DFC will be relaunched
DFC, the ill-fated comic that was shut down in March after just seven months, will be relaunched independently next year, publisher David Fickling has vowed.
The weekly comic, which had 3,000 subscribers, folded after parent company Random House ordered its imprint companies to jettison any “non core business”.
The aim of the full-colour DFC, a weekly comic that featured contributions from author Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy, was to try to restore the genre to its glory days, when hundreds of thousands of youngsters bought The Beano, The Dandy and The Eagle.
But David Fickling told delegates at the Federation of Children’s Book Groups conference that he is determined to bring the comic back.
“As far as I was concerned, it was maddening to close it so quickly,” he said.
“But this is not good night for DFC. We are coming back. We are going to come back next year independently.”
Mr Fickling told the conference, held at the Worth School in West Sussex, that planning and launching the comic was one of the most thrilling projects of his career.
“It is very difficult sometimes to speak to those parts of the community who you know would adore books and love stories,” he said.
“That was part of the enterprise, to reclaim the comic story-telling part of our cultural heritage of stories for children.
“I wanted it all: to have books and to have comics. I think the way to reach those people isn’t to preach at them, it is by example.
“I wanted the comic to be an example.”
When Philip Pullman, who wrote The Adventures of John Blake for the comic, heard of the closure, he told Mr Fickling that the “story must continue”.
“Don’t let the closure of your comic stop your great enterprise,” he said.
Mr Pullman, whose adventures were illustrated by John Aggs, said he’d leapt at the chance to work on the comic.
“I’ve always loved comics, and when I first heard about the DFC, I leapt at the chance of being involved,” he said at the launch.
“The chance to work in this wonderfully fluid and exciting form was too good to miss.”
The 36-page comic, which also included Charlie Jefferson and the Tomb of Nazaleod by Garen Ewing , Mobot High by Neill Cameron and The Boss by Patrice Aggs, stopped after issue 43 when a buyer could not be found.
It was unique in its genre for having no adverts and quickly gained a reputation for its high quality stories and illustrators. It assiduously avoided any gender bias and looked to attract readers beyond the eight-12 market.
Although it was subscription-only, Mr Fickling had hoped eventually to sell the comics in shops.
At the conference, he was unable to give anymore details about the planned return of the DFC.