(Updated 19/9/11): Well, here’s a title many people thought should be out there but never thought we’d see: an official Merlin magazine, complete with its own official comic strip.
Children’s Publisher Attic Brand Media launches The Official Merlin Magazine today, 9th September. Retailing at £3.20 per issue in the UK (the magazine is available worldwide from its official web site), it’s the first magazine in the new monthly Futura Specials series from the company, a range which also includes the football-themed posters and puzzles magazine, KiCK! Extra, and the games and entertainment title, Kraze Club.
Attic Brand Media also publishes two monthly magazines, National Geographic Kids (UK) and KiCK!.
Brimming with behind-the-scenes secrets from the new series, we’re told Merlin magazine will feature exclusive cast interviews, souvenir posters and prizes – including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Merlin actor, Colin Morgan.
“It will be a magical treat for boys and girls aged seven to 14 (and a guilty pleasure for all those Merlin fans who are that little bit older!),” the PR proclaims.
Launched in 2008, the Merlin TV series tells the story of young Merlin in Camelot, as he comes to grips with his powers and destiny. Merlin‘s success and popularity continues to flourish across the globe.
FremantleMedia Enterprises, which has invested in the fifth series of the drama alongside UK broadcaster, BBC One, has now sold Merlin to over 50 broadcasters in more than 180 countries. The fourth series of the fantasy drama will begin in Autumn 2011 on BBC One in the UK. The third series, which was broadcast in winter 2010 pulled in the highest UK ratings for the drama so far, with a weekly average of over six million viewers.
Several publishers have previously pitched for a license for the Magazine, and samples designs and strips materials were created by Interzone illustrator Smuzz for one dummy. But it’s Attic who have grabbed the crown and produced the Magazine.
The new Merlin magazine looks as though it wlll follow the same format as Doctor Who Adventures, published at present by the BBC, with with puzzles, quizzes and competitions and, most importantly for downthetubes fans, an exclusive Merlin comic strip, written by Damian Kelleher and drawn by Lee Carey, whose credits include various strips for Panini UK, including Spider-Man and Friends.
The first issue will come with two high-quality gifts – a Magic Crystal Set and The Great Dragon Glider toy.
“The new magazine will be a fantastic opportunity for fans to get a glimpse into the world of Merlin, while having a lot of fun!” says the show’s executive producer, Johnny Capps.
We wish Attic Brand Media every success with this project – it’s great to see Merlin on our appear on our newsagents shelves at last.
• Official Merlin magazine web site: www.merlinmagazine.co.uk
• Official website to buy the Merlin magazine: www.subscribeonline.co.uk/merlin/
• BBC Merlin site: www.bbc.co.uk/merlin
2023 Note: Sadly, Attic Media went out of business in 2011. Titan Magazines would go on to publish three Merlin tie-ins under its “Totally” brand: #4, published in 2010, #19, published in 2011, and #30, published in 2012. The company suggested it was considering an ongoing title, but that never materialised
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.