Tuesday, 17 March 2009

.. and how can the DFC be saved?

Random House are looking to sell the title, and whilst the idea of a single wealthy benefactor coming to the rescue sounds great, it also sounds improbable in the current climate.... although with interest rates close to zero and the stock market tanking, you never know...

In any case, it seems unlikely that Random House is actively seeking a buyer.

A great alternative might be to galvanise the subscriber base of the DFC to get as many people as possible to know about it and, if they are interested, get them to pledge a small sum towards an eventual 'subscriber buy-out'.

I am not sure of the exact methodology of doing this but have seen it successfully used in other contexts.


  1. Well done on this site.

    Yes we do need to keep the DFC alive. Somehow we need to get this site publicised within the DFc readership first. An ideas?

    I think we should definately start a letter writing campaign to Randon House. I don't think they have a clue as to what a great product they have. You can't expect any business in its first 9 months to be an instant smash hit. I started up businesses and the first few years are tough.

    What really surprises me is the lack of books around featuring the DFC comic strips. A Mot Bot High book, Mezaloth or Philip Pullman's stories would surely be a success in a book format and that would have helped publicise the DFC to a wider audience.

    If the DFC can't be kept going in a tradional paper format for now, how about a web based subscriber comic?

  2. I have a suspicion that not all DFC readers are aware that the DFC might be about to disappear. So we definitely need to get the word out.

    My sons had read all the strips in last week's issue and hadn't noticed the sad news at the front at all... and not that many parent's are going to have been looking around the web to find out what is happening.

  3. oh, and much as I love the DFC's papery format, I could live with a web based version until we are through the credit crunch

  4. I absolutely adore the DFC and if it can be saved, it ought to be! North America would be lucky to have anything half as cool as the DFC. Which, thanks to being able to order issues via the internet, we can.

    I doubt that a webcomic subscription model could work, though. Part of what makes the DFC so great is that it can afford to hire such talented creators, and the history of subscription webcomics is rather bleak. There seems to be little to no money in it.

  5. The idea would be to keep the DFc alive on a web format whilst trying to get in back in print

  6. I think a web format is a really good idea.
    And get the news about it out to school and public libraries, who I'm sure would be interested by the idea of a quality comic with no advertising. Other people you could try contacting for help/ advice include: the Federation of Children's Book Groups, www.fcbg.org.uk - they might pass info on to their members via their newsletter; Cinebook (for advice on marketing comics/ BD in the UK?) http://www.cinebook.com/; charities such as Reading is Fundamental, www.rif.org.uk - they might be interested in helping since comics are a way to build literacy, esp. for boys. of course I have no idea if any of these groups would help, but worth a try?

  7. If I may pontificate a bit,
    I think theres enough talented cartoonists in the UK to fill the DFC five times over. While its target market is somewhat narrow, theres plenty of ways how it could survive as a weekly British comic. My assessment on its failure, and strength, is that its distributed in much the same way as UK comics have been - to a niche mail order market. Those reading these are late teens and adults 'in the loop', prepared to search for lesser visible comix. Quite frankly, a weekly adult comix might better survive on the same merit. Good on you for putting this site together. The DFC is meritorious and could do with some assistance - its important early steps, and I've linked to you in a few places. (Here via Gary Northfield, thanks Gary)

  8. I am interested in this, but not quite sure how you're planning on going about (but the by the sounds of it you're at a pretty early stage too). As a general idea, if plenty if money were raised, who are you thinking would do the management / editorial work and other day-to-day tasks? I realise you may not be able to answer yet but I'm not sure whether you're thinking of it in terms of a whole other organizational structure to manage it, or of it being done by the same people as currently, just being paid by different people.

  9. Ideally the same team, given the opportunity to grow over a longer period and given a huge marketing push by the success of our ludicrously naive fledgling pledglings