Friday, March 27, 2009

A triple whammy of AUUUGHH

Well, that's it - today is now officially Black Friday in the Comics bit of my brain (i.e., all of it). First off, as you probably already know, the final DFC hit the nation's collective doormats this morning. A lovely issue in itself, but heavy with gloom at the thought of there being no more. Having said that, there's so much energy in Team DFC that I'm sure there's lots of good stuff to come in the future from the space the comic occupied. However, trying to stay cheerful is a bit tough, when...

Shortly after said doormat-dropping event, I got an email from that fine fellow ILYA, editor of the Best New Manga books that my Gilbert & Sullivan strips have appeared in. Apparently the publishers are putting the BNM series on hiatus, so there will be no volume 4 in 2009, and maybe not ever again. Another outlet for my (and many other people's) work gone.

And if that wasn't bad enough, the rancid icing on this mouldy cake of a day came about an hour ago when I got an email from the editor of MAD magazine - the very gentleman who showed me round the MAD office when I visited New York in 2007, who accepted a submission from me a few months later, and who will always have my gratitude for both of those things - saying that as a result of cutbacks, MAD is now moving from monthly to quarterly and today is his last day as editor.

Have to say, I'm glad I quit the day job and took the leap into Following The Comics Dream when I did, because I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have the guts to do it right now :(

Thursday, March 5, 2009


In case you don't already know...

"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."

I've been meaning to blog about this since the news broke yesterday (although technically we creators were given a heads-up a few days ago... not that it really helped it sink in).

So that's that. Despite the best efforts of all concerned the DFC will be bowing out with issue 43, wrestled into submission by the Economy From Hell. Reactions so far seem overwhelmingly positive and sympathetic, with even the most cynical of commentators commending this admittedly flawed but incredibly noble venture. And that's what we have to hold on to, really - like the demise of DC's MINX line last year after a huge fanfare the year before, speculating on what went wrong may offer some insights to any publisher thinking of picking up where David Fickling left off, but it won't allow anyone to hop back in time and do things differently. For the moment I'll be holding on to the things that went right - the wealth of amazing new comic material it launched into the world, the opportunities and alliances it offered to so many creators, and just the sheer bloody BALLS it took to do what it did. Truly a Dream Followed Courageously.