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sad day for the DFC

I don't know if you've heard the news yet, but with the recession and all, Random House had to pull the plug on the DFC.

Press release: Children’s Comic, the DFC, Up For Sale

The DFC, a weekly comic (launched May 2008) for boys and girls is up for sale, following a decision by The Random House Group to cease publication.

Philippa Dickinson, MD RHCB, said: “We are very proud of the DFC and the reaction it received from families, schools and especially the children who have enjoyed reading it. It is an innovative concept which we have been very happy to back. There can be no successes without taking risks, after all. Unfortunately, in the current economic climate, we have decided that the DFC is not commercially viable within our organisation.

“David Fickling, the staff at the DFC, and all the comic’s contributors have worked tirelessly to produce what is an amazing weekly publication and we would be delighted if a buyer could be found who would like to take the DFC on as a going concern”

If no buyer is found, the title will close on March 27th.

Maureen Corish
Group Communications Director
The Random House Group
0207 840 8878

It's been a hard couple days for everyone involved. E-mails have been flying and phones have been ringing, mostly contributors expressing how sad they are about it, but also saying what a wonderful thing the DFC has been, how we made some amazing comics, some great friends, and that we will always be proud of it.

I'm not looking forward to the inevitable flock of British naysayers, those guys who sit around on internet blog sites and say 'I told you so'. Yes, David Fickling took a huge risk with this comic. But he also started up a lot of careers in comics that are going to go far and got us really excited with his enthusiasm and dedication. And I respect him so, so much for that, and want to say that I am proud of him and fond of him and I hope the rest of the comics community will be supportive to all the people who put so much of themselves into this project. Thanks so much to my editors, Ben Sharpe and Will Fickling, who helped me along from my first comic, when I wasn't sure what I was doing. Everyone on the DFC team was lovely, I would say I'll miss them but I think many of us are going to stay in touch.

All this doesn't mean it's completely over! Just that the DFC, as it is now, will only run to Issue 43. But that doesn't mean you won't be seeing your favourite characters again, we'll just have to wait and see.

Edit: Related post by James Turner - eruditebaboon - (of Super Animal Adventure Squad) here.
Comments by Wilbur Dawbarn - wilburonline - (of Bodkin and the Bear) here.
and Emma Vieceli - emmav - (Violet) here.



( 116 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
So sad! Vern and Lettuce have a great episode this Friday, it'll have extra poignance knowing all this now.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Aw that sucks. Hopefully it'll work out!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks, me too!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry to hear that, it sounded like such a great publication!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
It's been incredible! Some really amazing artwork and stories have come from this project.

Edited at 2009-03-03 06:27 pm (UTC)
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
That's really too bad. It WAS a great idea, and it's a shame that it couldn't have a few more months to really find its feet with a larger readership -- the Tesco thing (was it?) and the Guardian crossover could have led to great things.

Alas. Still, must've been fun to be a part of, and not at all a bad thing to have on your CV. And your point about the careers launched is a good one. The DFC could be the comix equivalent of the early Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Free Trade Hall -- there weren't many people there, but everyone who was there formed a band. Allegedly.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
That's just how I think of it! Definitely a Sex Pistols equivalent.
(no subject) - bandersnatch_02 - Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Agh, sorry to hear to hear that ! I really hope they find a buyer. Sending good waves across the channel, hope that helps.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm sure it does! :-)
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
I'm truly sorry to hear the DFC is shutting down. I shall buy a lotery ticket this week on the of chance I can become rich overnight and buy it :) Either way after such a short time the DFC became a landmark in british comics for me. I hope it's legacy will be the inspiration for more folks to give their all and try to create something as amazing! and hopefully Vern and Leutice will ride again!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, Will! I'm so proud of all the DFC has achieved, and not just saying that.

And Vern and Lettuce will certainly ride again! They aren't very good at staying quietly under wraps. There's always the bunnies popping out round the edges.
(no subject) - chamonkee - Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jabberworks - Mar. 5th, 2009 07:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
OH NO! I hope you find another publisher *hugs*

I know the feeling - just had my own job scare because of this rubbish recession. I just found out I still have a job today (after a week of not know what was going on and loads of meetings), but reduced pay x__x

The economy can only get better after this, so hope the future brings luck to the DFC!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And glad to hear you managed to hang onto your job, that's rough.
(no subject) - yunni - Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is bad news. I've been a DFC subscriber for a while, and really enjoyed getting a weekly fix of the best current comics creators around. UK anthology comics were such a huge part of my childhood, and it was exciting to see a modern equivalent for a while. I really thought the DFC was gonna get in the shops!
Well, as you've said- it's not over just yet....
Long Live Vern and Lettuce!!!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that! And long live a bunch of other characters from the DFC - Sausage and Carrots, Little Cutie... so many. I don't think any of them are ready to give up the ghost quite yet.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for that. x
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Oh dear... :-(
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
:-( indeed. But fingers crossed things will still happen!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Oh no!
Very sad news - unless, as we all hope, a buyer is found... just under a year of one of the best comics I've known, with some smashing strips and a great overall vibe!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh no!
Thanks! That DFC Caption panel seems like just yesterday!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Well, ain't that a kick in the guts... : (

I guess that the DFC was always going to be a vulnerable target in the current economic climate. If a buyer isn't found, (and advocates of comics like David Fickling are going to be thin on the ground, alas) we can only hope that from the ashes we'll see DFC strips and creators getting book deals in the near future.

And the kicker, on a personal level - for Christmas, we sorted a subscription for Selina's nephew, not sure whether he'd fall for its charms or not, but figured we'd give it a go. With his birthday coming up, and renewal imminent, we made discreet enquiries as to whether he was enjoying it. Apparently he's really loving it, and locks himself in the loo so he's got time to read it in peace!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Haha, I used to do that when I was a kid, too. In the bath, actually. And then my little sister found she could open the window from the outside and pour a cold glass of water on my tummy to give me a shock.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
Bah! that's a shame.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear that.:(
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Oh no :(
Very sorry to hear. Any chance at least some of the collected editions might still happen?
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
Fingers crossed!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
The issues I've seen of DFC have been positively brilliant. I hope someone else picks it up!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
Re: yow
Me, too!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
Oh no that's terrible! Everyone at college was talking about how good it was the other day and how nice it is to have a decent intelligent comic for kids with artistic merit.

Keeping my fingers crossed.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
d'oh. stupid not logged-in computer.
(no subject) - jabberworks - Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
That would be very nice if somebody else buys the DFC, while I don't expect that to happen, I'll certainly keep my fingers crossed. I had to undo my subscription after a years worth, I enjoyed it but didn't think I could manage it for a while. I guess now I won't get the chance to resubscribe--- fingers crossed, for a while.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
And hooves crossed! And paws!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Aww! Hope you find a buyer, and soon!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Liz!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
Very sad. The first things to go when things get tight are invariably the coolest.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Too true.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh no!

That's really sad news. I hope that you do manage to find a way to keep getting your comics published.

I wish I had time to try and start a tribute site. I'll have to make an effort to track down the individual artists I really like.
Ah, that's where John Aggs got to.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, please do let me know if you get around to setting it up!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry. V & L are looking great in the Guardian.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Peter!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Terible news
This is just so sad and disapointing. My boys will be utterly gutted. The DFC Friday has become such a key highlight of my boys week. Ben was so proud to recently recieve his DFC certificate and have his name in last weeks DFC. Alex has learnt to enjoy reading from the DFC. This is such sad news! The DFC was a truely great comic. I really hope someone buys it. Will they be able to wrap up all the stories before issue 43!

I really hope Vern & Lettuce find another home! Thanks to everyone who contributed to making my boys love comics through the DFC. It will be severely missed in our house!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Terible news
Oh man, 'gutted' is the word we're all using in the DFC communications right now, and your e-mail made me go all teary again.

Big hugs to Ben and Alex and I hope they drop me a line when they stumble on other comics they like. It'd be great to get recommendations from those guys.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
I was working on a submission for the DFC as I really truly believed it was one of the most important things to happen to British comics in the last 10 years. Oh well, it's not all lost I guess, at least some good ideas came from it.

The cancellation is so gutting and I feel a little bad that I couldn't subscribe, you know money's tight and the subscription's a LOT to fork up in one go, but Dave Fickling and crew should be applauded for their hard graft and effort. Me and Anna loved it so much, but could never afford to put up the money with our income.

I was in the pub hanging out with Emma Vieceli (and John Aggs for a bit) today and it was like a day of mourning. Onwards though!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean, Gary Northfield and I sat and had a pity party over plates of extra-thick toast today. I hope your submission comes in handy, I can't imagine it won't!
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