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Monday, December 01, 2008

Comic Cuts

We've had a bit of a chaotic week in the house: between visitors, visiting, building work (oh, yes, that's still going on: some of the window panes have had to be replaced because they didn't meet the Building Control regulations which required toughened glass rather than normal glass), recording (which I still haven't finished), scanning (bits 'n' bobs, some for future columns), proofing, shopping and sleeping (which I do sometimes), I don't feel as if I've managed to actually get anything done. Nothing's quite finished: the new glass is sitting out in the hall but hasn't been put in, there are still odd singles and an LP or two that need to be recorded, etc. I've not had the satisfaction of putting any of it behind me.

It hasn't all been a dead loss. The wheels are in motion on a couple of possible projects for Book Palace Books in 2009 although it all now depends on tracking down copyright owners and sorting out licenses. If all goes well we should have a few interesting books in the pipeline to follow up the publication of the Robin Hood and King Arthur books.

The bit of proofing I did this week was for one of the final two Trigan Empire volumes. Just one more to go and that will be the full set. I'm not sure if either volume will be released before Christmas so it looks likely they will now be published in January, which will mean I get off to a great start in the new year with three books out: Trigan EmpireThe Collection volumes 1 and 12 and Sci-Fi Art: A Graphic History. I think it will then be at least three months before I have another one out.

A few items of news:

* The latest issue of Jeff Hawke's Cosmos has been released. It is now in an excellent and very professional-looking squarebound format. The latest issue (v.5 no.1) runs to 84 pages and contains three complete Jeff Hawke stories: "Uncanny Deep" (1963-64), "Winner Gain All" (1964) and "Moratorro!" (1975). The quality of the stories is as superb as ever, the first two tales penned by Willie Patterson during what is generally considered the classic era of the strip; the reproduction is excellent and the background notes and other features always welcome.

Jeff Hawke's Cosmos is published three times a year and subscriptions are a mere £18.50 (£28 overseas [Eur. 38] by air mail; for other rates contact ). All enquiries william [AT]

* Geek Syndicate has an exclusive podcast of Pat Mills' talk about Charley's War at the Comic Museum on 26 November.

* There's a movement afoot to try and get some recognition for Reg Bunn in his home city of Birmingham. I've rencently heard from Paul Birch who tells me, "While I can't see English Heritage putting a plaque up on any still-standing home he lived in, Birmingham has been known to put up memorials to its local heroes, i.e. the Tony Hancock sculpture that was outside the blood doners', the Walk of Fame based on Hollywood's, etc., or just an award or grant that can be passed on to truly deserving new artists."

Well, I'm for it! Bunn was one of the top artists of the 1960s, "the cross-hatch king" as he was nicknamed. Fast, reliable and responsible for The Spider. What's not to honour?

(* Column header: something a bit unique. I picked up David Hitchcock's latest publication, Gothic, on Saturday. An excellent collection of weird stories printed in a tabloid newspaper format. It works incredibly well with David's Victorian-style horror yarns with some of the stories being given a sepia tint which enriches the pencil and ink-wash that David uses (well, that's what it looks like to me). You can find more about the contents on the Black Boar Blog and order copies via PayPal.)

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