Thursday, 5 March 2009

It's Over.

The cover of The DFC #1, originally uploaded by mithering.

So the Great White Hope of British children’s comics has finally come a cropper. As of issue 43 (only three more issues to come after tomorrow’s issue 40 hits the doormat) The DFC is no more. According to a post on the Paw Quality Comics blog, Random House can no longer fund it, presumably because the experimental method of selling it by subscription-only has failed to attract sufficient interest.

This will, sadly, leave several serialised stories up in the air, including Philip Pullman’s John Blake, Mo-Bot High, and the newly-returning Crab Lane Crew. Realistically, it is difficult to see where the strips currently and recently running in The DFC could find a place within the moribund world of British Kids’ comics. John Blake could, conceivably, be completed and issued as a graphic novel on the back of Pullman’s name (even though it is not particularly good), but would there be a market for the amazing Mezolith, the cute and compelling Vern and Lettuce, or the consistently-funny Little Cutie?

It’s early days, so the individuals involved in the strips listed above, along with several others of quality, may arrange some alternative vehicle, may issue the strips themselves, or may just leave them hanging. Either way, having spent several years only picking up US material, such as the odd issue of Angry Youth Comics or Hate Annual, it was good to see that there was intelligent life outside the knowingly-ironic world of the American Underground, and that it was in a format I could buy for and share with my kids.

So, cheers, David Fickling, it was worth it for me. I hope it was for you.

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