Dez Skinn

42 years in the industry (from IPC weeklies Buster, Whizzer & Chips and Cor!! to running Marvel UK and launching such titles as DOCTOR WHO WEEKLY, STARBURST – the world’s longest running SF & Fantasy Film Magazine, HULK COMIC and HAMMER’S HOUSE OF HORROR) and 16 years editing trade magazine COMICS INTERNATIONAL. Has to date edited over 80 different titles.

Honours and awards:

Eagle Award 1976: Launching and editing HOUSE OF HAMMER magazine (best UK title)

Eagle Award 1976: editing HOUSE OF HAMMER magazine (best UK title)

Eagle Award, 1977: For revamping MAD Magazine (as editor)

Eagle Award, 1978: Launching and editing STARBURST MAGAZINE (best UK title)

Society of Strip Illustration Award, 1982 “The Frank Bellamy Award” for Lifetime Achievement (a tad premature, to my mind!)

Eagle Awards, 1982, 1983, 1984: Launching and producing WARRIOR (best UK title, toppling 2000 AD) as publisher/editor.

Guinness Book of World Records, 2011, 2012: Creator of the world’s longest-running TV tie-in magazine (Doctor Who Weekly/Magazine)

…plus an assortment more, to be added when time permits (and if they can be dug up, never considered this kind of thing a priority)

…Oh, and his name was the answer to a question on BBC1 tv’s Mastermind!

Quality Communications (1981 – now)

Quality Communications is Skinn’s vehicle for launching properties (V for Vendetta, Big Ben – The Man with No Time For Crime, The Liberators, Speedmaster…) to establish copyright and brand awareness and ultimately multimedia licensing.

His comics magazine WARRIOR (1982-84) won over 17 awards and was pivotal in the evolution of comics, second only to The Eagle.

His hardcover book, COMIX: THE UNDERGROUND REVOLUTION (2004) covering the 1960s era of US unrest and the creativity it spawned – is a top seller at the Tate Bookshops, while his latest, COMIC ART NOW (HarperCollins), is a long overdue directory of international graphic novel artists.

Currently providing consultancy services to outside publishers, putting together the pilot issue for a new international comics magazine and co-writing a new feature film.

Hagar Business Developments (1986-1987)

Set it up for US owners. Developed and launched a forerunner to internet chatrooms in national telephone group chatlines as a credible (and highly viable) industry with sector’s largest company. Set-up capital of £35k covered in immediate turnover. £1.5m year one profit on £0.5m cost. Entailed people phoning in for 100% monitored 10-person group conversation through Confertel equipment. One such, advertised in Ireland only, achieved having “squaddies” and “paddies” actually talking civilly to each other. Callers instantly cut off (5-second loop) for sexism, racism, profanity, obscenity, personal details. Appeared on various TV/radio news and in national press defending credibility of such a “social safety valve”. Defeated an aggressive Jeremy Paxman on live BBC TV news during this period. Set up compensation fund with top five service providers against unauthorised phone usage. Successfully headed defence at Monopolies & Mergers Commission. Tackled BT and Oftel over reducing high-priced Premium Rate charges. A heady time.

Studio System (1980-1982)

Co-owner of London west end design company, producing storyboards (Greystoke), fashion catalogues (Liberty’s), magazines (Scalextric), advertising (Columbia Pictures, ITC), newspaper strips and book design.

Marvel UK: Editorial Director (1979-1980)

Arm-twisted by Stan Lee to turn around the fortunes of his then-ailing UK publishing division. Revamped & refocused entire line (under the promotional umbrella of “The Marvel Revolution”), added new comics and magazines (Doctor Who Weekly, Hulk Comic, Frantic, Starburst, a line of pocket books, etc). Only stayed a year or so because I fulfilled my function to make the company viable once more and didn’t wish to simply replicate & dilute the successes or become a paper-pushing production editor. Moved on to other challenges.

Williams/Warner Bros: Editorial Director: Youth Group (1975-1978)

In addition to taking over editorship of existing Young Magazines Group titles (MAD, Tarzan, Laurel & Hardy) was encouraged as Group Managing Editor to build up the section. Added the multi-award winning House of Hammer magazine (based around Hammer Films with offices three doors away), refocused MAD on more UK-centric product spoofs and launched various film-related oneshots and specials. Was also responsible for the control on imported Warner/DC titles for UK federated news distribution.

IPC Magazines: sub-editor/editor (1970-1975)

Learning the crafts of the trade. Editing, subbing, proofing, magazine production, design, layout, writing, promotion… Learning the crafts of the trade and the all-importance of weekly comics deadlines! Was headhunted away to edit MAD Magazine.

Doncaster Newspapers (1969)

Learning journalism – beyond the previous four years of producing comics fanzines – on the Doncaster Evening Post.

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