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Friday, April 29, 2011

Comic Cuts - 29 April 2011

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The big news here at Bear Alley is that the first volume of Eagles Over the Western Front should be in hand some time next week—it all depends on how badly the two sets of bank holidays in a row are slowing down postal deliveries. The proof copy came through pretty quickly, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the main bulk of the order will turn up promptly.

The bank holidays are causing a bit of a pile up with my work schedule as I actually managed to take a couple of days off last weekend: went to a barbecue on Friday and did the usual shopping thing on Saturday, although at a more relaxed pace. Sunday I put in some work on what I'm hoping to be the Bear Alley Books project that will follow the three volumes of Eagles—under wraps for the moment while I work out the practicalities of getting it done, although I won't be keeping it a secret until the last minute... you'll know soon enough. Monday... oh, boy. I had to put some time into cutting the lawn, pulling some weeds and doing a bit of digging. I dislike gardening at the best of times but we'd let the lawn grow a bit wild and the lawnmower was complaining every few seconds. Thankfully we only have two small bits of lawn, both at the front and back of the house, although the front is on a steep slope. I was still aching on Wednesday. Damn lawn keeps growing despite threats to replace it with gravel. I might try pleading with it... or maybe get my Mum to write a note. Anything to get out of gardening.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday... it was back to blogging for rent money and making sure that the Illustration Art Gallery and Look and Learn blogs (the latter now styling itself as an 'Article Library' no less) have plenty of bits 'n' bobs for people to read and lots of marvelous pictures to, er, marvel at.

And that brings us up to date. What I haven't had time to do is set up the links and whatnots so that you can pre-order volume two of Eagles. Mind you, I've yet to write up any press material... and I still haven't written up the Nielsen forms in for volume 1. I blame it on the lawn. It's the lawn's fault. Don't blame me.

Last Friday and Saturday I ran a little strip called "Destroy the Guns" by Hugo Pratt and asked whether it was a reprint. Well, I had a couple of comments and I've had some off-blog correspondence and the conclusion is this: the strip originally appeared in the Argentinean publication Ernie Pike #4 in 1960, so it is definitely a translation. It has also been slightly adapted. I haven't been able to track down a copy of the story as it originally appeared, but the opening page contains some non-Pratt panels.

The strip was probably reformatted for its appearance in Hurricane Annual 1965 and needed a few extra frames to fill the eight pages. The four vignettes were probably taken from Thriller Picture Library or one of the war picture libraries. The bottom left frame of the opening panel may be Leone Cimpellin from a 'Spy 13' story. The other three panels may be by Luis Arcas.

My thanks to the original comment posters and Davids Roach and Slinn for their input.

Today's random scans: sometimes a coincidence is just too good to pass up. A few days ago, Morgan Wallace sent over a scan of a book called Brides of the Devil by Jacqueline Yorke, a scarce little paperback published by Dennis Yates in 1949 under their Panther Books imprint. The imprint, used a couple of years before Hamilton & Co. began their own Panther Books line, adorned only two books as far as I'm aware. And, here's the coincidence, a day or two later, David Ainsworth got in touch with a scan of the other Panther book. This one is called Charlie Finds a Corpse by Ralph Denton. Denton seems to have written just the one book, but Yorke had a second, Instruction for Adventure, published by Comyns in 1948. Comyns had previously published Brides of the Devil, a short novel about witchcraft in post-war Britain, in 1946.

Charlie Finds a Corpse has the artist's signature scrawled up the left hand side... Leo Newman? Google isn't much help, but, digging around, I did find a British Railways pamphlet called Food Hygiene for the shipping and continental catering services issued by the Southern Region Medical Department ppossibly in the 1960s that was illustrated by Leo Newman. Same guy? And who knew that the Southern Region of British Rail not only had a medical department but they were publishing memos for staff as colour pamphlets?

Have a happy bank holiday and see you next week...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey Steve,

before you put those scary pics on the blog, please warn us.

You scared the ***** out of me first thing in the morning.