Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Coming attractions

Leo and I don’t get out nearly enough in a job like ours. So it was nice to have a bit of an outing yesterday, converging from our respective homes in Somerset and London for a meeting at our publisher's offices in Oxford.

As plans for the DFC Library proceed apace it’s all getting very exciting. David showed us cover mock-ups of the first titles due out in spring next year. The series is kicking off with three great DFC strips:
Mezolith, Spider Moon and Good Dog Bad Dog. If you subscribed to the DFC you will have seen this material already, but the high quality printing and prestige hardcover editions will make them worth having even so. I loved the Mezolith cover in particular – a dramatic and at the same time contemplative image that expresses the whole central concept of a father passing traditions on to his son.

Think of all the great titles to come:
Monkey Nuts, Robot Girl, Frontier, Spectrum Black, Mo-Bot High, Bodkin and the Bear… Oh, too many to mention. And then there are the strips that are on file but didn’t get the chance to appear before the DFC was closed, like Garen Ewing’s eagerly-awaited Tomb of Nazaleod, for example. Where would a UK publisher get an incredible graphic novel list like that? These books are going to prove the real value of the DFC as an incubator of top comics IPs.

And what about Mirabilis? Bless your ‘eart for asking, guv’nor. The first book, Winter, is almost complete. It’s over 200 pages so a fair old stocking-filler, and one that could keep a chap quiet most of Christmas Day. But Christmas of which year? At this stage we cannot say.

After the meeting we had nine hours to kill (the problem of pre-booking to get affordable tickets) but there’s plenty to do in Oxford. We strolled around the
Pitt Rivers Museum, took in Bruce Willis’s new movie Surrogates at the Odeon in Magdalen Street, and had a fine meal at the Bangkok House in Hythe Bridge Street – an acceptable substitute for the sadly defunct Opium Den that used to stand nearby. Then back home to work on the last few pages of the Winter book.


  1. I am excited to hear so many DFC strips will get the opportunity to exist as stand-alone volumes. Looking forward to Mirabilis: Winter!

  2. Well, if we're being realistic it's not all good news. Leo and I had to fund ourselves to finish the book after the DFC folded. We can't afford to go on with book 2 on that basis, so the series will only continue if book 1 is successful. That really means finding a US, French or European publisher (preferably all three) and to that end Leo and I will be going to Angouleme in January.

    Failing that, we'd have to wait until the UK release and hope to use that as a calling card to hook international interest. But that's really a worst case as it would mean waiting until spring 2011 to start on book 2, which wouldn't actually then be on sale until the end of 2012!

    Frankly, if we leave the characters that long I'm not interested in returning to them. So the next few months are make or break for us. If we had self-published then we would control the rights, but as it is I think it's more likely we're going to shelve Mirabilis and start a completely new project. But you will still get Winter for sure - and hopefully you'll like what we work on next!

  3. Really lovely of you to mention all that, and it's great. Can't wait to get those books - and yours! But a Frontier book? No idea! Let's hope so!