Dear Titan Comics,
First of all, the upcoming Doctor Who comics look great, and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing both the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors in action – as well as the Twelfth, whenever that ongoing series will launch.
But I am dismayed to hear that, come 23rd July 2014, whilst all US fans will be rushing to their local Midtown Comics store (or, if you will, a 7-11) to grab at the beautiful issues, with cover art by Alice X. Zhang, UK fans will have to bemoan their fate, knocking down copious amounts of alcohol, playing the violin, and watching Meglos to drown out our own despair. Because, even though Doctor Who has “BRITISH” written all over it – not actually (give me time, and a crayon) – your mighty-fine-lookin’ comics won’t be easily available in the United Kingdom due to a messy licensing issue.
The problem, as I’m sure you’re aware, is that only Doctor Who Magazine has the rights to distribute comic books in Britain. It’s a horrible situation that probably means smaller comic stores won’t be able to stock your upcoming Who titles.
There were rumours that you, Titan, were buying DWM, but BBC Worldwide has denied this once, twice, three times a Time Lady, so I guess that really isn’t going to happen.
The same problem arose when – sorry to mention a rival of yours – IDW was bringing out their comics, and The Escapist notes how this was overcome:
“Titan Comics will have to distribute Doctor Who to North American bookstores, who in turn can sell the books to British bookstores. It’s like watching the effects of a paradox from outside of time, but you don’t want to touch it just in case it destroys the universe.
Sure, this is pretty much what British shops needed to do when IDW ran the show, but IDW is based out of San Diego; racking up shipping charges is a little more understandable in that context. At the end of the day, British Doctor Who fans will still get their Doctor Who comics, but delays and mark-ups will remain an issue.”
So here I am, asking you to approach the kind folks at BBC Worldwide and ask for their permission. I hear they like Dalek-shaped cookies. Make sure there are enough though: last time, Derek in PR got left out, an argument ensued and Christopher Eccleston withdrew from The Day of the Doctor after being called a “rapskallion.”
All this means that, whilst Forbidden Planet should still be able to get copies, we’ll be lucky to get the July issues by the time Peter Capaldi makes his debut.
Other than that, however, I’m sure your series will be superb, and if you’re ever looking for a writer, I know one or two that resemble myself but come with the pseudonyms ‘Suade McKenzie,’ ‘Leon H. Parkerfield’ and ‘Mary Westmacott.’
Thanks for your time.