Jobling's a busy boy these days, with projects seemingly here,
there and everywhere. As some of you may know,
the designer of Bob the
Builder has something of a penchant for Things
That Go Bump In The Night.
Hence his first, fully-fledged, self-created tv
series Frankenstein's Cat,
The Hound really must get round to indexing soon.
And those brilliant,
Well now Curtis has done it again. His new toon
project "The High School of
Doctor Moreau" is out there, in the Big Creative
Whirlpool, seeking funds
lest it's sucked down into a silty Development
Hell. But that's surely
not going to happen, because this is a top toon
idea. Curtis has been
collaborating on it with Eric Shaw, of "Spongebob
Doctor Moreau has a High School wherein are taught
all manner of
cooky spooky kids. Oh, and in keeping with the
theme of the thing,
Moreau has cloned himself so he can teach the
different classes... only...
his cloning hasn't worked too well and, in reality,
he's just donning
different disguises as he takes each lesson!
Sounds fab, eh? Let's hope the folks at thise
year's MIP TV think the
same, 'cos Curtis will be down there in Cannes
very soon, waving this
maniacal wonder in front of potential investors...
DFC is no more. A buyer for this Random House title could
not be found within the time limit, meaning this
week's issue - #43, for those
who keep a tally of these things - is officially
the last of the current run.
But, hold up. What's this "current"
thingy? Well, there appears to be
a slim chance that the title might yet make comeback,
the future, in the same format or some
other guise. And let's hope that
it does because the general consensus is that
The DFC was a hit, with
critics, artists and its readership. It's just
that the latter of these didn't
number enough to keep it alive in these crunchy,
Whilst we wait and hope for the return of Vern
and Lettuce, and
Lane Crew and their friends we can at least take comfort
rather jolly new blog. The Super Comics Adventure Squad
blog takes its title from James
Turner's DFC strip, "Super Animal
Adventure Squad", and its an online collection
of doodles and news
from the folks who previously drew and wrote The
we can keep up with their daily endeavours. All
the gang are there,
and they're already contributing away like mad.
Meanwhile, the team at DFC HQ have left their
readership with at
least a sliver of good news, because they've kindly
concluding episodes of "Monkey Nuts",
"Bodkin and the Bear",
"Donny Digits" and "Spider Moon"
on their web site
- bless 'em...
Goodness, Wallace and Gromit seem to be everywhere
But there's good reason for this, you see, it's
their 20th anniversary
So what's first on the list? Well, their BAFTA-winning
has just arrived on
"A Matter of Loaf and Death" features lots
of extras, including a Nick Park commentary and the
lowdown on last
year's Harvey Nichols ad campaign....
Then there are some fab new collectable
figures from Robert Harrop
Designs. Four are from "A Grand Day Out".
Wallace and Gromit both
feature in their "early" design, as befits
this step back in time. There's
also that strange skiing cooker-thing they encounter
on their moon trip,
and a wonderful wind-up Rocket Music Box - turn the
key to hear
that famous tune!
In addition to these, Gromit gets his very own
Good Citizen Dog Scheme
figure, because - what do you know - he's the
poster pup for the new
Kennel Club scheme which is encouraging proper
training for dogs
and their owners in the UK.
All five figures are restricted to just 1000 editions.
And there's lots more
on the cards from the Harrop team in the near future,
figures from "A Matter of Loaf and Death"
- how dough-lightful...
You want more?
Well, how about our dynamic duo, starring in an
all-new ad campaign
for nPower, in print, and on tv? - Here's a little
But, if all that's still not enough for you, you
can always try taking the family
down to London's Science Museum where - for a
limited time - you can
view and interact in person with Wallace &
Gromit's very own, real-life World
of Cracking Ideas. Yep. This brand new exhibition looks at the
wonders of West Wallaby Street and encourages
little geniuses to
get suitably inspired.
Sadly, The Hound is too far away to visit this
exhibition. But The
Guardian have been, and they and their young guests
seemed to like it...
Seriously, folks, this is terrific. This little
beauty reproduces a scene
from our favourite
tv incarnation, with Paddington
standing in the doorway
of No.32 Windsor Gardens, in a kind of decoupage
form, in keeping with
that classic FilmFair design. There are three
handcrafted layers to this
wonderous thing. The 20"x20" piece is
also signed by Paddington
creator Michael Bond. And what's more, it's restricted to
Yep. That's right. 75.
Add all that up and you can understand why it
also carries a noticable
price tag. But if you can afford it... if the little
bear from Darkest Peru looms
large in your life... well... it's a "must-have",
is it not?
Here's something a little different. One
eskimO are a four-piece band,
headed up by Kristian Leontiou and produced by
Rollo - formerly of
Faithless fame. But they're not just a band.
Oh no. You see, they've
gone down a similar path to Damon Alburn and company.
words, they've transformed themselves into a rather
intriguing, animated quartet...
Together, eskimO and his pals, the giraffe, monkey and
taken off on 10 animated musical adventures. Here's
the press blurb:
"The eskimo, the giraffe, monkey and penguin decided
they would all head out and travel above the seas,
moon and the planets and venture out through the stars.
They would travel together on the eskimO's special
For this was no ordinary ark, this was a dream arků"
Here's a sample
Now there's another Gorillaz connection here,
in the fact that
the band's adventures have been animated by the
Pictures. And if you were involved with, or viewed
the Public Choice films for last year's BAA
Awards, you might recall
that the band's first video - "Hometime"
- was a winning entrant.
You can view that fine film on the band's official
site, as it happens,
and there's a whole lot more there besides...
So why are we plugging One eskimO now, a year
after their debut?
Well, as that clip above tells you, they finally
released their first official
single a few days back, (23rd February). "Kandi"
is available to listen,
view and download right now. And the album it comes
from, "All Balloons"
will be with us in May.And this concept, and the little films which
accompany the tracks are really quite dreamy, and fab...So there.
Could it be that Britain's brightest comic weekly,
The DFC is on the
verge of closure, after less than a year of existence?
Well, sadly, it is.
The comic's parent company, Random House, has
decided to put the
title up for sale, with immediate effect, and
if no buyer is forthcoming
it will cease publication on March 27th.
What cold, hard reading this makes. It must be
devastating for the
artists and writers who have have been working
on this exciting venture
for the last ten months (or more, of course, given
the work that must have
been done in advance of its
launch). But facts is facts, and the toughest fact
of all is that The DFC was simply not making enough
money for its
backers. Of course, a subscription-based comic
was always going to
have a mountain to climb, but the current economic
woes must have
piled on the pressure over the last few months.
The Internet is currently buzzing
on this news from
DFC contributors and the UK comics community at
large. And where
ever you turn, the consenus seems to be overwhelmingly
The DFC has been a real shot in the arm for the
UK comics scene.
Yes, there have been problems with its subscription-only
but the drive and commitment from the folks involved
is being widely
applauded. Its readership has been exposed to a huge
comic stylings, with serial adventures, Manga-esque
comic capers and flights of whimsical brilliance
all rubbing shoulders
together between its weekly covers - with ne'er
an advert in sight.
As for this reader, he's so very grateful to David
Fickling and his
comic for having introduced him to the joys of
Medway, and The
Etherington Brothers, and so many
more exciting and talented folks. Oh, if only
a brave, bold buyer
could step forward...
Goodness, there's currently a whole lot of "loaf"
out there for Wallace
and Gromit, because the duo's latest star vehicle
- A Matter of Loaf and Death
- has recently picked up two more prestigious films awards,
in the shape of an Annie and a BAFTA.
arrived late last month, of course, on a night when all the talk
focused on the feud between a high-kicking
Panda and a robot in lurv.
(that's "Kung Fu Panda" and "Wall-e",
of course). Loaf won the Best
Animated Short Subject award, and director
Nick Park was also
presented with a rather desirable Winsor McCay
Award for his
contribution to the art of animation...
As for that BAFTA,
well, we saw it coming, didn't we? BAFTA just
love our West Wallaby St. duo, so it was
no surprise to see Nick
Park and the Aardman team collecting their
trophy last night
(8th Feb). Wallace and Gromit have had four
BAFTA wins now,
don't you know...
How sad it is to witness the demise of The DFC
- in its current guise,
at least. It appears to have been a victim of
these uncertain times,
more than anything else. But undoubtedly, it's
been a huge jolt in
the arm for the UK comics scene, and it's brought
a wealth of cartoon
talent out of the small press woodwork and into the
Which is something to celebrate. Why, even The Hound has
enough to dust down his old drawing board. And if The Hound's
been inspired, well, you can bet a whole bunch
of those DFC subscribers
have also got themselves worked up enough to pick up
If you think back to the giddy heydays of DC Thomson
those top weeklys stuck quite religiously to a house "style"
their strips. But The DFC has bravely presented
an array of styles and
tones to its readership. Each strip has had its
own voice. That's been
so exciting for this reader to see. And inspiring,
because it encourages
folks to think outside the box, as it were... Look
at this... Look what you
can do... The possibilities are endless...
Who knows, maybe a whole new generation of cartoonists
will look back upon those 43 issues of The DFC
as being the
birth-point of their career...