The Phoenix has landed

A couple of weeks ago the excitement levels in our house hit the roof as an envelope containing Issue Zero of The Phoenix arrived through the letterbox.

As my six-year-old lad was drawn away by the powers of Lego, my daughter settled down to read the comic from cover to cover. Here is her review.

Phoenix

The Phoenix Comic – Issue zero
Reviewed by Niamh, aged 9

My first impressions.
It has a nice front cover, good title, and it would probably stand out in a shop. It’s obviously for kids and makes me want to find out more.
 
The comic.
In the Welcome page, I really liked the names of the characters on The Phoenix team and the ‘Phoenix fact’.
The first story is ‘The Pirates of Pangaea’, beginning with a map that I really liked. I enjoyed the way the characters speak with their ‘pirate talk’.
‘What will Happen Next’ (a puzzle page) – it looked strange at first, but once I looked online at Part 1 I loved looking for all the things that happened.
‘Tale Feathers’ (featuring an extract from a new book) – I loved this too, I really want to read the book now.
‘Star Cat’ – Quite good, funny and sci-fi.
‘How to Make Awesome Comics’ – I really liked this, good advice! I want to draw my own now. (Niamh filled this in straight away.)
‘The Apprentice’ – I like this story, the setting and the illustrations.
‘Corpse talk ‘– it was very funny and full of facts.
‘Bunny vs Monkey’ – quite good. I like the way it was set in the Jungle with talking animals. Funny too.
I also like the look of some of the stories that are advertised in this issue that will begin in Issue 1.

In general.
Nice illustrations. I really like the notes from the editors, Tabs and Chops, throughout the comic and I’m looking forward to reading the stories. Can’t wait for Issue 1!

 

Reading

Niamh did love it, and has since re-read it a number of times. It now lives at the bottom of her bed along with her copies of The Dandy, Mo-Bot High and various other comics and books – she reads a lot!

From a parents point of view, The Phoenix looks really promising and the artwork is wonderful. It’s great to see a comic for children full of stories and I wish it every success.

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Digital vs Paper

The Beano and The Dandy have recently become available as iPad/iPhone apps, these have the potential to be a great format for children’s comics … so we just had to check them out.

Beanodandya

We downloaded them both through the Newsstand on an iPad and as you’d expect, the comics looked great. The format displays the strips really well, the navigation is simple and each comic is very easy to access through an iTunes account. The two apps are virtually identical but we weren’t entirely sure of the pricing system; The Beano is clearly priced at £1.49 per issue but a couple of issues of The Dandy are priced at 69p with the rest at £1.49 – there are also a few free copies of each available to get you started.

 

I handed them over to my 9-year-old daughter and here’s what she had to say:

They were slightly hard to read. I had to zoom in and the zoom sometimes is hard to move around. I would say it wasn’t as good as it could have been. It’s not as good as actually reading and holding a comic!

 

Overall the digital versions are handy to have but we had hoped there would be some reduction for the digital issues compared to the paper ones. In newsagents, The Beano costs £1.50 and The Dandy £1.99 (prices accurate 1.12.11) so there is very little difference. Pricing the iPad versions at just one penny (or 50p) less than the paper comic doesn’t seem enough of a saving, or a reason to buy, the digital version over the real in-your-hand, under-the-bed, read-anywhere, traditional paper version.

We think it’s brilliant that such great comics are available to buy online, but ultimately as Niamh says, it’s “not as good as actually reading and holding a comic!”