§ A raft of stories from the UK about how — get this — children love comics, in the wake of a study with hard numbers behind the surge. Sales are booming and growth is foreseen, says The Scotsman in a story called “Comic effect works its magic on children”:
Research by consumer analysts Mintel shows that the pre-teen market, catered to by classic comics like the Beano and the Dandy, has seen a surge over the past four years.
Experts predict sales of comics are set to increase by a further 21 per cent to reach £165 million by 2013 following the success of new titles launched on the back of TV programmes such as In the Night Garden.
Mintel senior analyst Mark Brecchin said: “It seems that the humble comic is standing the test of time and even today they provide an ideal treat for children. The market for this traditional favourite has gone from strength to strength due to a host of new launches, price rises and the fact that publishers now bring out more issues per title each month.
The Herald has more:
Sales of children’s comic books have rocketed, despite the lure of modern hobbies and pastimes.
The pre-teen market – which includes classic comics such as the Dandy and Beano – has experienced a surge of more than 70% in the past four years.
Comic sales have seen a massive 72% increase since 2003, and were worth £136m this year, thanks to new titles such as Dr Who Adventures.
Sales of women’s magazines increased by just 15% in the same period and teenage magazines declined by 61%, according to research by consumer analysts Mintel.
The UK England doesn’t have an overly robust native comics industry — especially given all the talents living there — but they do have a strong tradition of kids comics in general interest magazines, like the Beano and The Dandy, which present the kind of “national comics magazine” prevalent in Europe — especially Disney-themed magazines — but absent in the US. (Disney Adventures was a sort of attempt in this direction, and Nick magazine continues the tradition; however, comics are a small part of these magazines, compared to Beano.)
And why have comics might have surged over a five-year period? People quoted in the articles suggest it’s because of more licensed comics based on popular TV shows and so on. The Telegraph version of the story has even more info:
Dr Who Adventures magazine by the BBC rocketed from a standing start to top the chart as the most popular children’s title in 2007, with a circulation of 155,000, Mintel found. Comics based on American cartoon series The Simpsons have also proved very popular. Bucking the trend for television-based children’s magazines is The DFC, an old-school comic for eight to 12-year-olds which includes an illustrated version of Philip Pullman’s tallship tale The Adventures of John Blake.
The same piece mentions, however, that Beano has declined from a six-figure circ five years ago to a mere 64K today.
By the way, is it just us, or the does UK Dennis the Menace look a lot like Naruto?