The Phoenix story comic, formerly the DFC comic launched by Random House in 2008, is to be distributed nationally by Waitrose, as well as local booksellers in London and Oxfordshire, marketing manager Ross Fraser has said. The magazine launches on 7th January 2012.
Waitrose has been offering a prequel "zero issue" to its customers for the past month. The company is in discussions with other supermarket chains about distributing the weekly publication. Some of its cartoon strips may also be serialised by a national newspaper.
The Phoenix aims to have 3,000 subscribers within the first year, and already has 600 signed up. It can be bought for £2.99 or through an annual subscription costing £99. It may also be developed into annuals twice a year, in the summer and winter, said Fraser.
The comic, which is aimed at eight- to 12-year-old readers, will include serialised and standalone comic strips, such as "Corpse Talk" by Adam Murphy—featuring historical figures such as Shackleton—and puzzles in the form of comic strips, such as Lorenzo Etherington’s "Dangerous Adventures of Van Deogan".
The Phoenix was created from the ashes of the DFC comic, which folded when its backer Random House pulled out after a year in 2009. Its creator, David Ficking of David Fickling Books, is working for the new venture in a non-executive capacity.