Sunday, April 20, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
The first notion I had was to incorporate images into the numbers of a 5-4-3-2-1-0 countdown. Unfortunately, it looked horrible because the page is so tall and the numbers had to be vertically stretched so they're taller and thinner than they should be. I partly resolved that by using the two original logos to create a title logo plus some panels from the 'Countdown' strip for the back cover. I then used bands of different widths and elements from covers—and three from original artwork.
I spent my birthday designing it, so I hope you like it. I could have been watching TV or reading a book instead. It was a deliberately quiet day. Like the Queen, I have an official birthday and a day for public celebration, which will be Saturday—tomorrow if you're reading this the day it's posted.
So I added another year to my age during the week and aside from the expected cracks and creaks from muscles that used to work smoothly, I'm not feeling especially old. Part of that is down to being more active, having spent a good part of the year forcing myself to go for walks and get some exercise. The idea was not to simply lose some weight but to make a lifestyle change so that a morning walk became part of my regularly daily routine. I'm now walking a mile and a half every morning and another three-quarters of a mile in the afternoon; in fact, I now feel guilty if I don't walk.
I managed to lose 12 pounds and a few inches around the waist last year, but it has taken until now to shake off the couple of pounds I put on over Christmas/Winter. OK, that might not sound like much of an achievement, but you have to remember that this time last year I'd piled on a lot of weight after giving up smoking and it was still heading skywards. So in a year I've turned my (steady) weight increase into a (bumpy) weight loss.
My poor exercise bike is slowly falling apart. The strap over the left hand pedal snapped a long time ago, but this week the speedometer and mileometer broke after I'd cycled exactly 1,698 miles. I can still use the bike, but now I have to measure my cycling in time (I usually it in 15 minute bursts) rather than mileage.
Independent and Guardian for more on her life).
Continuing with a little run of Ted Tubb Dumarest books, we present #19 The Quillian Sector, an Arrow paperback from 1982 with a cover by Fred Gambino. And finally a book I picked up last weekend, a Panther from 1968 with a photographic cover . . . something a bit different.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
I would appear as if by magic. Light would crawl across the wall and crawl away as the sun rolled across the heavens and I would disappear for the night.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not unhappy with this situation. I enjoy piecing together the stories of the old comics I write about, I occasionally get to talk to interesting people and I'm always rooting around after some fact or other, the result of which can vary from disappointing to so fascinating I lose the rest of the day.
So... there isn't much news. Again. What I can tell you is that we're over the 30,000 words line—the latest count was 31,500, with around 21,500 in the correct order. (Just to explain: by this I mean that I have the bulk of the material written up in a fashion I'm happy with plus another 10,000 words of material that I'm still pulling into shape; most of this additional wordage is a precis of each of the storylines of each of the strips which I'm weaving into the introduction; there's also notes to myself about things that I've got to remember to talk about, footnotes, a lengthy precis of the 'Countdown' comic strip that I'm thinking of doing as a section on its own.
There are also notes that probably won't make it into the final draft, such as this paragraph charting the rise of television viewing, which I've decided I didn't need:
The nine-day Apollo/SOYUZ mission in 1975 was broadcast to more than one billion people (a quarter of the world’s population at the time) and the 1978 world cup in Argentina was watched by about a billion people in 42 countries as the host nation beat the Netherlands; a record viewership surpassing the 1976 Olympics. Three billion had access to the Seoul Olympics in 1988, four billion (Sydney Olympics in 2000) and 4.8 billion (London, 2012).
There, that's a cut scene from the book that might be reincorporated if I ever do a Director's Cut.
Dark Shepherd: The Art of Fred Gambino, which should be well-worth looking out for.
I haven't read anything by Dan Simmons for years, so I grabbed up Olympos when I saw it in a charity shop. Unfortunately, it's a sequel and I don't have Ilium. But I love the cover. I couldn't read the signature, but I believe it is the work of Gary Ruddell, who was nominated for a Hugo Award for an earlier cover for a Dan Simmons book.
Finally, a return to the kind of artwork that appeared on paperbacks when I was trawling the shops every week for the latest SF titles—although this one is a non-fiction book on weapons. But who's the artist? I wonder if it's Tony Roberts. Anyone?