It’s Oxford comic The Phoenix’s 200th edition. Here editor Tom Fickling reminds us why and how children love reading it

Did you get a comic when you were younger? If you did I bet you remember it. I bet it was a really awesome part of your childhood.

The UK used to be a world leader when it came to comics but we let it all slip through our fingers. Now we have one of the most marginalised comic industries in the world.

There are some unbelievably talented comic creators in this country – a lot of them living in Oxford. But what happened to all those wonderful comics of the 1950s, 60s and 70s? The Eagle, Bunty, Boys World, Hotspur, Valiant, June, Whizzer, School Friend and the rest?

What happened was the business changed.

The cheap toy stuck to the front cover became king, and content and quality of stories fell by the wayside.

The Phoenix is different because we focus all of our energy and resources on the stories inside.

The Phoenix is all about making the reader feel absolutely mesmerised by what they’re reading.

We want to delight and inspire them and fill their minds with wonder and awe for the whole week and beyond, just like the great comics my parents used to look forward to.

We should cherish our comics and there’s so much research showing that comics are a terrific way to help children develop their reading habits, reading that makes us happier and healthier. Because comics are for everyone. For confident readers and reluctant ones alike.

They are fun and should be the right of every child as they grow up.

So, we’re delighted to be publishing our 200th issue. We’re the first independent kids weekly to do that since 1969. And that’s all thanks to the amazing Phoenix readers and their families and the incredible comic artists and writers we work with.

I’ve never met a more dedicated bunch of storytellers. They are committed to making the absolute best stories they can for Phoenix readers.

And loads of them live in Oxford.

In fact Oxford is a pretty much the capital of the UK comics industry. Not just because of all the amazing creators who live here but also because it is home to the only two independent comics in the UK, The Phoenix and 2000AD.

That’s right, we’re bringing back the great British comic! So if you want to check out our Phoenix bumper issue 200, it’s in bookshops and WHSmiths until the weekend. Or try a subscription.