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Old 2015-05-25, 11:14 AM   #1
Ryan F
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Default Ye Olde Marvel UK Questions...

Can any of you knowledgeable people help me with the following, please?

1) Was Euan Peters the final TFUK editor, or did someone take over from him? If so, who was it, and whenabouts roughly was the changeover?

2) I am really sucky when it comes to identifying artists (except for Dan Reed, who was really distinctive, even for an idiot like me). Who was the artist on the Megatron 'story so far' border that was introduced in UK#214?

Cheers in advance! All help gratefully received!
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 12:48 PM   #2
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According to the behind the scenes feature in Titan's Second Generation trade there were two editors after Furman (I name them here, I'm not brave enough to try and spell the second name on my phone):

http://www.tfarchive.com/comics/tita...condgeneration

Sadly I no longer have the book and therefore can't reveal if it goes into any more detail.


EDIT: Though IIRC the change is mentioned in the letters page when Blaster reveals the new editor only likes to be called Matron, finding that would give you a rough idea of when.

Was the recap Megs not Lee Sullivan?
 

Last edited by inflatable dalek; 2015-05-25 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 2015-05-25, 01:41 PM   #3
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I have Second Generation and it confirms that Euan Peters was the editor from the mid-late 200s, with Harry Papadopolous seeing the title through to its end.

And that is definitely Lee Sullivan's art on the recap border - you can tell by the eyes and teeth
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 01:45 PM   #4
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Harry Papadopolous
Good to know what happened to him after Birds of a Feather.

The main reason I remember Blaster talking about the new editor is that it was in response to a reader asking about it and me being curious as the book had given no hint it was under new stewardship, so I couldn't work out how they knew to ask.
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 02:12 PM   #5
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Cheers for the answers, guys!!!

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Harry Papadopolous
Having done a bit of a google search, Harry P (as I shall call him) was a Scottish maths teacher who hung up his mortar board to become a rock photographer for Sounds Magazine; his subjects included Bowie, Stephen King and Peter Capaldi (who used to be frontman for a group called the Dreamboys).

Here's his bio from a book compilation of his work: What Presence! The Rock Photography of Harry Papadopoulos

Harry Papadopoulos was born in Garelochhead in 1954. He studied electrical and electronic engineering at Paisley College of Technology and later became a teacher of maths and physics. A self-taught photographer who began his career taking photographs at gigs in the late 1970s and 1980s, following a long stint at music weekly Sounds he became editor of Marvel Comics publications such as Star Trek and The Flintstones. In August 2002 Harry suffered a brain aneurysm and returned home to Glasgow in 2006 where he now lives.

So he went from mingling with the stars to being editor of the UK Flintstones comic? Bit of a come-down, wasn't it? Makes me even more curious to read about it in the Classics UK reprint books...
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 02:16 PM   #6
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Oddly (at least at the time I did my James Roberts interview) Euan Peters is pretty much an enigma that's been impossible to track down for an interview in the Classics books. Maybe he did a switch with Harry P and is now living the rock and roll life?

Lee Sullivan is a friendly chap with a surprisingly good memory so if you need direct citation for the sidebar asking him on Twitter should give you a definitive answer.
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 02:33 PM   #7
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As I wasn't reading Transformers by this point, does that mean that there was no change in letter page character (that usually signposts these things)? Or was Dreadwind Euan and Blaster Harry?

As for Harry's career change ... I can see changing from freelance/ staff photographer to editor of a fleet of titles being a step up and offering more stability (especially as Sounds was axed ...becoming Kerrang! IIRC) career-wise.


Hmm...where does Steve White fit in? Was he an editor for Transformers at Marvel UK, or am I getting confused?
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 02:35 PM   #8
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Harry would have been late Dreadwind before bringing Blaster in.
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 03:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
As I wasn't reading Transformers by this point, does that mean that there was no change in letter page character (that usually signposts these things)? Or was Dreadwind Euan and Blaster Harry?

As for Harry's career change ... I can see changing from freelance/ staff photographer to editor of a fleet of titles being a step up and offering more stability (especially as Sounds was axed ...becoming Kerrang! IIRC) career-wise.

Hmm...where does Steve White fit in? Was he an editor for Transformers at Marvel UK, or am I getting confused?
Steve White was the editor of Action Force, IIRC.

There seems to be a sort of 'lag' period when a new editor takes over and gets their feet under the table before rocking the boat too much. For example, Euan Peters was first credited on UK#209, but the resulting revamp didn't occur until UK#213. Ian Rimmer took over in UK#22 but it wasn't until issue 27 that the comic got its fully-fledged signature Rimmer look.
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 07:23 PM   #10
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White did help out by writing the story so far/character guide stuff for Action Force in the merger issue.

In Peters' case of course he's a bit of an odd one out as the changes he introduced weren't carefully planned but a case of "Oh shit, we've got to do something now or we're cancelled".

If the dropping of the UK original material happened under Harry P's watch, that might have been a similar thing though.
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 07:35 PM   #11
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Transformers had been partially b&w before, before it went weekly. Peters could easily have kept the old two-story format, and just presented each story as a mix of colour and b&w. Instead he decided on the three-story thing, and keep the U.S. stories all in colour.

If they wanted to save money, the easiest thing to do would've been to start using the American covers again, and replace the 'Mighty Marvel Checklist' / order coupon page with another page of ads.

Quite a few of the ads in TFUK were placed by Hasbro themselves (Transformers, Action Force, Visionaries, Battle Beasts etc.) I always wonder whether Hasbro got reduced 'mates rates', and if Marvel actually got more income from independent companies' ads. It might explain why TFUK were so keen on bigging-up Ricicles and Cadbury's Wildlife Bars!
 
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Old 2015-05-25, 07:38 PM   #12
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I think they'd have quite happily done a couple of Nel's pages in black and white if they could, I think it's more a case that they saved more money by not having to pay for some of the UK stuff to be coloured than they would have by not running some of the already done and dusted American pages in colour.

I think Furman had shares in Ricicles.
 
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Old 2015-05-26, 08:24 AM   #13
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...I like Ricicles. Although I don't like that they've turned Captain Rik into some airbrushed CGI Astro Boy monstrosity. I liked the old-school cheerful cartoon version. I was also similarly saddened when Derek was retired from Weetos in favour of that 'Professor' character. Boo.

Never had a Wildlife Bar though.

Just on the reprints me-do, if budget and what not was a concern, how comes they found the money to recolour the US strip, which started happening somewhere around the start of Wildman's run on the US title..? Be interesting to know what the thinking was behind that (other than the obvious reason that Nel's colouring is poo). I'm guessing it might be because auxiliary staff are cheaper than artists or somesuch.
 
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Old 2015-05-26, 08:30 AM   #14
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Weetabix was the other one, wasn't it?

Back in the day you had all the cartoon people made of Weetabix (Dunk, Bixie etc.)... nowadays Weetabix ads just show women eating it with strawberries or bananas or whatever, like it's been remarketed as a health food.
 
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Old 2015-05-26, 06:34 PM   #15
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I still can't get over Sugar Puffs now being Honey Monster Puffs. As if someone said "All this sugar in a kids food is making us look bad, should we discontinue this tooth rot and come up with a new, healthier cereal, or just rename it? We'll rename it".

On the recolouring of the later stuff: If it started with Wildman's US run (and I must admit I was completely unaware of it having been redone until recently, it'll be interesting to see how noticeable it is when I get there) that would have been after they'd dropped original content from the comic. Chances are, with everything now reprints, there was enough of a profit margin left to allow that tiny bit of work to be thrown at a local guy. It was probably, as with the not reusing American covers for a couple of years, down to wanting to throw the freelancers a bone. Especially at a time when Marvel UK didn't have much else for them to work on.

As for extra advertising, I've a friend who sells advertising for magazines and trying to get enough to fill a failing book is surprisingly hard and difficult, creating an extra page might have been beyond their abilities at the time, or at least with no chance of getting enough money to make it worth the extra time the ad team would have to put into it.

Irrelevant to the main topic, but an interesting thing I learnt recently: Real Ghostbusters went monthly at basically exactly the same time Transformers would have if it had continued. The fact it lasted 8 issues in that format (ending in September of 1992) suggests it wouldn't have been much of a winning format for TF either.
 
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Old 2015-05-26, 08:09 PM   #16
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Even as a failing book though, it was still getting 20K-ish readers a week, which while not amazing numbers is still on a par with modern-day stuff like Doctor Who Adventures and the Titan Transformers from a few years back. Different times, I guess.

I seem to recall Blaster being more light-hearted and 'kid-friendly'. Unlike his predecessors he would often print readers' drawings... my feeling is that previous editors had tried to steer Transformers into a 'young adult' direction, probably spurred on by the content of the strips themselves.

This was great for existing readers who'd grown up with the comic, but not exactly conducive to getting the next wave of eight-year-olds reading the comic. I think that the lighter Blaster stuff, plus the tail end of the UK strips (would the Irwin Spoon stories have been around that time?) were maybe Harry's attempt at getting younger readers on board.

PS Hello people who came here via Stuart's Twitter post!!!
 
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Old 2015-05-26, 08:21 PM   #17
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Even as a failing book though, it was still getting 20K-ish readers a week, which while not amazing numbers is still on a par with modern-day stuff like Doctor Who Adventures and the Titan Transformers from a few years back. Different times, I guess.
They* say that the US G2 book was cancelled for sales figures that would make any current editor more than happy. Different times indeed.

*I've never bothered to check. I assume its true, because I'm gullible and lazy.
 

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Old 2015-05-26, 08:26 PM   #18
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They* say that the US G2 book was cancelled for sales figures that would make any current editor more than happy. Different times indeed.

*I've never bothered to check. I assume its true, because I'm gullible and lazy.
US sales figures were actually printed sporadically within the comic itself (on the 'Transmissions' letters page). There's a ye olde post here on alt.toys.transformers that sums it all up.

EDIT: Those are the numbers for the G1 comic, I just realised you were talking about G2 - oops! Good link though, anyway.
 
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Old 2015-05-27, 07:47 PM   #19
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Even as a failing book though, it was still getting 20K-ish readers a week, which while not amazing numbers is still on a par with modern-day stuff like Doctor Who Adventures and the Titan Transformers from a few years back. Different times, I guess.
A minor bugbear of mine is when creative types go "If this comic/TV show was getting sales/viewing figures like that today we'd have never been cancelled!", because it completely ignores the fact that, in this case, comics like Transformers don't get sales figures like that anymore. It clearly wasn't enough to cover costs anyway.


Quote:
This was great for existing readers who'd grown up with the comic, but not exactly conducive to getting the next wave of eight-year-olds reading the comic. I think that the lighter Blaster stuff, plus the tail end of the UK strips (would the Irwin Spoon stories have been around that time?) were maybe Harry's attempt at getting younger readers on board.
Spoon was about ten issues before Blaster, assuming the rough issue numbers given in the Titan book are right, it looks as Harry came aboard and pretty much instantly decided to end the homegrown strips (or at least had the decision forced on him), if the last few B&W stories run into his watch they were probably still commissioned by Peters.

Blaster definately had a "Friendlier" voice than Dreadwind, especially the second Peters (? or the editorial assistant) written Dreadwind.

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PS Hello people who came here via Stuart's Twitter post!!!
Hello everyone!
 
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Old 2015-05-27, 10:13 PM   #20
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A minor bugbear of mine is when creative types go "If this comic/TV show was getting sales/viewing figures like that today we'd have never been cancelled!", because it completely ignores the fact that, in this case, comics like Transformers don't get sales figures like that anymore. It clearly wasn't enough to cover costs anyway.
With TV shows there's a lot more competition now, we have more channels than ever before, more ways of watching, with catch-up services, streaming etc. - as you say, it's hard to compare viewing figures across different eras, when things were so much different.

It's not just Transformers that suffered an alarming loss in sales in the early 90s, pretty much everything did, even 2000 AD. This would have been roughly aound the time that gaming hit big in the UK - the Sega Master System and NES had as much to do with the death of the UK TF comic as any other factor, I'd suggest.

Interesting that comics these days can get by on such low sales - presumably it's almost entirely down to modernisation: computerisation, cheaper inks, printing methods, design software etc.
 
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