bits of comics history not just in context but giving it the spotlight they deserve. And this deserves it because to put it bluntly this period of time didn’t just change the UK comics scene to the extent where fresh talent poured into the industry like at no other time in my lifetime, but it changed how the direct market itself changed in the UK.

I won’t embellish what John writes about in this first issue too much (I’ll save that for when John’s articles are over as chatting with John has dug up some more stories of the time, as has a chat with Titan’s Mike Lake), because as said, there’s more to come but this different perspective is good because it shows the scale of what was going on at a time when comics were seemingly never going to stop growing. Sadly the speculator boom of the 90’s did that in as did too many publishers that promised much but produced work which was poor or was fantastic, but the publisher died before their time and this ultimately is the story of Toxic!. 

I’d recommend Comics Scene. Yes, it is a magazine but there’s something nice and tactile about picking something up in your hands and reading it that doesn’t come from a blog or vlog. So go search it out now and give it your support.


1 thought on “A few words about the Comics Scene article about Toxic!

  1. This is a slightly altered version of comments I made on comicsuk.

    I enjoyed some of the pieces, but really, I don’t want or need to read more about Tank Girl or Bisley, or 2000AD. Whereas John’s article on Neptune started well and should continue to prove informative. (As I was closely involved in retail at the time, I will be interested to read any comments on this in later issues.)
    The Prisoner piece was intriguing and I was so pleased to find a page devoted to Flintlock, an excellent wee comic with a highly entertaining title story. Perhaps a look at Westernoir in the very near future?
    The Dare article didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know, but perhaps it wasn’t written for the likes of me. My preference would have been to cover some of the other, nowadays, lesser known strips from Eagle, in particular a retrospective on PC49.
    As usual, I didn’t agree with some of what Mr. Mills wrote and, surprisingly for someone like me who adores foreign graphic novels, got a bit lost in M. Benoit’s piece
    As someone else noted, it was a bit difficult to make out some small parts of the writing when it was over colours or art.
    I will try subsequent issues but I would prefer to see some histories of Britain’s lesser known comic publishers, and bios of some of the great but nowadays neglected artists; Len Fullerton springs to mind, or Harry Banger.

    Comic Scene could prove successful, but will punters buy a physical version? And will the publishers be able to get a wide enough distribution? Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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