You may remember me championing the launch of a new 'anthology' kids comic last year, The DFC. A brand new (admittedly rather middle-class) title that has real morals, aimed at children aged 8 to 12 (although this 40-something has enjoyed the ride too!). The serialised stories within (a mix of humour and serious) are of great quality and, unlike the dumbed down pap we tend to expect these days, actually treat kids with a bit of intelligence. To date there has never been a single advert inside, no cheesy promotions for products or plastic toys stuck to the cover... just wall-to-wall original stories.
As a subscriber from the start, I've really got rather used to it arriving in the post each and every Friday (oh yeah, that was the other thing, rather than be held hostage to the like of WH Smith who demand something like 35% of the cover price, they went it alone and made it a mail order only affair).... but today I hear the comic is in deep trouble, and in a press statement has been labelled "not commercially viable". The title has been offered up as a 'going concern' if anyone wishes to take it on, but when labelled by its own publishing company as not commercially viable, I doubt they will be queueing up to take it on. That being the case, the comic will cease on the 27th March.
As a life long lover of the British comic this is sad news, and possibly the final nail in the long tradition we have with anthology comics for kids. Who knows why it didn't work... Maybe it was the cover price (£3)?, but the production quality was such that it was actually worth it, maybe it was starting a new luxury comic for kids during a recession? Maybe it was the lack of awareness of the title and the fact that nobody 'bumped' into it in Tescos or Smiths? It certainly wasn't down to the quality of the stories, artwork or the effort that went into getting it out there every week.
I've been filing my copies away safely, and was looking forward to introducing my son to the comic when he was old enough, sadly that's unlikely to happen now. His only glimpse will probably be as a defunct piece of history.
Kevin interviews: DRAKE The Bookshop
2 days ago