||Derek G. Skinn - 'Dez'
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Dez Skinn is a British comic book and magazine editor. Following a five year stint at IPC on such titles as Whizzer and Chips, Cor!! and Buster, he was headhunted to expand the comics arm of Williams/Warner Bros publishing. He took over editing MAD, Tarzan, Korak and Laurel & Hardy, revived Monster Mag and launched House of Hammer. Independently he created the science fiction monthly Starburst (1977) then was headhunted by Stan Lee to reshape his floundering UK reprint division. As editorial director for the UK arm of Marvel Comics, he reformatted existing titles Mavel Comic, Star Wars Weekly and Spider-Man Comic, plus monthlies Rampage and Savage Sword of Conan, and launched the weekly Hulk Comic and acquired the BBC licence for Doctor Who Weekly, among other things. After leaving Marvel, he founded and edited Warrior, which featured Alan Moore's Marvelman and V for Vendetta, then produced a range of 2000 AD coloured reprints for America before settling into editing and publishing Comics International, where he's been at the helm since c. 1990. This entry uses material found, in part or in the main, on wikipedia.org.
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There is debate amongst comic fans over the precise importance of Dez Skinn to modern British comics. Some, typically British, sources go so far as to call him the "British Stan Lee", in part because of his ubiquity and in part because he was, in fact, head of Marvel's operations in England. Others note that he has had an amazingly prolific career as an editor and publisher, but note that his tendency to be associated with adapted, rather than original, work fails to be as impressive as Stan Lee. Either way, his importance to the British comic industry puts him easily into the top 5 creators of all time there.Among his various accomplishments in the movie tie-in arm of publishing, maybe his most significant achievement is the starting of Starburst, a magazine that was very much the British equivalent of the American Starlog. It remains a vital outlet for news about current science fiction television and film projects.Following closely behind this in terms accomplishment is his role in creating Doctor Who Weekly. Though now no longer published by Marvel, and appearing with the simpler title, Doctor Who Magazine (often abbreviated by fans as, simply, DWM), it was and has always been the "definitive" news outlet for the Doctor Who franchise. However, its staff has always been editorially free of the BBC, so it tends to be in a good position to both get news "scoops" and be able to editorialize freely about the state of the franchise. For this reason, it was able to survive the original cancellation of the show in 1989, and continued publication until its eventual revival in 2005. Though Skinn has long since departed his cretation, DWM retains its numbering from Skinn's very first issue.While DWM is first and foremost a news/editorial magazine, each issue has almost always included a comic strip. Many of these strips have eventually found their way to the US, at first in the short-lived monthly Doctor Who title from Marvel, then later in occasional "special" collections. More recently, the current owner of DWM, Panini Comics (who bought the whole of the Marvel UK catalog), have begun digitally restoring and reprinting the comic strips in a trade format--though the US availability of these "remastered" issues seems limited.For pure comic fans, Dez' (as of 2005) current job is maybe his most important one. His publication, Comics International, is the "Wizard of the UK", the chief source of news about the comics industry in English-speaking Europe.
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