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Gothic for GirlsMisty and British Comics$
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Julia Round

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496824455

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496824455.001.0001

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The Rise and Fall of British Girls’ Comics

The Rise and Fall of British Girls’ Comics

(p.14) Chapter 1 The Rise and Fall of British Girls’ Comics
Gothic for Girls

Julia Round

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter provides context and background to the study. It tells the story of Misty’s creation and situates it within the wider picture of British girls’ comics in the late twentieth century. It reviews and summarizes the critical work published on girls’ comics to date: noting the denigration and suspicion that surrounds the genre, and situating this against a newer wave of scholarship that reclaims girls’ comics as popular, active literature. The chapter draws on archival research, exclusive interviews, and analysis of predecessor titles to give a historical timeline of British girls’ comics publishing and the competition between DC Thomson and Fleetway/IPC and tell the story of how Misty came to be. It explains the commercial practices of IPC and argues that the rise and fall of the British girls’ comics industry demonstrates that mixing creativity and commerce can produce intense competition that drives innovation and experimentation, but if the industry does not adapt to its changing cultural context or modify its fiscal expectations this can hamstring its creative talent and undermine its readership.

Keywords:   Publishing, Commercial, Girls’ comics, DC Thomson, Fleetway/IPC

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