Well, not Hookjaw himself, which would just be gut-wrenching sounds of gnashing shark teeth, but with the Collected Hook Jaw about to munch its way through the swimming public once more (just when you thought it was safe to go back to the reprints…) Joe Gordon over at Forbidden Planet International has posted an interview with Chris Smillie from Spitfire Comics (and Starscape) which was also a nice nostalgic indulgence, truth be told!
“After seeing the rise in interest in Brit comics via [my] Superhero Store, plus letters in Comics International, I thought I’d just put in a cheeky request to Egmont saying ‘well, if you’re not going to print them, can I?’” Chris says of his reprint project plans. “After all the doomsayers telling me how difficult Egmont/IPC were to deal with, I found them quite refreshing. As long as they got some cash from you, they were actually quite keen to do a deal.
“The rights issue isn’t as complicated as it sounds as the retired editor of Lion (and numerous other comics), Gil Page, actually handles all the licensing for both Egmont and IPC,” Chris also reveals. “Both companies pretty much regard Gil as the knowledge base, so he can direct people to the right company in any dispute.
“I think a big problem was the amount IPC wanted for reprinting their stories, which was an enormous page rate. Hopefully, it has changed since the Titan deal to allow other publishers in. I’m not entirely sure why there has been so little interest from publishers when you consider the Beano has been the best-selling book in the UK for most of the past 50 years. But with Titan, Hibernia (Doomlord), Look & Learn and now Spitfire, it’s all changing.” Read the full interview…
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.