There’s been some interesting repsonses to the upcoming BBC4 series Comics Britannia on various comics boards.
As usual, anything like this is bound to be dissected and judged before it has even aired but in general, response seems positive, which bodes well for the series which will offer a general history of British comics and more.
I think those of us who have been involved in any way with TV production recently and in the past know that what we get on screen may well be at odds with the detail that we, as fans might hope for. But the very fact that the BBC commissioned something like this is great news. I also know that the team behind the series worked very hard finding the right people to talk to because they picked my brains often enough and I was pleased to be able to help.
If ratings are good, perhaps it will spur on further commissioning: more one-to-one interviews with top creators on both sides of the pond would be good; perhaps even a look at some of the European comics that have been a success here (or not, but are a success elsewhere that we should take an interest in).
We live in interesting times for comics. I’m having near daily chats with TV and animation people who are looking at the medium, keen to exploit its “short form” as a way to better deliver message on an increasingly more visual web, where despite the success of video, faster digestion of a message is seen as required (I’m not saying that’s necessarily a good thing, just that it’s happening).
Some organisations are taking an interest in comics purely for their potential to exploit them in other media, but there does seem to be an increasing awareness that comics offer a good means to deliver campaign and advertising messages, as well as entertain and provoke.