First of all, the name - if the C in DFC means comic, then we all have to stop and think before saying DFC comic. DF Comic? DFC Book?
Second, the first few issues were met with a resounding silence in my household. The kids didn't seem to notice, merely grunting when I pointed out my friend Sarah McIntyre's strip, Vern and Lettuce (pictured).
And then, slowly, slowly, the copies piling up next to my bed began to appear in unexpected places. Under the sofa. On the trampoline. In the magazine rack next to the bread flour.
I caught my 17 year old reading it the other day.
"Do you like it?" I asked hopefully.
"I don't know," was his reply. "What is it?"
Which makes me think the DFC is probably plugging a very large gap. I grew up in a country where the daily newspapers each had an entire page devoted to the 'funnies' - comic strips - targetted at kids. It was the first page I read in the paper and I spent a lot of time cutting out my favourites. It seems there is no such culture here in England.
Nine-year-olds I prepared earlier reading the DFC
DFC content is probably most age-appropriate to my nine-year-old - which is great because she has become a big fan, snatching every issue from me before I'd even had time to caress the stamp. So last weekend, when London's Cartoon Museum hosted a DFC afternoon, we went for it!
Sarah McIntyre posted great photos of the event on her blog - I was rather embarrassingly one of the more enthusiastic participants, shoving five-year-olds out of the way to get my share of the paper.
I'd been working on an early reader series called 'Evil Baby' so I had a go at drawing the character:
He looks a bit like my nephew, Matthew:
Cartoonist Adam Murphy helped workshoppers create expressions for their characters:
I did my best, but I couldn't quite get Adam's face:
Sarah McIntyre told the kids how she had stumbled upon making comics at art school when she discovered that a lot of her friends were into them. She showed us some exquisite mini comics that she had made and then we made our own. Really cool.
The best thing though was seeing all the awesome kids and their incredible imaginations just whirring away. I sat opposite this fantastically talented boy (right) and two other kids. They just churned out the most wonderful (if rather violent and gory) stuff.
My nine year old invented two characters. Knowman -
And Larry the Pot Guy (a Lemon who lives in a pot):
She said Larry the Pot Guy had a strawberry sidekick.
I couldn't have thought all that up.
Just goes to show what comics can do. Bring it on, DFC!