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SQUAD DFC sets forth!

Squad DFC sets forth!

Today's very sad, in that the last DFC is dropping through letterboxes and there's no word about a buyer coming to its rescue.
...BUT! But the DFC is not over, suddenly there's this hugely talented pack of comics artists and writers running around who know each other, love each other's work, have caught the DFC spirit and are set to do huge projects, perhaps some of them together!

So to start things off, we present to you, the SUPER COMICS ADVENTURE SQUAD! (Yes, we're all big fans of James Turner's Super Animal Adventure Squad.) It's a forum for the DFC people to come together to show what's happening now, and we'll update it regularly with fresh news, comics and pictures we've made. If you love comics, picture making and storytelling, this is a site to bookmark and revisit; go on, have a peek!

If you haven't yet seen the DFC, or are hanging to see the end of some of the stories, the DFC has just reworked their website to show remaining episdoes here. That means - for free! - you get to see episodes of Woodrow Phoenix's Donny Digits, Kate Brown's Spider Moon, Wilbur Dawbarn's Bodkin & the Bear and the Etheringtons' Monkey Nuts.

Garen Ewing has said a lot of things I would say in his blog post today. And I said a lot of it already here. So I thought I would show you a few development drawings from early DFC days.

In December 2006, I sent an e-mail David Fickling, on Paul Gravett's suggestion, and this reply pinged back from David that same evening (or early morning, I should say, about 5am!):

Dear Sarah,
Thank you so much for writing. I woke up in the middle of the night and
logged on (for want of anything else to do) and found your work which I think
is lovely. So I think you can definitely say we are interested. I am
dashing about for the next few days but would like to tell you more about the
comic. Perhaps we could meet? Are you able to come to Oxford? In the
meantime I shall pass your email on to my colleague Ben Sharpe so that he
can fill you in with more details of the DFC.

David and Ben asked me to do a sample comic for the mockup DFC they were making to convince their investors, so I thought I would do something about a sheep:

I hadn't done many comics before, but my favourite comic, Calvin & Hobbes, had two characters, so I decided that one sheep wasn't enough, he needed a friend. So along came Lettuce. Here are some of my first drawings:

click on the pictures to enlarge
I was going to set the comic in the countryside, I kind of liked the idea of Vern living in one of those two-tone caravans. His home would be very humble, but he'd be incredibly house proud and have spent ages carefully decorating it. (In preparation for bunny madness to follow.) So I obsessed a bit over the caravan's interior, borrowing a look from Swedish painter Carl Larsson:

Lettuce's burrow home was much more chaotic:

Just as I was in full swing with this setting, I showed it to my friend Rachel, who looked at the drawings with a concerned look on her face. She went over to her pile of library books and pulled out a picture book by Jez Alborough with a duck ...AND A SHEEP IN EXACTLY THE SAME CARAVAN! Even white and mustard two-toned. I was devastated. But this turned out to be a good thing. I went for dinner to my friends Vladimir and Antigone's flat, on the top floor of a tower block in Peckham. Looking down at the amazing view of London, I suddenly realised that a tower block would provide far more stories than the field with a tree that I'd been planning. Besides, I know more about living in the city, and there are always little dramas going on with neighbours.

So that was the beginning of a remarkable time of working with the DFC editors and getting to know the amazing people on the DFC team. And it doesn't stop here!

Please make the creators' day by leaving a comment showing your support over at Super Comics Adventure Squad! They'd love to hear from you: anything from 'hi, I'm a DFC fan' to your ideas, favourite comic episodes, your dreams for comics, or whatever you think will cheer up sorrowful but forward-looking comics creators.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC)
Oh I love Lettuce's burrow!
Mar. 27th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, James! :-)
Apr. 6th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
It reminds me of some of the houses in the book House By Mouse

(otherwise known as Need A House, Call Miss Mouse apparently)

Some pictures:

I'm going to go and dig it out, now!
Apr. 6th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, hah! Even funnier, the lady at Bijou Kaleidoscope posted about the very same book TODAY:
Apr. 6th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Ooo, that's a pretty book! Thanks for letting me know!
Apr. 8th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
I posted some pics from it up on my blog:

Since it's out of print now and you can't seen 'em otherwise.
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:17 am (UTC)
What a *fantastic* post. That's the first time I saw your work, in The DFC dummy - and I knew I had to seek you out :-) Fascinating stuff - thanks for sharing it.
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC)
And I'm so glad you did seek me out! I'm hugely grateful for all the friends I've made through the DFC; there's nothing like people getting together who all really, really like to make stuff. The sparks fly!

I'm so much looking forward to seeing what will happen with Charlie Jefferson, that story has way too much potential to fall by the wayside.
Mar. 27th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I'd like to have see that.
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
great to see this, sarah -- faskinatin'!
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! And I just went back and fixed the spelling of your name, I always seem to get a letter wrong there... With Faz, I ended up calling him Clam Chowdery because I was butchering his last name so badly. :-P
Mar. 27th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
I'm in love with the drawings of their homes.
Mar. 27th, 2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
I love seeing the origins of V&L! Pop a drawing table and bookshelves in it an I'd happily live in Verns caravan!
Mar. 27th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
Me, too! There's a bit of storage built under Vern's bed, but you're right, it'd need a few more shelves. I've always dreamed of living on a sailboat or a masted ship, but I didn't know enough about them to put Vern there, so a snug caravan was my compromise.
Mar. 27th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
Great post, Sarah. I love seeing how these things come together. Oh, can you put a couple of badges aside for me, please? Not sure if I can make the 'Thing' but want badges very much.


Clam Chowdery
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
I love your color palette and design sense, your backgrounds and interiors always make me want to live in them. Snuggle up with a cup of tea and a good book, feel all cozy. And I don't even like tea (my girlfriend was Australian, tea was part of her daily routine, I tried to like it.)

Also, Love love love how messy Lettuce's Burrow is! Looks like my studio! Actually, I just had tv people filming me in my studio the other day, so I had to tidy it, but it will messify again shortly I'm sure.
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
arg, that anonymous one was from meem, I keep being not logged in like a doofus.

have fun at the webcomix thing! Hope I can make it next year! take lotsa pictures!
Mar. 29th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, my place has been pretty messy, too, especially with making all these mini comics. Bits of offcuts and binding thread everywhere.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 28th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)
Yes I was thinking that. It just needs someone with a pro account to syndicate the RSS feed.
Mar. 29th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Ooh, how does that work? I'd love to syndicate some Blogspot things on my Friends page.
Mar. 28th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
Great post, nice to see the origins of Vern and Lettuce!

The collective blog is a great idea.
Mar. 29th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I'm hoping this group blog thing works. I think it will depend a lot of how many comments it gets, no one likes posting on something when they think no one's looking. But I know so many people look but never comment. (I think they're probably just shy.)
Mar. 28th, 2009 09:41 am (UTC)
Thats so great to see that back story and so right that it ended up in a tower block. Love your SCAS banner as well. I wonder if we will have different ones occasionally or whether that would just confuse people.
Mar. 29th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Andrew! How did your opening go? I was so sad when I found it was the same time as the Thing. In fact, there were a lot of things on that night, darn them all. We can argue whose was best.
Apr. 8th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
DFC will return! - David Fickling vows to bring back DFC. Please follow the link to my news story
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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