Originally scheduled for release in May, the critically acclaimed Redeye 7 has been hit with a number of delays, which has lead to a restructuring of the entire magazine, and a rethink on how best to produce a regular publication promoting Brit comics.
Says editor and publisher Barry Renshaw: “I’m trying something new: RE7 will now become RedEye Winter 2007 Special. Double sized, it will serve as a bookend to the first volume.
“I think all the contributors have done some fantastic work they can be very proud of over the last few years, but without the financing to pay them, it’s not fair to expect them to be working all hours to send stuff in. And although we sell out of each print run, without the initial investment to push it beyond several hundred copies at a time, we won’t be able to get the mag in front of as many people as we know would want to read it.”
With mounting costs of print bills, convention costs and postage charges as demand grows for the magazine, there comes a point when one have to step back and decide in what direction the project should go.
“It’s a fact of life that the major problem facing comics in the UK is finance, a way to make it pay for itself,” states Barry. “What I intend doing, in the 18 month long break between RedEye Vol 1 and Vol 2, is to establish a business model that will not only serve to make Redeye a success, but also one that can be adopted and adapted by other publishers. As a companion peice almost to the Rough Guide out in October at the Birmingham Comics Festival, I’ll be looking at any grants, government or arts council funding, private investing and advertising/marketing that can be used by Brit comics.
“The results, positive or negative, I hope will be a shortcut to success for other people.”
In the meantime to get the RedEye Winter 2007 Special to the printers, the editor is looking for help.
“I’m asking for donations to help make the magazine to print, putting a request out on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, blogs and message boards. I’ll be adding a Paypal Donate button to the Engine Comics site with the next update.
“The donations will go towards not just the printing but the running costs of distribution, conventions and postage. If it doesn’t hit the required figure by October, the content will instead be published on the web in December. Subscribers will receive a refund at that point in October for any unpublished issues, and the Redeye subscriber button will be taken down shortly from the site.”
To give a taste of what will be in the Special, the magazine will expand on its normal mix of interviews and articles on creators old and new. “Behind a fantastic wrap around cover by Malcolm Magic artist Lorenzo, we have a great interview with the Brothers Etherington on their new Moon! series; we also speak with New York cartoonist Liz Baillie, creator of My Brain Hurts; the Godfather of modern British Comics, Pat Mills, in an uncut, epic face to face interview done over two days; the creator of Matter, Irish cartoonist now living in Canada Phill Barrett; and inventor of the Ultranet and Book of Lists, Paul Rainey; plus a few surprises.
“We also have an article on the Secret History of Irish Comix; Dave Baillie’s instructive Grammar of Comics; a retrospective on the much loved Transformers Marvel UK comic; and we investigate the creation of Look and Learn, the highly influential 1960’s comic.”
Reviews will continue to be published at the Owl in Daylight blog, which will be updated again very shortly, so you can still send review copies to the same editorial address.
“In addition to this,” adds Barry, “I’m planning more reviews the Indiespinnerrack podcast and a channel on youTube looking at Brit creators. By using these other mediums as alternate forms of marketing, we can help fulfill RedEye‘s original mandate of introducing people to great comics.
“The RedEye Special will be the best of the bunch, and it’s best to go out on a high note. I hope everyone else will think so too.”
7th August 2023 update – find Engine Comics at enginecomics.com
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.