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Friday, December 17, 2010

Comic Cuts - 17 December 2010

Being a freelancer working from home I've not really noticed the build-up to Christmas. I spotted that the decorations were up in town when I went to do the shopping last weekend but we're now living out of town, so I've not seen the lights on. It's not worth decorating the office and we've not got around to decorating the living room yet because I'm still clearing boxes. I'm planning to clear the decks today so that we can get the tree up on Saturday... that's the plan, anyway.

And normally, working on my own, there's no office party. Well, not this year. As Mel had the day off yesterday we pushed off down the pub and had a couple of drinks and a meal, something we've not done for some while as Mel hasn't worked from home for some years. We used to pop down the local pub for lunch regularly every Friday back in the days of Comic World. It's a bit of a shock to think that Comic World folded fifteen years ago; I'm rather pleased to say that a couple of boxes of the magazine surfaced during the week as I was taking another stab at clearing Box Mountain. I'm thinking that, early next year, I may do some posts about the history of Comic World; hopefully I'll be able to dig out some more odds and ends  - like the Mike Noble pic - that haven't been seen for over 15 or more years.

I've had another busy week on the run-up to Christmas. I've spent a bit of time cleaning up some artwork for a second strip that will run alongside 'Robinson Crusoe' next week. Last year, during the week running up to Christmas Eve, I ran a little strip called 'The Story of Father Christmas'. Well, the star of that strip, Norman Gnome, returns tomorrow in 'Norman Gnome Gets Rich' which will again run up to Christmas Eve. Given the madness that usually surrounds the final week before Christmas, and the fact that a lot of people are going to be working all the way up to Friday, I hope you'll take a few minutes to relax and enjoy Norman's adventure.

I posted a piece last week on book cover illustrators who had produced work for comics, so this week's random scan - or scans - reverse the situation. Harold John was one of the early members of the Frank Hampson studio who, after departing in 1953, went on to do a wide variety of illustrative work, including the cover at the head of today's column. And I mentioned Gerry Wood last week, so I thought I'd dig out an example of one of his covers, this from the Gor series by John Norman. Wood was an excellent and regular illustrator for Look and Learn and Speed & Power in the 1970s but is probably better known to readers of this blog for the five years he spent as the artist of 'The Trigan Empire' in Look and Learn in 1977-82.

See you all next week.


Anonymous said...

I remember Comic World well both because it was an excellent magazine and because it was the only magazine ever to pay me for writing something (an obituary for comic book writer Gaylord DuBois).

David Simpson

Steve said...

Hi David,

I have fond memories of it, too. My first proper editorial job and a very happy part of my life. This is the first time I've had a set of the issues together and I'm looking forward to getting the chance to look through them over Christmas and the New Year. Hopefully I'll be able to reveal a few stories from behind the scenes next year.

Pay rates were pretty poor but we had a merry band of writers who worked their bums off to get the mag. out every month. And we never missed a print deadline, I'm proud to say.