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Friday, May 31, 2013

Comic Cuts - 31 May 2013

Anyone wondering how my attempts to slim down a few inches is going will be pleased to hear that I'm 1% smaller than I was three weeks ago. There's 1% less of me to lug around town when I'm doing the shopping, 1% less of me collapsing onto the sofa in front of the TV and 1% less of me hauling myself up the stairs to go to bed.

I don't feel slimmer and I still can't see my knees when I stand up straight. I think, however, that all the walking is doing my back some good and the general idea at this stage of the game is just to build up my stamina. I haven't exercised for twenty years, so it's going to take time.

But... 1%, eh?

There was a bit of a disaster last weekend. After almost two weeks of reasonable activity – I'm trying to walk a minimum of an extra two miles a day – on Saturday I was starting to struggle. We had to do some gardening on Sunday but I wasn't making much impact on the distance walking. On Monday we needed to start clearing out the attic and, again, as for Sunday, I felt I was putting the work in to make sure I also did my two miles, but the pedometer was telling me a different story.

By Tuesday I figured out the problem: the pedometer was buggered. I counted steps and checked what the pedometer counted and the damn thing was counting maybe every third or every fourth step. It was a many-years-old freebie that Mel got with a magazine, so it's no great loss, but it has rather screwed up the chart I was compiling from each day's figures. From the chart I know that I walked further during week two than week one (hurrah!) but week three I'm going to have to scrap while I wait on the arrival of a new pedometer. I'm still walking and doing a (very) rough estimate on how far I get, but hopefully I'll get things back on a scientific (?) basis next week.

Today's random scans are inspired by last weekend's little feature on Frank Clews. While I was pottering around during the week I stumbled upon another pop-related book from 1963, published by Mayflower, who published Clews' novelisation of His Women (which I don't have) that same year. Just for Fun is a very odd book, part novelisation of the pop movie produced by Columbia and partly biographical sketches of the stars who appeared in the film. Since Clews was also the author of Teenage Idol and Golden Disc, it strikes me that he is a likely candidate to have authored this anonymous novelisation.

Another book along the same lines as Teenage Idol is Top Twenty by Phil Buckle, which features biographical sketches of sixty singers or groups that were filling the hit parade in 1963. If you need to know that Scouse singer Lyn Cornell's favourite companion was her dog Nuts, or that Cleo Laine's favourite singer was herself (!), this is the book for you.

And finally for today, Al Hine's novelisation of The Beatles in Help! from Mayflower. The edition I have is the fourth printing from 1965 – and the book was first published in August, which makes me wonder how many copies the book was selling and whether Mayflower seriously underestimated demand for this Fab Four tie-in. It's apt to end on this one as the film was scripted by Marc Behm, who had previously scripted The Party's Over, novelised by Frank Clews. See... these random scans aren't so randomly chosen after all!

I think I'm running another set of World of Wonder galleries, but it really depends on what I can hustle together over the weekend. Tomorrow we have some background on author Dave Wallis, author of the cult SF novel Only Lovers Left Alive – and there was a bit of a surprise for me when I was researching this one – and hopefully I'll have a little gallery to celebrate the work of the late Jack Vance on Sunday. Jim Burns' fabulous trio of covers for Vance's Durdane books appears as this columns header pic., taken from his excellent collection Lightship.

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