The DFC up for sale
Via Andrew Wildman comes sad very sad news from Random House:
“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.”
There’s nothing on the DFC site yet, but I’ve just checked with Maureen Corish, Group Communications Director for Random House who confirmed the details in the release above, I’m sorry to say. Obviously this is a big blow – we were all really excited at the launch of a major new British comic (such a rare event these days) and as regular readers will know its proved to be popular with adults and with kids (as Molly showed in her reviews with her dad Richard). And of course it offered a major new vehicle for British comics talent – that’s going to hurt, losing both that outlet where their work could be seen and enjoyed as well as the obvious loss of potential earnings (and the worry is that if a buyer isn’t found and the DFC does cease after issue 43 it will put off others from trying to launch a new British regular comic even when the economy picks up). I wonder what happens to work already commissioned for publication later in the year?Any of our readers who were contributing to the DFC able to comment on that or even just let us know how this is affecting you and your thoughts on the news, please get in touch.
(the DFC cover featuring the Crab Lane Crew by Jim Medway)
I can understand the reasoning – times are hard all over and everyone is drawing in the horns, which makes it hard to support a project which is still building support. The subscription only model of the DFC avoided many of the high costs involved in getting issues onto the nation’s newsagent shelves, but it also meant that it was much harder to be noticed and draw in new readers (as Richard noted in one of his and Molly’s looks at the DFC, when he showed it to other children at school many hadn’t heard of it – they liked the look of it when they found out, but its making them aware of it that is the problem). Its a blow, there’s now denying that, but while the news is depressing let’s cheer ourselves up a little by applauding the drive and initiative that lead to the DFC team creating such a well-received new comic (with great talent like Sarah McIntyre, Garen Ewing, Phillip Pullman, Neill Cameron and many more) in the first place.
“I like it. I like how there’s a good mix of comics inside. And I like coming home on Friday after school and opening it up. It’s really exciting when you open it up and see who’s on cover. It’s nice that they give everybody a turn on the cover. That’s fair,” Molly tells her dad how she enjoys coming home from school to her copy of the DFC. Someone, please, buy out the comic or you will make her unhappy.