Secrecy surrounds the new comic strip created by Philip Pullman, author of the best-selling His Dark Materials trilogy of novels. The strip will appear at the end of the month in The DFC, the first new weekly comic for children in 25 years. Pullman is collaborating on an adventure story with illustrator John Aggs because The DFC is the brainchild of his editor, David Fickling, and also because he was himself inspired to read by The Eagle and other titles during the Fifties, the golden age of comics. He hopes The DFC will do the same for today's children, otherwise raised to be "hostile to print". Will it work? He met Pullman and was given an exclusive peak at the strip, under tight security
The DFC was launched in the Summer of and was sold exclusively over the Internet, a business model which saved the publishers the costs of highstreet distribution. Alas, the the comic was eventually forced to bite the bullet. In early a press release announced that Random House had decided to cease publication and was looking for a buyer. In late it was announced that the DFC Library - a range of hardback books collecting strips from the comic - would be released in the spring of ; the first titles were The Spider Moon , Mezolith and Good Dog, Bad Dog.
The former DFC comic is being revived as The Phoenix , under an independent company backed by an anonymous investor. The comic was launched by Random House in May but closed a year later. The Phoenix will launch in January