Monday, 26 June 2017


From August 1995: COMIC COLLECTOR issue 42 (the last one) reports on the beginning of the end of MARVEL UK.

Panini, best known at the time as the sticker people, were another part of the swelling Marvel empire following the rapid expansion of the early 1990s.  No doubt it made sense to consolidate all of Marvel's European operations under one roof (and - following the boom-and-bust growth of the UK operation with the US line and magazines - bring some financial rigor to the business).

It didn't take the new management long to purge the ranks of M-UK staff and streamline the business.  The changes killed any hopes of re-entering the US market as well as most of the magazine line.  Only DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE survived the cuts but even that long-runner lost its spin-offs.  The editorial to the left lists the early casualties.  Who's next?  COMIC WORLD as it happens.  Oops.

Unfortunately for Marvel London, Marvel's dire financial situation meant that the recently purchased Panini had to be flogged-off pronto to keep the faltering empire afloat.  And Marvel UK were bundled-up with the package.  I've always assumed that Marvel sweetened the deal to speed the sale by granting Panini the European rights to publish Marvel material as soon as the existing market-by-market license expired.  An arrangement that survives to this day.

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