Sunday, December 14, 2008

DFC news: Mirabilis & collecting the comics....

Interesting news from the DFC. Next week is the Christmas issue and one of the highlights looks like it will be the debut of Mirabilis; The Year Of Wonders. It looks rather like a strip that would have found a place in the pages of Epic Illustrated, helped no doubt by the fact that the artwork looks uncannily like Brett Blevins (or at least it does to me).

It's a fantasy and looks very, very good. Down The Tubes has more on it here. But the really interesting thing for me came in a press release:

"The series tells of a lost year "sometime between Victorian and Edwardian times" when a green comet appears in the sky. As the comet grows brighter, the barriers between reality and fantasy begin to break down, unleashing a tide of mystery, wonder and supernatural danger. Against this backdrop, a 17-year-old grocer's delivery boy named Jack Ember and 15-year-old baron's daughter Estelle Meadowvane will find it is their destiny to discover the secret of the green comet and save the future of the imagination.

The series unfolds in 5-page episodes which will later be collected in graphic novel format as the four seasons of the Mirabilis year. The whole story will run to an epic 280 pages and is written by Dave Morris, illustrated by Leo Hartas, and colored by Nikos Koutsis, with covers and interior paintings by Martin McKenna."

That's the first definite book collection from the DFC. And it's interesting because it's a pre-sold collection, prior to publication. The thing I can't help thinking is that certain of the strips in the DFC naturally lend themselves to collection; most obviously the fantasy and adventure strips designed for slightly older readers. So the favourites in our household: Vern & Lettuce, Crab Lane Crew and Sausage & Carrots, are going to have a really hard time getting a book deal. So far the only example of this sort of strip getting a book deal is Gary Northfield's excellent Derek The Sheep, the first creator owned strip iin the Beano that was published by Bloomsbury earlier this year. (And yes, it is on my shelf. And yes, there is a review coming soon). These sorts of single page gag strips, no matter how good they are, are at a disadvantage to the larger multi-part serials. Not a criticism, just an observation.

More information on Mirabilis at the Mirabilis website.

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