Tag Archives: the dfc

The Thing and Good News/Bad News

The Webcomix Thing was brilliant – the day started with me working out a revolutionary new way to staple involving a spoon (no, really) and only went up from there, mostly thanks to all the wonderful people who came and still seemed to remember who I was. Thank you people with good memories! I even managed to sell out my hastily constructed minicomic ‘Beaver and Steve volume 2 1/2 : the Owl of Regret’ – sorry to anyone who missed out on the badly printed action! I also got to meet so many talented artists that it would be impossible to list them all here – suffice it to say that I wish the Thing could happen every week, even though it would probably kill me.

Now it’s time for Good News/Bad News:

Bad News: The Comic section is not going to appear in the Guardian any more which means that my strip is not going to reach it’s conclusion. Combine this with the death of the DFC and it’s becoming a bit of a comics apocalypse.

Good News: The DFC creators have teamed together to create a new comics blog at http://supercomicsadventuresquad.blogspot.com/ (not sure where they got that name from) and it promises to be super amazing – make sure you take a look at all the great art already on the site. And to make up for cutting my comic off half way the Guardian has posted all of the remaining episodes online! They are all at really high resolution, and they have done something very strange with the colours, but you can at least see some of what I’ve been slaving over for the last 6 months or so (I’ve also added links to the other episodes that have already been posted online so that they are all conveniently in one place):

Episode one
(Episode two : the squad goes to the musuem and works out that the thief is Greenbeard the Pirate)
Episode three
(Episodes 4-6 : having gained access the ship the squad is captured and the captain reveals the real reason that he stole the baboon: to get access to the magic spoon hidden inside! Why? Because he wants to be a celebrity chef of course)

Episode seven, part one

Episode seven, part two

Episode eight, part one

Episode eight, part two

Episode nine, part one

Episode nine, part two

Episode ten, part one

Episode ten, part two

Episode eleven, part one

Episode eleven, part two

Episode twelve, part one

Episode twelve, part two

I’m still waiting to hear from Random House what they want to do with Super Animal Advneture Squad now that the DFC is finished (they own the rights to the concept), but hopefully this will not be the end of their adventures … we will just have to wait and see!

The Thing and another thing.

Just a reminder: I will be at the UK Webcomix Thing in London this Saturday – I am going to try to have a mini comic available to sell on the day, but so far I’ve only managed to create one page (see my previous entry), so it may be very mini. I’ll also have books and badges, and even if you don’t want to buy anything it would be lovely if you wanted to come by and say hello!

Here’s an image I’ve been meaning to post for a while – it’s my cover for issue 40 of the DFC that ran a few weeks ago (the final issue is this week – sob!). I hope you like it!

(For those that like to keep track of such things, this is the image that I was working on during my hourly comic day comic. See!)

Sad news…

So it looks like the DFC is going to be publishing it’s last issue this month – the publishing house that’s been backing it is putting it up for sale, and it’s pretty unlikely that a buyer is going to turn up. Here’s the 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.

It’s a real shame that it’s ended so soon, but it’s been an absolutely fantastic experience and I’m really proud of what everyone at the DFC has acheived. Go us! Now, does anyone have a few quid kicking about and want to buy themselves a comic…?

P.S for those of you wondering where this week’s edition of Super Animal Advneture Squad is, I’m afraid it looks like the Guardian hasn’t bothered to put the comic section in their online edition this time. The scoundrels! If it turns up I’ll let you know – and hopefully they’ll remember to do it next week!

Lazarus Lemming

Last night I realised that my wacom stylus came with one felt nib, which means that my pen doesn’t slip all over the screen when I draw anymore. It’s a whole new drawing sensation! To test it out I had a go at drawing another DFC character, Lazarus Lemming, by Dave Windett. It wasn’t a horrible experience!

Of course, it still took me about 2 hours to finish, but you know, practice, practice!


Christmas is approaching and the festivity levels are off the scale, so as a special present to all of you the DFC has launched a new comic preview site where you can read episodes of all sorts of stories from the DFC, including my own strip, Super Animal Adventure Squad. The preview site is here – go take a look, and then have a thoroughly merry christmas. In that order.

I was away all weekend, but when I finally got a chance to check my post this morning I was in for a nice surprise – my artwork is on the cover of the DFC this week! I’ll try to scan it in at some point so you can take a look, but here’s a little preview from the DFC website:

Also! There’s another of my drawing guides available on the DFC site – learn to draw Agent Beesley here.

I’m excited to reveal that I have a full page illustration in the Times today – if anyone has a copy or can sneak a peak in a newsagents it’s on the Young Times page, page 34 of the Times2 pullout. It came out quite well considering I was up until 5am finishing it! It’s a series of panels telling kids how to draw their own super hero – will try to scan in a copy once I get home.

Has anyone out there read the DFC yet? I’ve read a few reviews and they all seem very positive!

Who needs sleep anyway?

Ok, I think things are close enough to fruition to reveal what’s going on – the project I’m working on (which you can see a snippet of a few entries back) is for a new children’s comic called the DFC, which is launching at the end of May. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks at home, finishing off my first 11 week storyline (I say finishing off – I have been working every night this week, and still have two more to colour) and I’ve surprised myself with how non-crappy it’s turned out.

It is an incredible amount of work though – I worked harder in the last two weeks than I have in years (but don’t tell my boss that), and while I really enjoyed doing it, now that I’m back at work I’m not sure how I’m going to keep it up. They want me to do 2 pages a week for my next storyline, and while this means more money it’s not enough to give up the day job just yet, so I’m going to somehow have to combine my day job with doing 20-30 hours of comic work a week. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage that without collapsing in a frazzled heap after a couple of days – I think my only hope is to ask my manager very nicely if there is any way that I can work part time and get a day or two off every week, but I’m really not sure how that’s going to wash. They did give me the last two weeks off with basically zero notice, so there is some hope. Fingers crossed!

The other obvious casualty is going to be Beaver and Steve – the last few weeks I’ve been mostly relying on guest strips, and the one comic I did manage to produce was just not fun at all to make. Unless I can get some serious time off on a regular basis I am afraid Beaver and Steve might have to come to an end, or at least a lengthly hiatus. I really hope I can figure out a way to keep it going as well – I still have a pile of ideas lined up for it – but right now I don’t see how that’s going to be possible, which is kind of sad after putting so much work into it. Beaver and Steve will never die though, as long as we keep them alive in our hearts. Or in some sort of suspended animation.

More updates as they come…