BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, March 01, 2013

Comic Cuts - 1 March 2013

I'm going to echo my comments of exactly a month ago: Where the hell did February go? A sixth of the way through the year already. I swear the weeks rush past me faster and faster the older I get.

I'm still hopeful that I'll get the next Bear Alley book out in March but it will be tight. As regular readers will recall, I spent January working on one book and had to give that up ... no, let me rephrase that... I chose to stop working on it to give us more research time due to an unforeseen problem. I switched to working on the Ranger book in February and, whilst it is coming along nicely – the index aspects of the book have a few tweaks to go through but are essentially done, I've scanned and cleaned up quite a lot of pictures, most of the introduction is now written – I still need to knuckle down and get it finished.

I'll make that my new month's resolution.

Our column header is another example of original Ranger artwork and partly re-set text that I'm using in the book to make it as good-looking as I possibly can. I'm also spending a lot of time on other pages, bringing them up to scratch, which is why the book is taking so long.

At the end of the month, Strip Magazine is relaunched as STRIP: The Monthly Adventure Comics Magazine, with the first new issue hitting the newsstand on 28 March. The magazine will be available in "select high street newsagents" although what makes those particular newsagents "select" the news release doesn't say. The original run of seven issues distributed in comic stores is now being called a "test run". If that was a test, it didn't score very well ... only three issues made it into my local comic shop. Issue four was possibly released early April 2012, issue 5/6 on 31 October 2012 and issue 7 on 19 December 2012. Not that we saw them in Colchester.

Now that I've got that off my chest, let's be a little more positive. The new version of STRIP is reviving the old D. C. Thomson character King Cobra. I never was a big reader of Hotspur and the character arrived in 1976, just as I was switching my allegiance from comics to books. In 1976 the only comic I read was Action.

So I don't know much about King Cobra, only what I have been able to glean since. The Ron Smith artwork looks great, so it will be interesting to see what newcomer Wamberto Nicomedes makes of the character. I know llittle about the artist except that he comes from Recife, in the Brazilian province of Pernambuco, and has been a writer and illustrator for Brazilian magazines since 1989; he also illustrates stories for young children. Here are the opening pages from the new King Cobra...

 
Today's random scans. It's time to catch up with a couple of books that I've purchased over the past two weeks.I picked up The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Marlmont because of the cover and discovered that its pulp beauty is definitely more than skin deep: it features Walter Gibson, Lester Dent and L. Ron Hubbard amongst its characters. Checking further, I see there is a sequel entitled The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown, a title I'll definitely look out for.

I've also found an awful lot of Agatha Christie short stories to read (or re-read in a lot of cases).

To end with, a couple of genuine pulp adventures sent over by Morgan Wallace. The Drayton cover is by Len Gard. The Anita Loos is someone's attempt at Marilyn, I suspect. Maybe Gard again.

I actually have a choice of material to run over the weekend. As one is a query from a pal, I'll probably run that along with some questions of my own relating to European comic reprints. If not, I have a couple of interesting author biogs that I've cobbled together.

Next week it's Lesley Shane. We must be getting towards the end of this adventure. I hope you've all been enjoying it.

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