What a year it has been. For some the lockdown has caused great loneliness, a feeling of separation from society, depression and a feeling of hopelessness. With the vaccine on the horizon it would appear that 2021 will be a lot better than 2020 and all these woes will be a thing of the past. My mother, who is 93, is one of the first getting the vaccine on December 8th, so I know it is here and happening. There could be hope for us all come next spring.
Ironically, for everyone here at ACE Comics, it has brought you all closer to us. The numerous emails over the last nine months have been heart warming and morale boosting. Thank you to everyone who sent in their wishes and comments. Some made me howl with laughter (thank you Chris Armer and his long suffering wife!)!
Time has flown by as we have worked our little socks off, frenetic activity every week starting with moving as much of our shop stock into our Ebay store as we could. This was followed by an increase in packing and postage as people the world over started shopping to fill gaps in their collections. Then publication started up again and this meant even more frenzied packing.
Thankfully, this generated enough extra income to get us through the first and second lockdowns. However, we did have to furlough staff at the beginning and we still have a few on furlough now. The remaining crew are working flat out, but with good spirit and camaraderie. And now Christmas is upon us!
Except for the eight week period from April to May, when the industry shut down, comics have led the way with continuous publication since then. Many great books have been released – to name a few: Empyre (Marvel) proved to be great fun and highly enjoyable; Batman (DC) had his run in with the Joker, followed by The Three Jokers miniseries, fast moving and great stuff; Boom Studios had Something is Killing the Children and Once and Future going from strength to strength, plus some top new series like Unkindness of Ravens; Dynamic Forces had Garth Ennis reprise The Boys with Dear Becky which showed he hadn’t lost his touch; and Aftershock surprised us at the end of the year with Miskatonic, a supernatural thriller set in an Edgar J Hoover 1950s facing the Dunwich Horror.
We would vote for AWA as the new publisher of the year. Their line of grim and gritty adult focused line covers horror, sci-fi, crime noir, the west and much more, Year Zero and Resistance being the top two. Check any of their titles out.
Image, Dark Horse and IDW continued producing their strong and varied lines, but Aspen, Archie, Avatar and Valiant cut back severely. No news of any closures, but some small publishers are struggling.
One noticeable increase in sales was in bags, boards and comic boxes as people began to tidy up their collections, or get around to that “once in a blue moon” re-bag. Great fun! It’s a job that takes longer when you stop to read some classic tale from years ago!
Have as good a festive season as current restrictions will allow and at New Year let’s all toast to a much better 2021. I really believe it will be a good one once vaccinations are complete and spring moves to summer. Will we all have a party? You bet we will!
So from the Biffter, Tina, Kerrie, Marc, Glenn, Lea, Guy, Martin, Evil Stu, Chris, and Ben, have a great Christmas and stay safe, well and fighting fit. See you in the funny pages!