21st Century Storytelling: How Traditional Comics are Turning the Page

by Katie Hogg

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

We take a look into the changing faces of comic books and how businesses can learn a lot from revamping the traditional style

Digital PR Beano Riverdale

SOMETIMES it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to revamping your content.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of ticking all the ‘relevant’ boxes that we lose a bit of flare and creativity when it comes to storytelling.

Avoiding dated, bland content can be a real task, especially when what you are trying to say isn’t considered ‘sexy.’

However, there is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from cultural phenomenons that have reinvented themselves. One of these is the good old-fashioned comic book.



Long gone are the musty piles of comic strips that many have in storage as collectables. The stories they tell today have been super-charged, hitting TV screens or entering newsfeeds.

Take the New York-based Archie Comics as an example. Established in 1939, the brand originally focused its tales to a female audience, producing stories surrounding Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and The Pussycats.

Moving forward into the noughties and not many youngsters could tell their Betty Coopers from their Josie McCoys.

But not all was lost. With a medium shift towards screen, various adaptations were created to keep the stories alive and bring them into the 21st century. One of the most popular shows is current CW and Netflix hit, Riverdale.

Complete with matching hashtags, GIFS, teaser videos and a streaming app, the Archie story has been brought into the digital age. A tip of the hat to the digital age as it avoids being lost in time.

Thanks to the millions of viewers hooked to the screens every week, Archie Comics will make a pretty penny in royalty fees, as well as attracting a new generation of fans to grab a physical copy of the comic book too.


Back across the pond, our own cherished comics are also standing the test of time thanks to the conversion into the digital realm.

Media powerhouse DC Thomson recently scooped a major accolade for its digital transition of The Beano.

The push came after the company identified that its readership in the seven to eleven year-old age bracket was being underserved.

Adding to the world’s longest running weekly comic, DC Thomson created Beano.com to engage with children that have now been brought up reading on tablets and consuming information via digital PR sharing platforms, Facebook and YouTube.

A clear success with the company’s recent award wins, it just goes to show how much of a pivotal role a quality website and updated social media channels have in getting your stories and messages to the right people.

Twitch is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. Launched in June 2011, Twitch has since captured the attention and retention of the mammoth online player community, more commonly known as video gamers. Read more about the biggest video platform that you’ve never heard of here.


It’s all fair and well acknowledging that comics have adapted – but how does this help your business?

Understanding your market and the ways in which they consume information is vital. Are they of the ‘Selfie Generation’ and inhabit Instagram and Snapchat, or do they socialise on Facebook? Digital PR right through to traditional print, profiling your audience can help wonders.

Our client Mackie’s of Scotland recently made the media go nutty with the introduction of their Peanut Butter Tap. An obvious would-be hit with young generation looking to top their scoops and 20-something health and fitness buffs needing their protein fix, we produced a video capturing the tap in all its glory for social media giant LADBible. Millions of views later and the love for PB is still strong.

How should you tell your story? Is there a way that can be more engaging to the consumer, stop them in their tracks and grab their eyeballs towards your content? Should you capture a suite of images that can be used across multiple mediums, or film a short video of an event or interview?

That being said, video can be a very powerful digital PR tool for reaching out to your audience. And it doesn’t have to be just you as a company creating them either. Our client U.S. Kids Golf invited participating child prodigies to send in their own homemade videos of them showing off their golfing skills. These videos were then shared on social media, help to create extra hype for the European Championship event. We even found a superstar with another special skill…

Not only can this young golf fan hole a 30ft putt without batting an eyelid, he can also do it while solving a Rubik’s cube.  At this stage you may be doubting our word. If you’ve ever been frustrated on a golf course or confounded by the devilish puzzle from the 1980s then you cannot fail to be impressed by this feat. 

Finally, know your budget and timescale. We all want to be able to dream big and have our name in bright lights on TV and in print, but we need to be realistic. Success does not come overnight.

Having a plan of what you want to achieve and the resources you have to back it before you begin will only hold you in good stead.


At Holyrood PR, we know it can be tough to get your name out there in a creative and engaging manner. Luckily, we have a few tricks (and a bag full of experience) up our sleeves.

We have an in-house videographer who can capture your story on film and we also work alongside some of the best photographers, allowing us to put together a suite of images that can be shared across multiple platforms.

Our award-winning PR team are also on hand to produce blogs, manage social media accounts and write up quality press releases to get your business front and centre in the media.

So relax and let our digital PR experts take your story into the 21st century.


Take your digital footprint to the next level today by creating killer content online, videos that capture the attention of your audience, or by making all the major newspaper headlines. Our digital PR experts are primed ready to go.

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Katie Hogg is part of the PR team at Holyrood PR in Scotland

Katie Hogg

Katie Hogg is part of the award-winning PR team at Holyrood PR. She is also a former journalist, most notably with luxury lifestyle magazine, Scottish Field

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