25th February 2010
Are you missing the DFC? – good news! It is back in book form.
Imagine a beautifully illustrated children’s comic with no advertising, with a host of contributions from the cream of British children’s writing talent. Too good to be true?
This was the vision for a magazine called the DFC. Every week for nearly a year, a masterpiece dropped through our letter box. It contained gripping stories from the likes of Philip Pullman, Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, and stunning illustrations. It was so eagerly awaited that a rota had to be drawn up as to the order in which my three children would be able to read it, otherwise there would be a conflict rivalling any seen in recent world history. Even now, those copies are treasured, read and re-read and treated as works of art in my house.
Imagine the devastation when we were told that it would cease publication in March 2009. So what went wrong?
As there was no advertising, the only source of income was subscriptions. This made it expensive, and limited the number of people willing to pay for it. When the recession came and Random House (the parent company) withdrew its financial backing, it could not carry on any longer. A campaign has been set up to organise a subscriber buyout http://savethedfc.blogspot.com/ but there are no plans to re-launch as a weekly magazine at present.
However, publishers David Fickling Books have recently announced the creation of the DFC Library. Three new books will be published during March, April and May 2010 carrying on the stories from some of the best loved cartoon strips from the magazines. They are sure to be loved by DFC fans and those new to the stories.
The first of these, Good Dog Bad Dog by Dave Shelton, tells the hilarious story of two canine detectives and is inspired by old movies, slapstick and adventure comedy. It is available to pre-order at Amazon
April will see the publication of Mezolith, a Stone Age horror story for older children and in May a new Spider Moon adventure will be launched. Written by Kate Brown, these stories are written to appeal particularly to girls. They tell the story of Bekka and her companions, who must go on a journey of adventure to save her people from a fate foretold by an ancient prophesy.
Book 1 of this series, The Spider Moon, is already available from Amazon.
The official DFC library website can be found at www.davidficklingbooks.co.uk/davidficklingbooks_dfclibrary.asp
text © Alexandra Freeman 2010
About the Author: Alex Freeman is a freelance writer specialising in parenting and family topics and can be contacted via eParenting.