Having produced four issues of my self-published comic The Red, White & Blue, plus one of The Trident storypaper, I thought it was high time I looked into selling them online. I’d also “recently” discovered that the character of Sexton Blake was not public domain, as originally thought, but was owned by IPC. I decided to contact them and ask for permission to use him in my own comics… and got turned down!*
Anyway, the upshot of this is that I will need to re-launch the Red, White & Blue and Trident with my own characters. I have some ideas that I’m currently putting together. One advantage of starting from scratch with my own character is that the continuity issues of 70-odd years of constant publication Sexton Blake had behind him no longer exist – so my own detective(s)** can have a cohesive background and the stories can all link together. This isn’t going to turn into a serial, though – the long text story in each issue will still be complete, just like it was in the Union Jack!
The covers of the old series…
Of course, I need to dispose of the old stock of printed comics, but I can’t sell them. Instead I’ll just chuck them in the recycling. Mind you, though, I wouldn’t want to overwhelm Cambridgeshire recycling with one huge lump of paper all in one go. So I’ll distribute the comics to people for free at some event, they can then take them back to all different ends of the country/world and dispose of them there. Of course I’m not sure which event I can dispose of them at yet.
Picture unrelated. It is especially unrelated to Saturday May 28th.
In order to dispose of the comics I’ve been putting them into “packs”. Most of the packs, for the people who get to me first, will contain issues 1-4 of the Red, White & Blue and issue 1 of The Trident. Then a few with issue 3 missing. Then a few with issue 3 and The Trident missing. Then many with just issues 1 & 2 and then finally a few issue 2’s on their own.
There’s no suitable comic events coming up before my planned emigration time that I can reasonably get to and/or get a table at. So whatever I distribute them at I’ll have to have them in a backpack and wear a T-shirt with “Free Comics!” written on it. Events such as the MCM Expo May 28th at the Excel Centre, London usually have “Free Hug” people, so it will just be an extension of that with something you can read on the bog.
As an aside I did take that box to work to see if anybody there wanted the lure of free Jingo. I think I only gave away 3 packs at most. Yep, I literally can’t give it away! …so when the re-launch comes (earmarked for August, hopefully issue 1 of the new Trident will be sooner) and the comics are available online, make sure you form an orderly line to pay £1.50 for something people didn’t want for free!
* – They also mentioned that a certain large US comic company owns “exclusive print rights” …which possibly explains the non-appearance of the next Snowbooks compliation. It’s also a worrying development as we’ll quite possibly see some full colour version of Sexton Blake fighting against the British government and Empire after uncovering unjust conspiracies. Doubtless set in 1895 but showing him being assisted by Tinker who didn’t appear until 1904 in the proper stories. Or at least that’s the worst-case scenario. Hopefully the big US comic company will just be content to sit on the character and not do anything with him – staying out of print is far better than the wringer they’d put him through in the interests of “updating”.
** – *devious grin*