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Round up : What the Bloghorn saw

July 16, 2011 in Comment, News

Rob Murray writes:

More details are emerging about The Phoenix, a new weekly comic from the former editor of the short-lived DFC that is due to launch in January. The Phoenix blog features an animated trailer for one of its strips, The Pirates of Pangaea by Daniel Hartwell and Neill Cameron, while its latest email newsletter provides this interactive teaser for a strip by Dandy cartoonist Jamie Smart.

Saudi Arabia’s lone female newspaper cartoonist, Hana Hajjar, tells CNN about the importance of her role in a male-led society and how her cartoons speak out for women. You can read the interview here (thanks to fellow cartoonist Lou McKeever for spotting the story).

In Malaysia, cartoonist Zunar has been unsuccessful in his attempt to lift a ban on two of his cartoon collections, according to news agency Bernama. Zunar was arrested in September under the country’s Sedition Act for publishing books considered ‘detrimental to public order’. An open letter from Chuah Siew Eng of Malaysia’s Centre for Independent Journalism calls the latest decision disappointing. Zunar intends to appeal.

Timed to coincide with the release of the final Harry Potter film, cartoonist Lucy Knisley has launched a humorous comic that condenses the entire series. Time Out Chicago has the full story, and Knisley’s blog features an incredibly detailed poster to download (but beware of spoilers!).

If there is something Bloghorn really shouldn’t really have missed please add it in the comments below. Thank you.

 

Rising from the ashes

March 18, 2011 in News

Remember the DFC, the short-lived subscription-only comic weekly? Well, it looks like it might be returningsort of.

Many of the DFC’s former artists and writers including Philip Pullman, Laura Howell, Gary Northfield, Garen Ewing, and the PCO‘s own Wilbur Dawbarn attended what may have been the launch party for The Phoenix in Oxford.

Although details are a little sketchy, it appears this isn’t strictly a re-launch but a new comic edited by the DFC’s former editor Ben Sharpe. Or, as Lew Stringer puts it in Blimey!

So, a new comic with the same editor as The DFC which held a party to announce the new comic, attended by many ex-DFC contributors, and allegedly also involving Will Fickling who was previously involved with The DFC. Other than that, not a revival of The DFC.

DFC or not, it appears that the new comic is expected to launch in early 2012. You get more information by signing up for their mailing list at www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk, or by following editor Ben Sharpe on Twitter.

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by Royston

The DFC could make a comeback

July 19, 2010 in General, News

The DFC coverThe DFC, the short-lived children’s comic which was launched in 2008 (much covered here on the Bloghorn) could be set for a return.

The publisher David Fickling has indicated that the comic could return in 2011, while acknowledging that its subscription-only format was probably a mistake.

The comics blog downthetubes.net has the story.

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by Royston

Last issue of the DFC out today

March 27, 2009 in General

lastdfc
The final issue of the DFC is out today, though a group of artists and writers who were involved in the comic have launched a new blog dedicated to news, drawings, and new projects called Super Comics Adventure Squad. You can also read some of the strips that will not now appear in print on the downsized DFC website.

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by Royston

DFC comic is put up for sale

March 4, 2009 in General

The DFC, the weekly kids’ comic launched last year, is up for sale. The publisher, Random House, said it will close on March 27 if a buyer cannot be found.

Philippa Dickinson, Managing Director at Random House Children’s Books, said: “Unfortunately, in the current economic climate, we have decided that the DFC is not commercially viable within our organisation.”

The subscription-only comic was launched in May 2008. It was initially named the DFC as a working title, after publisher David Fickling, but children reacted well to the title in focus groups.

“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,” Philippa Dickinson added.

Bloghorn has reported on The DFC many times. We will have reaction to this sad news tomorrow.

UPDATED: Forbidden Planet have reported here too.

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by Royston

Wilbur grins and bears it

January 23, 2009 in General

bodkin

This week’s edition of new children’s comic The DFC (issue 34, dated January 23) features the debut of a new strip by PCOer Will “Wilbur” Dawbarn.

Bodkin and the Bear is the story of a less-than-successful medieval minstrel called Bodkin who messes up every job he ever gets. But things may start to look up when he meets the mysterious Bear …

There’s more info at the DFC website where you can even read a small biography of Wilbur who reveals that he is the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of cartoons, as when he is not at the drawing board he enjoys nothing more than foraging for mushrooms.

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by Royston

The DFC: Now we are six (months)

November 27, 2008 in General


PCOer Royston Robertson writes:

The Forbidden Planet blog has a nice piece to mark six months of The DFC, the subscription-only kids’ comic launched earlier this year. Instead of canvassing the opinions of grown-up comic fans, they’ve interviewed a member of the target audience: Molly, nine.

This was interesting to me as my son, who is six, reads The DFC. He loves it, but of course he only knows about it because his cartoonist Dad wanted to see it. His friends are largely unaware of The DFC because it has such a low media profile. It really needs to get into the shops permanently (it’s currently on a one-week trial at Tesco).

Like Molly in the FP piece, he also goes for the funny ones rather than the more serious, adventure ones. I think I did much the same thing with comics as a child.

Forbidden Planet blog

The DFC

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

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Cartooning in the media: It's not all bad news

July 25, 2008 in General

PCOer Royston Robertson says we cartoonists need to lighten up about media coverage of our profession

There’s no doubt that cartoons are enjoying an unusually high profile in the British media at the moment.

We’ve seen acres of coverage for the launch of new kids’ comic The DFC (left), the 70th anniversary of The Beano and Phill Jupitus’s comic strip programme on Radio Four. There has even been a graphic novel serialised in The Times.

So, are cartoonists happy about this? Not a bit of it.

I agree with Neil Dishington, who wrote on this blog yesterday that the Phill Jupitus thing was nothing special, but is that because we’re cartoonists and therefore he’s preaching to the converted? I think it’s likely that many listeners would have found Jupitus’s sincere enthusiasm about comic strips quite infectious.

Isn’t it a good thing that shows like these exist? Is it not the case that the only thing worse than the media talking about cartoons is the media not talking about cartoons?

But they misrepresent cartooning, some cartoonists cry, it’s obvious they don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, maybe. I’m sure I heard James Naughtie talking about “animators” at The Beano on the Today show on Monday, but is there a single profession that doesn’t think it is often misrepresented by the media? I know journalists who think the media misrepresents them.

Another common complaint is that any media obsession with cartoons is just a passing fad. Again, that may be true, perhaps they’re using cartoons to cheer us up amid all the credit crunch stuff, but then that is the role of most cartoons. And let’s not forget that the media treats many subjects in a faddish way before moving on to the next thing.

And as for the grumbling over celebs such as Jupitus drawing cartoons, cartooning has always been something where everyone wants to have a go. That’s because it’s fun. We often encourage that attitude, at events such as The Big Draw and the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival.

All you can do is keep on doing good cartoon work and hope that those who commission cartoons for publication will realise that it is best to go to a professional.

The PCO: Professional cartoon talent

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New children's comic launched

May 13, 2008 in News


The perceived wisdom is that the children’s comic market in Britain is in decline, but Random House publishing is attempting to reverse the trend with a new comic called The DFC. Initially the comic, which is aimed at eight to 12-year-olds, will be subscription only, though there are plans for it to appear in shops. You can read an interview with David Fickling, the man behind the comic, at Times Online, and the DFC homepage is here.

The PCO: British cartoon talent