Tuesday 15 July 2008

The Cool Company of Comics People

Lettuce by Sarah McIntyreThe DFC comic book had me worried at first.

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.
Reading the DFC

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:
Evil Baby by Candy Gourlay

He looks a bit like my nephew, Matthew:

Evil Baby Matthew

Cartoonist Adam Murphy helped workshoppers create expressions for their characters:

DFC day at the museum

I did my best, but I couldn't quite get Adam's face:

Cartoon expressions by Candy Gourlay

Cool kid at DFC eventSarah 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 -

Knowman by Mia

And Larry the Pot Guy (a Lemon who lives in a pot):

Larry the Pot Guy by Mia

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!


  1. >It seems there is no such culture here in England

    I tried to edit that line to say funnies culture but Blogger was in one of its moods and wouldn't let me. So, apologies to all you comic book fans in England ... I meant newspaper funnies.

  2. I'm glad to see more of your drawings! Are you illustrating Evil Baby too? I wonder, do you make faces at the mirror to copy on paper?

  3. >I wonder, do you make faces at the mirror to copy on paper?

    no, i just copy matthew's face. (i added matthew's pic in after you commented)

    ps. folks, candice is matthew's mum.

  4. Hooray! That was fun. :-)

  5. Well then, I think I can show my support for Evil Baby. Mwahaha


  6. Ace drawings! I cut my reading teeth on comics and they still form part of my diet (not literally)! My first writing was comics!


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