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Friday, July 09, 2010

Comic Cuts - 9 July 2010

Another week split between packing and writing and trying to remember the 101 things that need to be done, like canceling our cable and broadband service at this address and trying to set things up at our new place. I've not documented the move as closely as I did the last upheaval, basically because it mostly consists of half-empty shelves and packed boxes, which isn't visually that exciting. But have a look anyway...

I've been working on three obituaries for The Guardian, a couple of which should be appearing any day now: Victor de la Fuente and Al Williamson. The third might be delayed as there are details of the circumstances of that person's death still to emerge. (Same thing happened last month with another piece The Guardian commissioned, so that's another one waiting in the wings.) By the time I started writing the third obituary on the trot, I was starting to feel like a ghoul, picking over dead bones, but I've not been able to concentrate on any other projects due to having to pack and I still need to pay the rent.

During the week I was packing a couple of old crime novels when I noticed that the lead character of one was called Raz Berry. The book is Now Try the Morgue by Elleston Trevor (Trevor Dudley Smith), a thick-ear American gangster novel published by Gerald G. Swan in 1948. Picking through a couple of others I found the American gunman-adventurer hero of Too Tough to Die by Rine Gadhart was named Barry Saunders, who sounds like he should be selling cillit bang rather than running around Chicago; the ghost of Carry On... lives on in Murder at Cost Price by L. H. Hart where private eye Bill Harding has a Chinese assistant called Wang; and, even more daft, the hero of Guy Pember-Hiller's Run, Corpse, Run! is a private detective called Mark Vroom. They really don't make 'em like that any more!

I'll be posting a couple of bits of Neil Gaiman-iana over the weekend, one a bit dull but one that I think is quite special.

(* Our column header is a teaser for some posts I'm planning for next week featuring a couple of British comic strips abroad, many of which had covers unseen here in the UK. Strips include The Trigan Empire, Olac the Gladiator and Robot Archie... so tune in next week. Halmer is, of course, better known here in the UK as Karl the Viking and is © IPC Media. The artwork by Don Lawrence was used on the slipcase of the Karl the Viking Collection published in 2008.)

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