Not a huge amount of excitement so far in 2007; the cold bug that's going around reached me on New Year's Day and it's still here.
Some good news, tho': I've now seen the first issue of the new Look and Learn and it looks fantastic. The reproduction is spot on and I think our subscribers are going to be in for a very nice surprise when they get their issues. Mailing starts next week and I'm looking forward to some feedback. We should also be seeing some exciting additions to the website in the not too distant future after a few months where things have been fairly static -- we're going from inactive to interactive in one big leap!
The Scotsman's Robert McNeil reviewed the facsimile edition of the first issue on 6 January 2007 in a piece called 'Look and learn, my friend, look and learn', claiming "The illustrations in [Look and Learn] are wonderful. They're bright, sunny and optimistic. I would like to step into one of them and never come back." Meanwhile, the Lincolnshire Echo has 'The Boys Are Back in Town' quotes Tony Thorne from King's College, University of London, as saying that the growing demand for old-fashioned adventure stories "is a yearning for more straightforward pleasures and ... a reaction againt the new man and metrosexuality."
On the comics front, I've spent most of today finishing off the introduction and proofing the art pages for the next Storm--The Collection volume, number six in the series, which should be out next month. We're on a tight schedule because the next Trigan Empire volume, the eighth produced but the second chronologically, will also be out around the same time. The text is all done for the art pages, so now it's just a case of writing the introductions. "Just a case!" Who am I kidding -- there's a general intro., five story intros. and a 6-page dossier still to write! If they turn out to be more rambling than normal, blame the Lemsip.
I spotted an end-of-year bestsellers list which reveals that the Doctor Who Annual was the 28th best-selling title of 2006 with total sales of 304,280 copies; the Beano Annual came in at no.50 with sales of 234,841. A lot of shops will now have these available at discount prices -- 99p in some Waterstones -- so you can expect them to keep flying off the shelves for some time yet. The Beano Annual must have put on a spurt at the last minute as it was the 2nd best-selling children's book for week-ending 23 December; the Doctor Who Annual didn't make it into the top 3.
And that's my lot. I'm going to crawl into bed now and take a well-earned nap.
(* The Storm page is from the Dutch album De Zeven Van Aromater which is one of the two books translated in Storm--The Collection book 6; © Don Lawrence Collection/Lisabeth Lawrence/Martin Lodewijk)