Sunday, June 01, 2008

Comic Cuts

Reviews for the first issue of The DFC have started appearing and are generally positive with only minor criticisms. John Freeman (Down the Tubes) calls the first issue "a doozy" and "a terrific start for the new title." Lew Stringer (Blimey!) says, "What impressed me most about the first issue is that there's not one badly drawn strip in it. Everything is top quality material, and with the likes of Laura Howell, Dave Windett, and Jamie Smart in future issues it looks likely to remain that way." "I’ll be reading it every week and whilst I’m not the target audience there are some things in here most comics fans would enjoy," reveals Kenny Penman (Forbidden Planet International).

The reviewers also cited a few negatives: minor layout concerns (Freeman: "I think the strips should perhaps have more of a border to them than they do at present as there's a danger the pages can merge into one"), the fact that most stories are serials (Stringer: "Unfortunately it means that in some strips ... there's six pages of very little happening"), and tonally it's a bit too middle-class (Penman: "It does seem solidly middle class in it’s presentation and I wonder if kids might just like a bit (or in fact a lot) more irreverence from their comics").

Here's a quick list of strips in the debut issue (and links to everyone's website or blog—it's not like the old days of anonymous contributors):
Some of the artists who will be appearing in upcoming issues of DFC include Emma Vieceli (whose 'Violet' strip has just started appearing in The Guardian Comic supplement), Laura Howell, Jamie Smart, Dave Windett, Garen Ewing...

Nick Abadzis has published the text of the speech he gave at the launch of the comic at the Film Café at the BFI Southbank. You can also hear his speech as part of the coverage given the launch by Alex Fitch's Panel Borders podcast. Alex has covered the comic in three shows:
  • Strip! The DFC and the future of kids' comics (29 May; not yet podcast)
  • Panel Borders: The DFC part 1 (Pullman/Abadzis/Fickling) (29 May; available here)
  • Panel Borders: The DFC part 2 (John & Patrice Aggs/Jim Medway) (29 May; available here)
Photos from the launch were published by The Guardian (24 May). Some more pics can be found at Comixinflux (Stephen Betts).

More DFC news:

* Philip Ardagh's blog reveals (if you scroll down the entry dated 16 May): "This is one of the numerous ‘secret projects’ I’ve been involved in of late. I’ve written the scripts for the first few episodes of a comic strip—for which some sample illustrations have been sketched—but I’ve yet to sign on the dotted line."

* And Amazon may be interested in distributing the comic according to an unconfirmed rumour that appeared in Publishers Weekly (22 May).

News from around the Net...

* The Times will begin serialising 'The Trial of the Sober Dog' by Nick Abadzis from tomorrow morning (Monday, 2 June). The series will appear every Monday for the next six months and concerns a couple who rediscover an old school rival. On the surface, Joe Chase has lived up to expectations and become a great success but, as readers will discover through flashbacks, anecdotes and musings by various narrators throughout the story, the truth will be discovered.

* Neil Gaiman to write an episode of Doctor Who for the 2010 season? That's the rumour. Neil Gaiman himself is non-commital and, when asked directly by Rich Johnston, would only say that he could not possibly comment which, to me, sounds like politician-speak for "Yes I've been approached but we still have to work out the details."

* Dave Gibbons is interviewed at Den of Geek about Watchmen and more. (link via Journalista)

* The Times gave a very positive review to the Classical Comics adaptation of Macbeth by John McDonald and Jon Haward. "Each frame is action-packed, with dizzying perspectives, dramatic shadows hatching characters' faces and a restrained palette of red, purple and yellow emphasising the menace and gloom of moral corruption."
Macbeth (Original Text) ISBN 978-1-906332-03-7, 25 Feb 2008.
Macbeth (Plain Text) ISBN 978-1-906332-04-4, 25 Feb 2008.
Macbeth (Quick Text) ISBN 978-1-906332-05-1, 25 Feb 2008.

* BBC News carries a piece on 'US superheroes with Scottish accents' by Peter Murray (29 May) where they talk to Frank Quitely, Alan Grant and DC Comics' Bob Schreck.

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