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Friday, June 27, 2014

Comic Cuts - 27 June 2014

The waiting is nearly over! The Countdown to TV Action index is almost here. A proof copy of the book landed on my plaster-covered doormat (explanation below) on Tuesday and I spent part of Tuesday and all of Wednesday and Thursday proofing, tweaking little bits of text, checking the captions and doing everything else that needs doing to finish the book off.

The best news as far as I'm concerned is that there hasn't been much to do as far as the pictures are concerned. A couple of little tweaks to contrast levels. Working from the printed page can be a pain in the backside when those pages are in old, yellowing comics mangled at the hands of overenthusiastic youngsters forty years ago. Overall I'm happy with the way the pictures have turned out.

What happens now is that I'll get a second proof just to make sure that any corrections I've made haven't caused any unforeseen problems and to double-check to see how the book prints. After that, copies will start winging their way to everyone who has ordered copies. The official release date I've set for a week hence because July 4th seemed like a good day to celebrate a launch.

You can now order your copy from the Bear Alley Books website. Pay via PayPal, who also accept credit card payments. If you want to pay by cheque, drop me a line at the e-mail address just below the photo at the top left of this page and I'll give you an address to send it to.

OK... the plaster-covered doormat. At quarter to eight on Monday morning, a couple of workmen turned up to do some work on the house. This was a bit of a surprise as nobody had warned us that they were due. Bang went any plans we had to get out of the house for a couple of hours – I was still waiting on the proof to arrive and Mel had booked the day off.

Instead, we pottered around while two guys ripped the roof off the porch. There has been a damp problem in the porch since we moved in and this has spread to the back of my office in the four years we've been renting this house. We've had a variety of suggestions as to what has been causing the problem, one of which was that the cheapjacks who built the porch should have made the roof with three rows of decently overlapping slates rather than two rows which barely overlapped. Water wasn't running off he roof properly but being sucked back under the top row of slates by a form of capillary action.

When the roof was off this proved not to be the main cause of problems. Rather, it was the seal on the roof between the garage and the porch. Water was getting in and leaking down behind the plaster.

The plaster had to be removed from one side of the porch and, at the time of writing, we have a bare brick wall that needs to dry out. However, we've also got a new fence along the front garden and a fence post at the back has also been replaced. Next week we're expecting the work to be finished: the wall will be replastered and the porch repainted; there's also a bit of paintwork needs touching up elsewhere in the house but that shouldn't take too long.

Random scans this week is a celebration of comics vs. the law in memory of Felix Dennis, who died last week. Welcome to the Trials Special!

First up, Tony Palmer's history of the The Trials of OZ (1971) with a cover by Jim Fitzpatrick. Next up, the magazine The Trials of Nasty Tales (1973), with a cover by Dave Gibbons. And, finally, the Knockabout Trial Special (1984), cover by Hunt Emerson, although that was far from the last time comics faced legal problems. Savoy Books were prosecuted in Manchester and Gosh! Comics in London was raided, both in the early 1990s if memory serves.

Next week we should have the latest Upcoming Comics and Recent Releases listings. There's also a biographical sketch about Eric Winter lined up and whatever else I can cobble together.

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